Green Day



Green Day is a musical trio from East Bay, California, consisting of Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar, lead vocals), Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tré Cool (drums). Their back up players on guitar and keyboards are Jason White and Jason Freese. Green Day is widely credited, along with fellow California bands The Offspring and Rancid, with reviving mainstream popular interest in punk rock in the United States during the mid 1990s. Their success has influenced prominent pop punk bands like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte.

The band has sold over 30 million albums in the United States, and over 85 million records worldwide, making them the most successful punk band of all time. Green Day currently has three Grammy Awards under their belt for Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, and Record of the Year for their single Boulevard of Broken Dreams. They are also second to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for most number-ones on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart with eight, and most collective weeks at number one on the Modern Rock Tracks with 39.

In 1986, childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt (both 14 years old) formed the two person band Sweet Children. The first Sweet Children show was on October 17, 1988, at Rod's Hickory Pit in Vallejo, California where Armstrong's mother was working. In 1989, drummer Al Sobrante joined Armstrong and Dirnt after his band Isocracy broke up. The trio decided to form a new band[citation needed], allegedly they chose the name, Green Day, after a marijuana reference, and performed their first show in the courtyard of Contra Costa College, a junior college in San Pablo where Sobrante attended.

Larry Livermore, who played guitar for The Lookouts and ran the Berkeley, California independent label Lookout! Records, offered the band a record deal after hearing them play. The band, he said, played the show like "The Beatles at Shea Stadium" In late 1989 they released their first EP, 1,000 Hours, and quickly followed it up with their first LP, 39/Smooth in early 1990.

I.R.S. Records made an attempt to sign Green Day, but the band made it clear that they were loyal to Lookout! Records, saying that I.R.S. was a cheesy and washed-up label They recorded two more EPs later that year: Slappy and Sweet Children, the latter of which included some older songs for the Minneapolis, Minnesota indie label Skene! Records. In 1991, Lookout! Records released 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, a compilation of the 39/Smooth, Slappy, and 1,000 Hours EPs. In late 1990, shortly after the band's first nationwide tour, Sobrante moved to Arcata, California to attend college. Lookouts drummer Tré Cool began filling in as a temporary replacement, and when it became clear that Sobrante did not plan on commiting to the band full time, Cool's position as Green Day's drummer became permanent.

In January 1991, Green Day wrote and recorded their second album, and first to feature Tré Cool on drums, Kerplunk!, it was released on Lookout! Records in 1992. The album included the track "Welcome to Paradise", which was re-recorded for Green Day's major-label debut, Dookie. The first track off of Kerplunk, "2000 Light Years Away", was also remixed with Reprise Records and was released on the Jerky Boys movie soundtrack. The band went on tour for most of 1992 and 1993, and played a stretch of shows overseas in Europe. The album sold about 50,000 copies in the U.S., which was considered quite a large amount for the independent punk scene in 1992. It eventually sold over 2 million albums worldwide.

Kerplunk!'s underground success led to a wave of interest from major record labels. The band eventually left Lookout! on friendly terms and signed with Reprise Records. Signing to Reprise caused many punk fans to regard Green Day as sellouts. Reflecting on the period, Armstrong told SPIN magazine in 1999, "I couldn't go back to the punk scene, whether we were the biggest success in the world or the biggest failure ... The only thing I could do was get on my bike and go forward."

They band attracted the attention of producer Rob Cavallo, who produced their major label debut Dookie.

Released in February of 1994, and recorded in a mere 3 weeks, Dookie became a commercial sensation, helped by extensive MTV airplay for the videos "Longview", "When I Come Around", and "Basket Case", all of which sat in the #1 position on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. That year, Green Day embarked on a nationwide tour with queercore band Pansy Division as their opening act. The band also joined the lineups of both the Lollapalooza festival and Woodstock 1994, where they started in an infamous mud fight. During the concert, a security guard mistook bassist Mike Dirnt for a stage-invading fan and punched out some of his teeth. The Woodstock 1994 performance further aided Green Day's growing publicity and recognition, and helped push their album to eventual diamond status.

Dookie had received a very positive response, with All Music calling it, "...a stellar piece of modern punk that many tried to emulate but nobody bettered." Dookie appeared in the book 1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, and in Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time issue, Dookie was placed at number 193, in the top 39%, and making it the highest placed punk album released since 1979. It beat out favorites such as Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, and Black Sabbath's eponymous debut album.

In 1995, Dookie won the Best Alternative Album and the band was nominated for 9 MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Hard Rock Video, Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Viewer's Choice. Green Day won the Outstanding Album, Outstanding Bassist, Outstanding Drummer and Outstanding Group at the Bay Area Music in San Francisco at Warfield Theatre. The music video for "Longview" was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Group Video, Best New Artist and Best Alternative Video.

