Quaranteenage Dirtbag Challenge: 106 fans cover Wheatus's classic ‘Teenage Dirtbag' and it's massive
Wheatus have shared a mash-up video of fans performing a gigantic cover of 'Teenage Dirtbag'
Wheatus have released a massive musical collage of fans performing their classic hit 'Teenage Dirtbag' on April 28.
When we think of the band Wheatus, there's not even an inkling of a doubt as to which song comes to mind. In an era of music where bands who captured teenage angst in their music were your go-tos for venting your adolescent frustrations, you had bands like Linkin Park, The All-American Rejects, Good Charlotte but then there was Wheatus. The American rock band from Northport, New York formed in 1995, and when 'Teenage Dirtbag' released in 2000, we got to understand, as a teenager, you could simply accept the shortcomings of your youth and still remain unmarred in the face of a judgemental world.
Frontman Brendan B Brown spoke with Tone Deaf in 2012, explaining that the song is about a childhood experience. "It came from the summer of 1984 on Long Island, when I was 10 years old," he said.
He explained the background of the song, saying, "That summer in the woods behind my house, there was a Satanic, drug-induced ritual teen homicide that went down; and the kid who did it was called Ricky Kasso, and he was arrested wearing an AC/DC T-shirt. That made all the papers, and the television, obviously; and here I was, 10 years old, walking around with a case full of AC/DC and Iron Maiden and Metallica [songs] – and all the parents and the teachers and the cops thought I was some kind of Satan worshipper. So that's the backdrop for that song."
Brown also explained that the song's chorus remains an act of defiance. "So when I sing: 'I'm just a teenage dirtbag', I'm effectively saying: 'Yeah, f**k you if you don't like it. Just because I like AC/DC doesn't mean I'm a devil worshipper, and you're an idiot.' That's where it comes from," he said.
'Teenage Dirtbag' gained wide critical reception with massive success in Australia, spending four weeks at No. 1, being certified 3x Platinum and becoming the second best-selling single of 2000. In Ireland, Germany and the United Kingdom, it reached No. 2, where it was certified Platinum in 2013. As of 2014, the song has sold 5 million copies worldwide. "It featured in the films 'Loser' and 'Bully', as well as the HBO miniseries 'Generation Kill', the Netflix original series 'Girlboss', and 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'.
The new video is the result of the Quaranteenage Dirtbag Challenge, which Brown announced in March after the band had to cancel some 20th-anniversary touring plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 106 contributors from 16 different countries submitted their clips. The video opens with fans playing on a kitchen sink and kitchen appliances to provide the opening beat and then the instruments move on to a range of guitar, drums, bass, string instruments and flutes. As you watch it you begin to realize the editing of all those clips to make one video is astounding and it's inspiring to see so much dedication all compiled into one piece of art.