Green Day Bio
The Berklee School of Music, the famed conservatory in Boston, has helped launch the careers of such notable musicians
as Quincy Jones, Branford Marsalis and Paula Cole. On the west coast, there's another Berkeley "school" of music -- Berkeley,
California, that is, on whose streets the members of Green Day got their less than formal training. Like countless scruffy
unknowns, this trio - Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool - got their start in that liberal college town, playing
for free at the punk clubs on Gilman Street. Unlike most of those young hopefuls in the East Bay scene, somehow these three
became punk rock's most remarkable -- and to some, most unlikely -- success story. They not only gave immaturity a good name,
they sold more than 10 million albums and won a Grammy Award in the process. Think of Green Day as the harbingers of a radically
revamped California sound: the Beach Boys of "couch surfing."
Armstrong and Dirnt were both born
in Rodeo, California, in 1972 and they have been friends since age 10. At age 14, they put together their first band, Sweet
Children, which started gigging at the all-ages clubs on Gilman Street. As Green Day, they recorded their first EP, 1,000
Hours, in two days when they were 17 and seniors in high school. Soon, Dirnt graduated, Armstrong dropped out and they started
squatting in Oakland, California. Their debut album, with drummer Al Sobrante (real name: Jon Kiffmeyer), was released in
1990 by local indie label Lookout!. When Sobrante left, Dirnt and Armstrong found a friend in arms in Tre Cool (born Edwin
Wright III), who had been playing drums with the Lookouts since age 12. (Tre, who grew up near Mendicino, was also a neighbor
of Lookout! Records founder Lawrence Livermore.) Cool made his Green Day debut on the band's second album, Kerplunk.
Day built its following the old-fashioned way -- they earned it. Before they even hooked up with a major label, the band had
already completed five national tours, driving their renovated bookmobile coast to coast and crashing on friends' and fan's
floors. Pandemonium struck when their Reprise debut, Dookie, was released and Green Day introduced an ever-expanding audience
to the energy and insanity of punk rock. With the 14 loud'n'fast tunes of Dookie clocking in at only 39 minutes, 1993 suddenly
sounded more like 1977. Soon, Green Day's songs about picking scabs, pyromania and masturbation had become unofficial national
anthems. Green Day was singing about its own distinct form of malcontent, but it seemed there was a world of followers who
felt their pain and wanted to laugh --and mosh -- along with it. Immaturity was cool again. Dookie went on to sell more than
10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and Green Day won a Grammy in 1994 for "Best Alternative Music Performance." Of course,
this led some of the gang back on Gilman Street to cry "sell-out" and "mainstream," but one listen to Green Day and you'd
know this wasn't some watered- down white-bread punk designed to impress your parents.
next album, Insomniac, and especially on their latest, Nimrod, Green Day has managed to stay true to the punk attitude while
proving they're not just one-trick ponies or even three-chord monkeys. On Nimrod, note the surf-style instrumental, "Last
Ride," and the string section of "Good Riddance," which was featured prominently on an episode of ER and the final installment
of Seinfield. The members of Green Day, who got married and had kids, have obviously matured -- at least a little bit. But
Billie Joe and the boys aren't aging too gracefully. Sometimes they can still be wonderfully cranky and crass: "The wife's
a nag and the kid's f**king up/I don't have sex cause I can't get it up," Armstrong sings in "The Grouch."
Day didn't reinvent anything, but they did reintroduce both the anger and the exuberance, as well as the off-the-wall humor,
of punk into the popular conciousness - paving the way for other in-your-face acts like the Offspring and Rancid. While Dookie
in and of itself became the soundtrack for a new generation of the young and the restless, Green Day has also proved it has
staying power beyond such a career- defining commercial success. The band members asked the musical question, "Do you have
the time to listen to me whine?" and we still answer with a resounding yes.
Green Day Pictures
Billie Joe Pictures
( he is so hot)