1988 at Pinole Valley High School, Pinole, California.
Billie Joe Armstrong - Vocals and Guitar
Mike Dirnt - Bass
Tre Cool - Drums
Quote from Vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong:
"You know when people say 'My favorite band is the Who,' and you know they're talking about a classic rock band. Well, I want people to talk about Green Day like that."
The first name of Green Day was Sweet Children.
Green Day emerged out of the Northern California underground punk scene in the late 80's. Their first album 1,039 / Smoothed Out Slappy Hours was a compilation of three previous released EP's. Shortly after the album was released Tre Cool replaced the band's drummer, John Kiffmeyer, completing the trio that make up the group today. After a second album Kerplunk, released in 1992, the band signed to major record label Reprise.
Dookie was released on Reprise in the spring of 1994. MTV jumped on the video for the album's first single "Longview" shortly after the album was released. The second single "Basket Case" topped the modern rock singles chart for 5 weeks. The band continued to gain commercial momentum and Dookie eventually reached #2 on the pop albums chart and sold 10 million copies. The single "When I Come Around" crossed over to pop radio making Green Day one of the biggest bands in the world.
Insomniac and Decline of Green Day:
The followup album, 1995's Insomniac, was edgier and sold only 2 million copies. Green Day canceled a 1996 tour claiming exhaustion. The next album Nimrod pleased critics but sales were disappointing even though the ballad "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" was a left-field hit.
After a 3 year hiatus, the album Warning was released. It was the most direct pop album the group had released yet but failed to ignite a great deal of excitement. After the greatest hits collection International Superhits appeared in 2001 it looked like the band's glory days were over.
Green Day Become the World's Greatest Rock Band:
Green Day seriously considered breaking up, but instead spent a year working out their issues. After studio tapes for a new album were stolen, the band hastily put together a new album inspired at least in part by Queen's expansive "Bohemian Rhapsody." The result was the anti-Bush rock opera American Idiot released in the fall of 2004. Although the band feared it would be a failure, the album turned out to be a massive success resulting in the trio's first #1 hit album, a Grammy award for rock album of the year, and a #2 pop single "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams." The album ultimately sold over five million copies in the US alone.
Green Day went back to the studio with a new producer, Butch Vig of Garbage, to record a follow up to the massive success of American Idiot. More than 4 1/2 years later 21st Century Breakdown was complete. The first single from the new collection is "Know Your Enemy."