In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled J.A.R.. The single went straight to #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song was followed by their new album, Insomniac, which was released in the fall of 1995. Insomniac was a much darker response by the band, compared to the poppy, more melodic Dookie. Insomniac opened to a warm critical reception, earning 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine, raving "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets." Insomniac used the a piece of art by Winston Smith intitled God told Me To Skin You Alive for its album cover. Smith said to drummer Tré Cool that if he ever needed album artwork, that he should call him. Singles released from Insomniac were "Geek Stink Breath", the radio-favorite double single "Brain Stew/Jaded", "Walking Contradiction", and "Stuck With Me" ("Stuck With Me"'s title should have gone to the b-side "Do Da Da", but was misprinted.) One track, "86," was a reference to the Gilman Street club refusing them entry after the release of Dookie, claiming that they had "gone too commercial." Though the album didn't approach the success of Dookie, it still sold seven million copies in the United States. Insomniac won the band award nominations for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards, and the video for "Walking Contradiction" got the band a Grammy nomination for Best Video, Short Form, in addition to a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards. After that, the band abruptly cancelled a European tour, claiming exhaustion.

After taking break in 1996, Green Day was back in the studio by 1997, at work on a new album. The result was nimrod., an experimental deviation from the band's standard pop-punk brand of music. The new album was released in October 1997. It provided a variety of music, with everything from upbeat pop-punk, laid-back surfer rock, and peppy, silly ska, to an acoustic ballad. nimrod. entered the charts at number 10, thanks to the surprise hit "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", an acoustic ballad. The success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" won the band an MTV Video Award for Best Alternative Video for the song's video, which depicted people undergoing major changes in their lives while Billie Joe Armstrong strummed his acoustic guitar. Other singles released from nimrod. were Nice Guys Finish Last, Hitchin' a Ride and Redundant. nimrod. also featured one of the band's live staples, "King for a Day". Sometimes the when the song is played live, Billie Joe Armstrong wears a crown and/or cape and work in versions of Shout! as evidenced Bullet in a Bible the band's live DVD release. After the release of nimrod., Green Day took a two-year break, deciding to step back from the spotlight and spend some time with their new families.

In 2000, Green Day released Warning:, a step further in the style that they had hinted at with nimrod. Changes in their personal lives were reflected in the more mature and straightforward approach they took to their music, replacing nearly adolescent mantras of masturbation with more introspective statements. Critics' reviews of the album were fairly positive, although the album was greeted with mixed reviews within their fan base, who had grown accustomed to their 1990s pop punk sound. Though it produced the #1 hit "Minority" and a smaller hit with "Warning", some observers were coming to the conclusion that the band was losing relevance, and a decline in popularity followed. While all of Green Day's past albums had reached a status of at least double platinum, Warning: was only certified gold. Although the band felt this was some of their strongest work to date, the lack of success fueled questions regarding the band's future.

At the 2001 California Music Awards, Green Day won all eight awards that they were nominated for. They won the awards for Outstanding Album (Warning:), Outstanding Punk Rock/Ska Album (Warning:), Outstanding Group, Outstanding Male Vocalist, Outstanding Bassist, Outstanding Drummer, Outstanding Songwriter and Outstanding Artist.

The release of a Greatest Hits compilation, International Superhits!, and the token complementary assemblage of B-sides, Shenanigans, only fueled the theory that Green Day's career was on the rocks. International Superhits and its companion collection of music videos, titled International Supervideos! sold reasonably well, going platinum in the U.S. Shenanigans sported the band's b-sides, including "Espionage" which was featured in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. "Ha Ha You're Dead", recorded specifically for the Shenanigans, is seen as the highlight of the album.

In 2002, Green Day co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with blink-182 helped to resurrect some of the band's popularity, and earned the group many positive concert reviews. The band decided to take some more time off after the Pop Disaster Tour closed, to spend time with their families.

Fighting burnout after Warning:, the band went into a studio to write and record new material for a new album, believed to be tentatively titled Cigarettes and Valentines. After completing 20 tracks, the master tapes were stolen from the studio. The band, understandably upset, chose not to try to re-create the stolen album (Armstrong feared that it would take their fan base "back to about 50"), but instead started over with a vow to be even better than before. In addition, they underwent serious "band therapy," engaging in several long talks to work out the members' differences after accusations from Dirnt and Cool that Armstrong was "the band's Nazi" and a show-off bent on taking the limelight from the other band members.

The resulting 2004 album, American Idiot, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, the band's first ever album to reach #1, backed by the success of the album's first single, "American Idiot." The album was billed as a "punk rock opera" which follows the journey of the fictitious "Jesus Of Suburbia". Also the album marked a significant growth in the band as musicians. On the background of their pop punk landmark albums Kerplunk and Dookie, American Idiot was noted by critics as far more mature and musically eclectic than its predecessors and is often cited as their best work to date. American Idiot won the 2005 Grammy for "Best Rock Album" and the band swept the 2005 MTV music awards, winning a total of seven of the eight awards they were nominated for, including the coveted Viewer's Choice Award.

