Good Charlotte is a pop-rock band from Maryland that formed in 1996. They have released three albums, most noteably 2002's mutliplatinum seller The Young and the Hopeless, which spawned the chart topping singles, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", "The Anthem," and "Girls and Boys". The band's third, and most recent album is 2004's "The Chronicles of Life and Death." The band is fronted by twin brothers Benji and Joel Madden, born in Waldorf, Maryland.
Joel Madden: Vocals and occassional 3rd Guitar,
Benji Madden: Lead guitar and backup vocals,
Billy Martin: Guitar and Keyboards,
Paul Thomas: Bass.
Frontmen, and identical twins Joel and Benji Madden were born on March 11, 1979 to a lower middle class family in the town of Waldorf, Maryland. Their father left the family when the twins were 15 years old, causing financial hardships on the twins, their mother, older brother, and younger sister.
Benji and Joel cite their older brother Josh Madden for introducing them to punk rock music by bands such as Rancid and Social Distortion. After attending a Green Day concert at the age of 16, Benji and Joel decide to start their very own band, although Joel had never sung before, and Benji had never played guitar before. They started Good Charlotte in 1996 when they recruited childhood friends Paul Thomas (bass) and Aaron Escolopio (drums). They soon moved to Annapolis, Maryland and met Billy Martin (whom some people call 'the only real talent the band has'), through a mutual interest in the band Silverchair.
After releasing an EP, entitled Another EP, in 1999, Good Charlotte released their first self-titled album in 2000, which was not a huge commercial success. Singles that were released from that album include "Little Things" and "Motivation Proclamation".
Aaron was the drummer in their debut album, Good Charlotte, before leaving the band in early 2001 to join the band Wakefield with his brother, Ryan. He was replaced with Dusty, who was just a temporary drummer, who had left the band before the recording of their second album, The Young & the Hopeless. As a result, veteran professional studio drummer Josh Freese plays for that album.
2002's The Young And The Hopeless was much more popular, and marked the bands emergence into mainstream music. The single that made them famous, titled "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous", topped charts around the globe. Singles that followed from that album included "The Anthem" ,"Girls and Boys" and "The Young and The Hopeless". "The Young and the Hopeless" received a 3x-platinum certification from the RIAA, landing the band on Saturday Night Live, the covers of Rolling Stone and Alternative Press, a two page feature in the New York Times, and spots on CNN and The Today Show. Good Charlotte were also hugely popular on MTV, where the Madden Brothers once served as hosts on the late night music video show "All Things Rock." Their music videos were favorites on both MTV and MTV2, with "The Anthem" going on to receive the "Viewers Choice Award" on MTV's 2002 Video Music Awards.
Chris Wilson was the band's drummer for their third album, The Chronicles of Life and Death, which was released in 2004. The singles released from that album include "Predictable", "I Just Wanna Live" and "We Believe". This album was considered a departure from their previous 2 albums. In May 2005, Chris left the band for personal health reasons.
Today, through non-stop touring and wide publicity, Good Charlotte has built a huge fanbase from all four corners of the globe.
Their most recent "Noise to the World Tour" with Simple Plan featured Dean Butterworth, who has previously played with Morrissey, as the band's current temporary drummer.
Good Charlotte has been described as a punk band; however, some people who classify themselves as punk fans disagree with this, deriding the band for its pop-oriented sound and the claiming the band's following consists mostly of teenage girls. In practice, the band is often categorized as pop punk or pop-rock.
Good Charlotte and Glenn Beck
Good Charlotte recorded a theme song for radio talk show host Glenn Beck. However, during the 2004 Presidential election, the band refused the show rights to the song over political differences. Beck then tried to purchase the song, not willing to let political differences get in the way of business (epsecially considering that conservative talker Sean Hannity uses liberal Bruce Hornsby's music, among others), but Good Charlotte refused outright. Beck has since complained that, because of Good Charlotte, he currently has no theme song.