''If you think about bands that are struggling or smaller than Green Day ... to think that to get your record out in places like that, but they won't carry it because of the content and you have to censor yourself. I 'mean, what does that say to a young kid who's trying to speak his mind making a record for the first time? It's like a game that you have to play. You have to refuse to play it.” -Billy Armstrong, Green Day
And refuse they did. Wal-mart, retail outlet superstore, has had a longstanding policy in which they do not carry music that comes with a parental advisory, forcing musicians who otherwise have potty-mouths to rerecord their work to be more “kid friendly”. Artists such as Eminem have had to go back into the lab to recreate a ‘clean’ version to be sold in their chain of stores across the country.
Not all artists feel that they should be obliged to do this- hence why rock group Green Day is making their feelings very well known. According to the New York Times, the group feels that there is nothing “dirty about [their] record.” But of course, Wal-Mart isn’t budging with their policy.
''As with all music, it is up to the artist or label to decide if they want to market different variations of an album to sell, including a version that would remove a PA rating,'' stated Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien to the NY Times. ''The label and artist in this case have decided not to do so, so we unfortunately can not offer the CD.''
Not that green Day needs Wal-mart, anyway. The group has already sold 215,000 copies of their latest CD 21st Century Breakdown, since last Friday.