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This summer, Good Charlotte's Joel Madden looks forward to touring and working on his '65 Chevy

The sound inside the production room of the Cricket Center in Charlotte, S.C., is muddy with the squawk of walkie-talkies, but that doesn't distract Good Charlotte lead vocalist and San Jose resident Joel Madden from reminiscing about his favorite summer things. "For me, the big thing about summer was the Warped Tour," Madden muses. "That's how its been every summer for the past couple years. When I was young, I went to the Warped Tour. All my favorite bands were there. Being a part of it--going as a kid, then being in a band that got to finally play--honestly, for the past six seven years, that's what I think about when I think about summer. It's like summer camp for punk rock."

This is the first summer in seven years that Good Charlotte won't play the Warped Tour. Madden and his band will be in Europe touring with the Business and playing a few festival dates before taking off to Japan for the enormous Summer Sonic Concert. Madden will be home for the month of July, then it's back in the bus for another headlining tour of the United States.

Good Charlotte's May 30 show at the SJSU Event Center promises to be a bright spot kicking off the summer concert season. Ticket sales are flat everywhere else, but this Good Charlotte show with punk-rock upstarts MxPx and New Found Glory is sold-out. That piece of news pleases Madden, who has been on the road since April 2002, right about the time the Maryland native moved to north San Jose (to be close to his girlfriend) and Good Charlotte blew up with hit singles "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "The Anthem."

Madden admits the higher profile takes some getting used to, but he ain't complaining, as he does on "Lifestyles." He tried to go to Valley Fair a month ago, but after five minutes, autograph seekers had formed a gauntlet, and he had to break out.

"It wasn't a mad scene, but it was so much of a scene that I had to leave," he recalls. "Sometimes, I'll roll in with a hat and hood up, and nobody recognizes me. But even when people are around, in San Jose they recognize you and say, 'What's up?' and are cool about it. I haven't had to get security, so it's all good."

The Metro Summer Music Guide is all good, also. We see where Perry Farrell's head is at for the return of Lollapalooza. We journey back in the day when the Police played a 1983 Day on the Green, an event that transformed the Bay Area alternative nation forever. We spotlight shows by Metallica, Ozzfest, the Dixie Chicks, Lou Reed, India.Arie, Beck, Wilco, the local jazz and art festivals and others. It's a summer full of good music and distractions.

When asked to name his favorite things about San Jose, Madden digs on the weather, E&O Trading Co., the DJ scene (Fuze One and Fingerbangerz, particularly) and New Skool Tattoo. When he returns home in July, he's looking forward to hanging out in his driveway and fixing up his cars: an Audi and a '65 Chevy.

"I really like San Jose," Madden confesses. "My friends in D.C. all give me shit, but so what, I like it here."

Copyright 2004 GoodCharlotteNZ. All rights reserved.