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The song, which was part of the 2004 album American Idiot (and was released as a single the following year) was being discussed on social media on Friday (1 October) as September drew to an end.
In 2019, Armstrong was asked by Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show about the story behind the song, which gets its title from a sentence Armstrong said following his father’s death.
Andrew Marciano Armstrong died on 10 September 1982 of esophageal cancer at the age of 54. Billie Joe Armstrong was 10 at the time.
“You lost your father when you were 10, Billy, right?” Stern asked Armstrong in 2019 – to which the singer said “That’s right.”
“I guess your mother or somebody said to you, ‘Hey, come out of your room.’ You were devastated that you’d lost your father, and you just said, ‘Wake me up when September ends,’” Stern added. “... Did you write that down or is that something that just stayed with you?”
“I think it’s something that just stayed with me,” Armstrong said, “the month of September being that anniversary, just kind of a bummer. It’s weird because when things like that happen when you’re that young, it’s like life starts at year zero again.”