Mike went searching for “An Idiot Never Forgets #2” and tracked down Gil Warguez, who was in attendance at the July 5, 1994, Slim’s show. Gil had posted a couple of photos of that night on Flickr, which he graciously has allowed us to use. The photos are of Billie Joe Armstrong and his wife Adrienne, just days after their wedding. We’ll be posting those photos as well as others this week. In the meantime, here are Gil’s recollections of that night.
The show at Slim’s nightclub in San Francisco on July 5th, 1994 was the first time I attended a Green Day concert. Unfortunately, I didn’t see them at 924 Gilman in Berkeley. At the time, “Longview” was in heavy rotation on Bay Area modern rock radio station Live 105, and the video for the song was being shown quite a bit on MTV.
In late June, I watched Green Day perform “Basket Case” on “Late Show with David Letterman.” It was the band’s first appearance on Letterman. The day after, on June 30 (technically the same day), I drove to Slim’s to buy a ticket at the box office for the show, since I figured it was going to sell out. As I was driving back to the East Bay with my ticket, guess who I saw in the vehicle next to mine on the freeway in Oakland? That’s right, Green Day. They must’ve just come from Oakland International Airport following their Letterman appearance.
I arrived at Slim’s on July 5 pretty early (probably around soundcheck time). It was still daylight. I brought my “Dookie” CD and a disposable camera. When I spotted Billie Joe, I got the CD from my vehicle and asked him to sign it. He signed the back of the booklet and the disc itself. A guy (friend/roadie?) with him asked me if I wanted him to sign the booklet, too. I said sure. He signed the back. His signature looks like “Rich.” Does anyone know who he is?
During the show, I was in the front row to the left of Billie. I don’t recall specific details about Green Day’s set. I just remember that they played great and that the crowd was wild. Before the show started, I had a nice chat with photographer Jay Blakesberg, who was standing next to me. He informed me that he was shooting the show for “Rolling Stone.” A month or so after, I did see his photo of Billie in “Rolling Stone.” According to setlist.fm, this show was professionally filmed, and the footage was used for the official “Welcome To Paradise” video. However, I don’t recall seeing any cameras filming, and in the video, Billie, Mike & Tré are wearing different clothes. I believe the footage is from their show at Slim’s in February 1994.
After the show, I went back to my vehicle to get my camera. I took two photos outside Slim’s. The first photo is of Billie Joe and Adrienne with a girl I met there. I can’t remember the girl’s name, but I think that’s her in the middle of the main photo on the “Green Day Rising” website. She took my photo with Billie Joe, but I can’t find it. The second photo is of Billie and Adrienne taken when a fan (out of view) approached Billie. I like this photo because Billie and Adrienne are holding hands. They were newlyweds. They had just gotten married on July 2nd.
I saw Green Day only twice after that Slim’s show, both times at Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland on May 27–28, 1995. They were already playing large venues, so their July 5, 1994 show at Slim’s, a venue with a maximum capacity of 500, was a very special moment.