US rock band Green Day has included an apparently Photoshopped image of a teenager taken in Belfast during The Troubles as the artwork for their upcoming album "Saviors."
Tony McDonagh, the marketing manager for Fáilte Feirste Thiar (Welcome to West Belfast), pointed out on X, formerly Twitter, that the cover for Green Day's new album features a picture that was taken at Leeson Street and Falls Road in 1978.
McDonagh said he believed the original photo was of a young Paul Kennedy, but later noted that it looked like the person on the album cover was changed out.
.@GreenDay new album coverOctober 24, 2023
The original photo was, indeed, taken by Chris Steele-Perkins, who says on his website that he "visited Belfast in 1978 to document everyday life against a background of conflict during the period of the Troubles."
He's captioned his picture simply as: "Youth with a stone during a riot at the top of Leeson Street. 1978."
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In 2021, Steele-Perkins published a book, "The Troubles," of his work that included a photo of the youth on Leeson Street.
Kerrang! Radio has pointed out that after the publication of the book, a Reddit user shared Steele-Perkins’ photograph and a user commented: “This would be a siiick punk album cover.” It’s unclear whether Green Day selected the image after seeing the Reddit post.
Meanwhile, Kennedy, who now lives in Manchester, told Belfast Live that he was surprised to see the image on the cover of Green Day's upcoming album.
"I was 15 in that photo believe it or not," Kennedy said of the original picture.
"All of my vivid memories from that time are about The Troubles, and knowing what was going on as a kid.
"I was probably out of school that day, straight home, changed the clothes, and out to riot. That's how it was back then, unfortunately, it was just such a sad time for everyone."
Kennedy said his brother and his niece contacted him when they noticed the new album cover and that he was "gobsmacked" to see it.
"When I first heard about it, I thought somebody was winding me up," Kennedy added.
"My niece was telling me I'm going to be famous now as I'm on the album cover.
"I'd never heard of Green Day before but went on and listened to some of their songs, they're punk music, they're good. When I was growing up I was into The Jam and a mixture of punk music from around that time as well."
He added: "It's a small world, it just shows you where your face can take you."
Green Day is set to release "Saviors" on January 19, 2024.
The group, which comprises Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool, made the announcement on October 24 and also released "The American Dream is Killing Me" a brand-new single from the upcoming EP.
Surprisingly, Belfast didn't make the cut for the band's newly announced tour dates.
New album ‘Saviors' out January 19th, 2024
The first single “The American Dream Is Killing Me” is out nowOctober 24, 2023