Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong made a mean power trio with his two sons as his backing band on the old time rock cover “I Think We’re Alone Now”. Billie Joe really made the pop rock cover his own by adding his distinctive punk rock vibe while 25-year-old Joey played drums and 22-year-old Jakob played bass.
Billie Joe made the simple guitar part just sound massive as he always does and added some real attitude to the vocals. Joey meanwhile laid a minimalist and funky punk groove on the tubs while Jakob held down a rumbling low-end on the bass guitar. The video was quite popular on YouTube, gaining 5.2 million views, as you can see below.
The song is quite a feel-good watch as Billie Joe and Joey start off the song with cheeky grins, and the famous rocker is clearly having a ball with the family affair. They really sound great as a trio, with the two boys laying down a tight and groovy rhythm section that complements their father’s parts so perfectly.
Fans online ate up the performance, adding comments such as “This is the dream of every rocker… literally made his own band. Beautiful sons you have” and “This has to be one of Billie Joe’s greatest live recording performances of all time and it’s even more awesome that he got to experience this with his sons who almost look identical to him.” Jakob has also sat in at a Green Day show, playing guitar on the band’s classic track “She” at Shaky Knees Festival.
Billie Joe’s cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” came about during the COVID-19 lockdowns following the band’s cancellation of their promotional tour for their 2020 studio album Father of All…. The rocker commented on this at the time, saying “While we’ve all been in quarantine I’ve been reflecting on the things that matter the most in my life. Family, friends and of course music. I figure if we have to spend this time in isolation at least we can be alone together.”
“I Think We’re Alone Now” is a great choice of cover for Billie Joe. The song was penned by American songwriter Richie Cordell and first recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells. It became the group’s breakout hit and peaked at number four in the US in 1967. Tommy James’s voice on the song is almost proto-punk and is such a perfect match for Billie Joe’s vocal style.
Thanks to a series of covers, “I Think We’re Alone Now” has re-entered the charts numerous times over the years. American singer Tiffany Darwish enjoyed a number one hit on both sides of the pond with her cover of the song in 1987. The Rubinoos also had a top 50 in the US with the song in 1977, and Girls Aloud’s 2006 version peaked at number four on the UK charts. Billie Joe released the recording with his two sons as a single in 2020, and it hit number seven on the US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.