Late arrivers pick up Green Day guitar

Nate Billings

After fighting his way through to the front of the crowd, getting lost around the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport and nearly missing his ticket to the concert, Jordan Wilkerson’s night was made.

He got to play on stage with Green Day.

Wilkerson, 22, Joplin, has missed four Green Day concerts before the one at the Fort Worth Convention Center Oct. 19.

“It was awesome,” Wilkerson said. “There were 20-25,000 people there.”

Wilkerson went with three other Green Day fans.

Jared Garren, freshman political science major, drove down and was in charge of getting the tickets.

The tickets were for the ground floor and cost $50 a piece.

Garren did not expect Wilkerson to get on stage. At every concert fans are chosen to join the band on stage and play their instruments for them.

“It made the night even better,” he said.

Barry Linduff, senior graphic design major and contributing cartoonist for The Chart, also went.

Josh Magnun, 22, Joplin, also went with the group.

They each said they thought they would never make it to the concert.

“When we left town, we swung by the post office to pick up the tickets,” Garren said.

The tickets were bought in two sets, but the second set did not come until the day they departed to leave.

On the way to Texas, the group was stopped for speeding.

Then, the group stopped for directions to the airport, but were sent the wrong way.

“The map was like one you get at Silver Dollar City,” Linduff said.

In total, the group arrived at the concert more than one hour and 45 minutes late.

When they arrived, Wilkerson said he tried to make his way to the front.

“I thought he was crazy,” Garren said. “You have to fight your way through the crowd.”

The group made its way to the front, when they saw Billy Joe Armstrong, lead singer for Green Day up on the catwalk.

Linduff, Garren, Magnun and Wilkerson started shouting as Armstrong searched the crowd for fans to replace the group members on stage.

Linduff and Garren succeeded in getting Armstrong’s attention.

“He pointed to me and said, ‘Are you bad ass? How long have you been playing [the guitar],'” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson responded that he had played for six years.

Armstrong told him to come on stage.

“When I got on stage, I ran over and hugged him,” Wilkerson said. “He grabbed me and gave me a full-mouth kiss.”

Armstrong gave Wilkerson a guitar and told him to play.

The song was, “Knowledge.”

When the song was over, Wilkerson offered the guitar back, but Armstrong did not want it.

“Billy Joe said, ‘It’s yours now, you get to keep it,'” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson’s friends said they were surprised at the events.

“It was almost unbelievable,” Garren said.

After Wilkerson left the stage, he was escorted to the middle of the crowd where people asked him for the guitar.

Wilkerson said as he made his way back up front, the crowd parted and allowed him to freely walk to the front.

After the concert, the group had to have a police escort through the back of the convention center because of the guitar.

Wilkerson has plans for his new possession.

“I’m going to play it,” he said.

Wilkerson and Garren are in the local band Macon.

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