Green Day is an American rock band that has been rocking the Bay Area pop-punk sound for more than 30 years. Starting out as snot-nosed punks singing about girls, smoking pot and masturbating, the trio of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool grew into masters of the rock music game. Here, MusicSnake Magazine put together a list of top ten facts you probably didn’t know about Green Day.
Number One: Green Day Had Two Official Drummers
Tré Cool wasn’t always the band’s drummer. When they formed as Sweet Children, Al Sobrante (Isocracy’s John Kiffmeyer) was behind the skins. When he left to attend college, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt were introduced to Tré Cool, then drummer for The Lookouts, who filled in with the band during shows. The rest is pop-punk history. Although he wasn’t inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame with the others, Kiffmeyer did play a show with Green Day (as Sweet Children) three days before the induction, his first time back on stage since leaving the band.
Number Two: Dirnt is a Restaurant Owner
Mike Dirnt knows where you can get a good burger in the Bay Area. He is the owner of a restaurant called Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café in Emeryville. The restaurant was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in ’10. In ’11, a second Rudy’s opened its doors in Oakland.
Number Three: The Band Has a Fourth Member
That fourth guy is Jason White. A touring musician with the band since ’99, he officially became a member in ’12.
Number Four: Like Father Like Sons
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree as both Jakob and Joey Armstrong, sons of Billie Joe Armstrong, are budding musicians. Joey plays drums for punk band Swmrs, whose three of their albums were produced by Billie Joe and released on his Adeline Records label. Jakob is a singer and guitarist. He released his first tracks in ’15 under Jakob Danger. Further, in ’11, Billie Joe Armstrong formed a band with his wife and two sons called The Boo and released a self-titled EP that same year.
Number Five: The Band Was Banned from Playing Gilman Street
When GD signed to Warner Reprise, they were banned from playing at the famed 924 Gilman Street, where they got their start. Green Day recently got this ban overturned when they played the venue during a benefit concert.
Number Six: Armstrong Still Plays Blue
If you have been to their show any time in the last 35 years, you may have noticed Billie Joe Armstrong playing a blue and white Fernandes Stratocaster with stickers and his initials on it. That’s Blue, the first electric guitar he ever owned. A gift from his mother, you can still see Armstrong playing Blue to this very day. The guitar is so iconic in fact, there is a company that makes replicas of the Strat for purchase.
Number Seven: Armstrong Has Been Showing His Acting Chops
He has acted in several shows and movies, as well as on Broadway. This includes a role in John Roecker’s Live Freaky, Die Freaky, as Charles Manson, a brief appearance in an episode of Nurse Jackie, and starring roles in the indie films Like Sunday, Like Rain and Geezer. He also finished out American Idiot Broadway run as St. Jimmy.
Number Eight: The Band Shares Songwriting Duties
Armstrong may be the chief songwriter, but he isn’t the only member of GD who writes songs for the band. Both Dirnt and Tré Cool have taken part in songwriting duties. Dirnt’s additions include Ha Ha You’re Dead, Nobody Likes You and Modern World. However, Tré Cool’s additions are the most interesting by far. Besides writing Rock and Roll Girlfriend he also wrote and sang Dominated Love Slave, All By Myself, DUI and Like A Rat Does Cheese.
Number Nine: The Musicians Are Coffee Nuts
Armstrong and Dirnt, who recorded a song called 409 In Your Coffeemaker, started their own coffee company called Oakland Coffee Works. It is the first brand of organic coffee in mass production to be packaged in compostable bags and pods.
Number Ten: They Have Their Own Video Game
In ’09, the band got their very own version of the popular video game Rock Band. Featuring American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown and Dookie in their entirety, as well as other classics from their repertoire, they are only one of two bands to ever get their own version of the game. The other is The Beatles.
Featured: MusicSnake – No One Loved Me