Editor’s note: A previous version of this report included information about the meaning of “American Idiot” that was attributed to a Clickhole.com article. Clickhole.com is a satire site. The information has been removed from the story. It has also been corrected to reflect that “American Idiot” topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, not its Hot 100.
President Trump loved seeing “American Idiot,” the Green Day Broadway musical, on its opening night in 2010, calling it “an amazing theatrical experience!” on Twitter. That night, he posed on the red carpet with his wife, Melania, wearing his signature long red tie, and even managed to sit in the theater under the same roof as Rosie O’Donnell “without incident,” Playbill reported at the time.
But when Trump arrives in the United Kingdom this week for meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May and the queen, among others, the president may have a different view of the Green Day anti-establishment anthem.
Ahead of Trump’s visit, protesters in the United Kingdom have launched a campaign to play “American Idiot” so many times that, by the time he arrives, the song will be the No. 1 single there. The incessant downloads started July 6 and will continue through Thursday. Protesters have been using iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify and YouTube, among other platforms, to stream and download the song.
The campaign’s official motto: “Make American Idiot Great Again.”
The plan, so far, appears to be working. On Amazon in the United Kingdom, “American Idiot” is currently the best-selling song.
“Us in the UK have a good record of protesting in this way,” the campaign’s founders, Keith Curle and Geoff Thomas, told The Washington Post. “We are the country who put Sex Pistols and Rage Against the Machine at No. 1 in the past.”
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong wrote “American Idiot” in the throes of the Iraq War and the angst of post-9/11 America, which the song described as an “alien nation where everything isn’t meant to be okay.” The titular track on the band’s 2004 rock opera resonated with a generation of eyeliner-wearing, anti-establishment punks while at the same time playing ad nauseam on car radios in American suburbia, spending six weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.
Trump is mostly avoiding London throughout the duration of the trip, where the protests will be most concentrated, the Associated Press reported.
A giant blimp depicting Trump as a baby holding an iPhone is also expected to greet him in London, should he get close enough to the protests to see it.