American Idiot also marked a major change of the band's image. Before, they dyed their hair wacky colors like pink, or green, and were getting into mud fights with the audience. American Idiot saw the band dying their hair more bland colors, such as black or white, and wearing eyeliner and makeup to concerts. Another change was the band's wardrobe. Instead of wearing t-shirts, the band constantly wore black and red clothes after the release of American Idiot, leading many to accuse Green Day of stealing The Icarus Line's "anti"-fashion statement by wearing black clothes with red ties, or vice-versa, while others think the band is following up with the colors of American Idiot's cover.

Through 2005, the band toured, promoting the album with about 150 dates — their longest tour in their career — visiting Japan, Australia, South America and England, where they drew a crowd of 130,000 people over a span of two days - one of the largest crowds ever drawn for a rock concert. While touring for American Idiot, they filmed and recorded the two concerts at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England, which was voted 'The Best Show On Earth' in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll. These recordings were released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible on November 15, 2005. This CD/DVD featured hits from American Idiot as well as older songs from Dookie and nimrod., among others. The DVD featured behind-the-scenes footage of the band, and showed how the band prepared to put on the show. The final shows of their 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17 respectively. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.

On August 1, 2005, it was announced that Green Day had rescinded the master rights to their pre-Dookie material from Lookout! Records, citing breach of contract regarding unpaid royalties that had been ongoing for some time, and with other Lookout! bands as well. As of October 2005, it is unknown whether a label affiliated with the band (Reprise, Armstrong's own Adeline), a reissue specialist like Rhino, or another label entirely will reissue the Lookout!-era material.

In 2006 Green Day won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"[25] which spent 16 weeks at the number one position of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks, a record it shares along with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Scar Tissue and Staind's "It's Been Awhile". Green Day was also nominated for Best Rock Video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends at the 2006 MTV Video Music awards, but lost to AFI's "Miss Murder".

The video of Jesus of Suburbia is stated to be a prequel to their upcoming film, American Idiot: The Motion Picture. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Billie Joe Armstrong revealed that the group are still considering turning their punk rock opera into a film, in much the same spirit as the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, Marillion's Brave, Pink Floyd's The Wall and the Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia. The band has stated they have no intentions to act in the movie, although they may make an appearance. Lou Taylor Pucci and Kelli Garner from the "Jesus of Suburbia" music video could make an appearance if the motion picture does go into production. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has said "It's definitely unfolding. Every single week there's more ideas about doing a film for American Idiot, and it's definitely going to happen."

The band's official website stated on September 1st that the band was back from their "summer vacation" and was back in the studio working on new material. On, Friday, September 8th, 2006, Green Day's web site announced that Green Day is teaming up with U2 and with producer Rick Rubin to record a cover of the song "The Saints Are Coming", originally recorded by The Skids. The song is to benefit, Music Rising (musicrising.org), to raise money for musicians' instruments lost during Hurricane Katrina and to bring awareness on the eve of the one year anniversary of the disaster. This collaboration would likely be released separately by both bands, as both are planning new albums by the end of 2006 or in the spring of 2007. A video of the band with U2 at Abbey Road posing across the street (much like The Beatles' Abbey Road album cover) has recently been leaked onto the internet.

Green Day's sound is often compared to first wave punk rock bands such as the Ramones, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, and the Buzzcocks. The majority of their song catalogue is composed of distorted guitar, fast, manic drums, and low, heavy bass. Most of their songs are fast-paced and under the average song length of four minutes (4:00). Billie Joe Armstrong has however said his biggest influences are seminal alternative rock bands Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, and that their influence is particularly noted in the band's chord changes in songs. In fact, Green Day has covered Hüsker Dü's "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely" as a b-side for the song "Warning", and the character "Mr. Whirly" in the song "Misery" is a reference to the Replacements song of the same name. Armstrong's lyrics describe alientation, anger, angst (Jesus of Suburbia), insomnia, hysteria, and hallucinations (Brain Stew/Jaded), boredom, doing drugs and/or smoking (Longview), and purely having fun (King For a Day); The Ramones had similar lyrical themes, like drugs (I Wanna Be Sedated) alienation (Outsider), and having fun (Rockaway Beach, Bop 'Till You Drop). Green Day covered their song Outsider on the tribute album We're a Happy Family.

* Billie Joe Armstrong: Guitar, Lead Vocals (1989-present)
* Mike Dirnt: Bass, Backup Vocals (1989-present)
* Tré Cool: Drums, Backup Vocals (1990-present)
* Jason White: Guitar, Backup Vocals (1999-present)

Since 1999, Jason White has been a backing "4th" member of Green Day, providing backing vocals and guitar for Warning: and American Idiot as well as their respective tours. Jason also was featured in Bullet in a Bible and is expected to join the band for their next album and/or tour.

Touring and session members

* Jason Freese: Piano, Keyboard, Trombone, Saxophone, Accordion, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocals (2004-present)
* Ronnie Blake: Trumpet, Timpani/Percussions, Backup Vocals (2004-present)
* Mike Pelino: Third Guitar, Backup Vocals (2004-present)
* Rob Cavallo: Piano (For the American Idiot recording sessions)

Former members

* John Kiffmeyer, also known as Al Sobrante: Drums (1989-1990)Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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