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Good Charlotte

WALDORFWORLDWIDE GOOD CHARLOTTE GOOD CHARLOTTE, THE BOOK MOTIVATION PROCLAMATION EAST COAST ANTHEM THANK YOU MOM MY BROTHER'S PLACE THE YOUNG AND HOPELESS LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND THE FAMOUS PIRATES!

WALDORFWORLDWIDE The twin brothers that make up the core of Good Charlotte were born on March 11, 1979 in the "middle-of-nowhere-suburbs", Waldorf, Maryland. The brothers, Joel and Benji Madden were turned on to music by their older brother, Josh. Their influences started with bands like Rancid, Minor Threat, the Cure and the Smiths. Benji started learning to play the guitar at 16 while Joel developed his vocal talent.

GOOD CHARLOTTE After their bassist, Paul guitarist Billy joined the twins, Good Charlotte took their name from a children's book and played their first gig in a neighbor's basement for an audience of 20. Benji recalls, "We only played our own song so we weren't good enough to learn anyone else's songs!"

GOOD CHARLOTTE, THE BOOK That children's book they took their name from has a similar theme to what they have come to represent, it's about a young girl that gets picked on by other kids because she is different. These guys know what it is to be outcasts.

MOTIVATION PROCLAMATION The brothers dedicated themselves to their music, although they had almost no money for equipment and no connections in the industry. They cut their first demo, wrote their own bio, and began mailing packages off to a list of record companies obtained from a magazine. "I wrote this letter saying, we're Good Charlotte and if you sign us now it will be a lot cheaper than if you wait!" recalls Benji. "Our ignorance was kind of a blessing. We couldn't be discouraged by knowing too much about how the business really works."

EAST COAST ANTHEM When the twins graduated high school in 1997, their mom presented them with two open airline tickets to California as a graduation present. "Some of our favorite bands like Green Day had started out at this East Bay club called 924 Gilman Street. So when we graduated, that summer we made a pilgrimage to visit the club. We'd never even been on a plane before, but we have an aunt in Berkeley who let us crash with her." This gave the band a whole new kind of outlook when they returned home to the east coast.

THANK YOU MOM While living in Annapolis, Maryland, the band won a local contest, and their song "Can't Go On" was included on a sample CD of local area talent. This helped them attract the attention of a manager, and Lit offered a supporting slot on a series of sold-out East Coast dates. "We had no money, no transportation, and no way to do the gigs. Our mom was living in like a shed on a neighbor's property, and the only thing she really owned was a mini-van. She said, you guys take the mini-van to play the shows and I'll catch rides or walk to work. That just shows you how she's been there for us the whole time." "Thank You Mom" is a hidden track on their first album, about a minute after the last listed song, "Change". The song is a rich acoustic tune and shows where these "I'm so punky" rockers' hearts really are.

MY BROTHER'S PLACE Despite their spiked hair and pierced exterior, "Good Charlotte" is a poppy-slightly-emo-punk sound that is clearly distinct from the rest of their peers and the fans have taken notice. You'll most likely never mistake them for anyone else. Their recent hit album, "The Young and the Hopeless" is a prime example of their punkrock-independent attitude.

THE YOUNG AND HOPELESS Honesty is the thread that runs through every song on The Young and Hopeless and binds Good Charlotte to their devoted fans. "I don't think we're better than any other band," says Benji, "although I do think we're more sincere, more real, than some of them. We want to be judged for what we're really doing, not put in a genre with a bunch of other bands with which we have nothing in common."

LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND THE FAMOUS "We have a lot more to say than some of the bands we're compared with, and I hope people will hear it on this album. The kids that we were, five years ago just want to give those kids something to help them through the day." "Our goals right now as a band are to make the music we want to make, and give our fans what they have given us - positivity, dedication, loyalty, hope, truth, and a place to belong. we really just feel like the luckiest guys in the world, cause after all we just fans too."

- Joel Madden
About the Author

To read more articles by Chad, visit the American Pop Culture Encyclopedia at: http://www.americanpopcultureencyclopedia.com. If you would like to read this article, or others like it, on American Pop Culture Encyclopedia, visit: http://www.americanpopcultureencyclopedia.com/good%20charlotte.htm

Chad Koch