This year, Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" won the Song of the Year Grammy, which may have helped push sales of their 2004 album American Idiot over the five-million mark. The song also paid off for the former members of Agent 51, a now-defunct local band.
A year before the release of American Idiot, Encinitas-based Surfdog Records released Agent 51's CD The Red and the Black. The album had a song titled "She's My Heroine." The opening guitar line has a strong resemblance to the prominent guitar riff in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
In February, Surfdog president Dave Kaplan denied the existence of legal action between his indie label and Green Day/Warner Bros. However, a source recently disclosed that Green Day and Warner Bros. reached a settlement three months ago with Surfdog Records and the former members of Agent 51.
"Surfdog got most of the money," according to the source, who said that band members got about $20,000 each. A call to the office of Green Day manager Pat Magnarella yielded no response. An e-mailed query to Kaplan was not answered.
The earliest Green Day/Agent 51 connection goes back to early 2001, when the local Poway pop-punk band was signed to Adeline Records, a Bay Area--based label launched by Green Day front man Billy Joe Armstrong.