Hearing Green Day's "American Idiot" album took Paul McPike, a 32-year-old grocery store checker in Medford, right back to high school.
But it wasn't just the album's punk-pop indictment of authority that reminded him of being a teenager. He claimed to have sung all the songs for his classmates at Independence High School, an alternative school in Sutter Creek, Calif., back in 1992.
McPike, who has lived in Medford for four months and worked at a ski resort in South Lake Tahoe last winter, filed a copyright infringement complaint in U.S. District Court last week. (1)
He filed a two-page complaint in the US District Court. As evidence, he has submitted a copy of 'American Idiot' and a claim that the words Green Day vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong sings on the album don't match those printed in the liner notes. (2) Obviously Armstrong has problems remembering the words because he did not write them.
In a cruel move, a judge dismissed the case, but kept the possibility of justice alive by suggesting that McPike could further research his claim and resubmit it. This is exactly what McPike plans to do, spurred on in his quest by mystery evidence he has yet to disclose. What we do know is that McPike has been writing and recording songs for fun since he was a teenager and it?s likely one of his buddies, recognizing a singular talent in their friend, bootlegged one of McPike?s performances and passed the recording along to Green Day. (3)
"It was just disbelief every time I heard it on the radio," McPike told Medford's Mail Tribune newspaper.
McPike claims to have written several letters to both the band and their label, Warner Bros. Records, but never received a reply to his allegations. So he felt that he was left with no alternative but to go to court. He's seeking an unspecified share of the profits from the 2004 album and the 2005 Bullet In A Bible concert CD/DVD that includes songs from American Idiot. (4)