Monday, March 26, 2007

Benji Madden of the punk rock band Good Charlotte grew up a Baltimore Orioles fan in Southern Maryland. In fact, he wears his love for them on his skin. Good Charlotte's new album, "Good Morning Revival," hits stores tomorrow.

How did you get into the Orioles?

My dad used to take me to a game once a year. We grew up in Southern Maryland, past Waldorf, even past La Plata, in St. Mary's County. It was about an hour and a half drive to Baltimore. We'd go to a game once a year, and then during the season we'd watch the games [on TV] every night.

Who were your favorite Orioles growing up?

I loved Brady Anderson. I liked weird players; like, I liked Glenn Davis.

Glenn Davis was horrible, too.

Of course, I liked Cal Ripken. I was really into Mike Devereaux. One time I wrote him a letter and he sent me back an autograph. So that was cool.

But I'm actually friends with Brady Anderson now. He lives out in L.A., and I live out in L.A. now. We ran into each other randomly at a party. He was like, 'Hey, are you in Good Charlotte?' And I was like, '. . . are you Brady Anderson?'

And we've hung out a bunch of times.

That's awesome. So you just recognized him and told him you were a fan of his?

I was like, 'Dude, I got your autograph when I was, like, 10.' We just hung out, and he's really, really cool. It turns out that he and his girlfriend and her brother like our band, and so we ended up kicking it. It was really cool.

I had a house party this summer, and he came. I always have the craziest people at my parties, and Brady showed up. It was cool. He's a really good guy.

Does he still rock the sideburns, or no?

Um, I don't think they're as extreme anymore. But everybody loved the sideburns.

He was on the radio right after Cal was selected for the Hall of Fame, and he seemed really up to speed with the team.

From what I understand now, he trains players. He still seems like a really young guy. I'm not sure how old he is. He's a really good guy, though. It was cool meeting him after the fact and knowing him and hanging out. He was definitely one of my heroes though.

What are your good memories of going up to Memorial Stadium? Or did you mostly go to Camden Yards.

I remember when Camden Yards opened. That was pretty exciting. But Memorial Stadium . . . I remember my older brother loved the [Oakland] Athletics when we were little kids. He loved Jose Canseco. He would always go and wear his A's jersey. When the A's would score, he would jump up and cheer, and my dad would always have to tell [annoyed fans] around us to cool it because my brother was just a little kid.

You even have an Orioles tattoo, right?

Yeah. Let's see. I've got an 'O' behind my right ear. I've got an Oriole bird head -- not the old school one but the newer one -- on my hand. And then I've got a Raven head on the other, and it says "Maryland Forever."

That's cool.

I love Maryland, you know? I live in L.A. for the convenience of work. It's very beneficial for me to live in L.A., but I definitely always plan on coming back to settle down in Maryland.

-- Rich Campbell

© 2007 The Washington Post Company