30 Fascinating Things Every Fan Should Know About Green Day


Green Day, formed in 1986 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, is actually a trio with drummer Tré Cool. The band has sold more than 85 million records worldwide, and has five Grammy Awards to its name. In the year 2010, Green Day was ranked no. 91 in the VH1 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time." Here are some interesting things about the American punk rock band:

  1. The band’s name "Green Day," originated from the term referring to a day spent smoking pot, hanging around, and doing absolutely nothing. The members were joint-smokers since puberty.
  2. When the band was recording songs for "Insomniac," they were trying to come up with an appropriate name for the single "Stuck With Me." They recorded the single now known as "Do Da Da" around the same time, and that song was initially called "Stuck With Me," as those words are actually a part of the lyrics.
  3. Before joining Green Day, Cool attended Clown College for a while. It was widely rumored that he only has one testicle after losing the other in a tragic unicycle accident, while he was riding on a stage at his high school.
  4. In October 2009, a Green Day art project was exhibited at StolenSpace Gallery in London, showing artworks created for each of the songs on 21st Century Breakdown. The exhibition was supported by the band and was led by the group's manager Pat Magnarella.
  5. Armstrong recorded and released his first single “Looking For Love” at the age of 5 on Fiat records. Later, he wrote and recorded “Why Do You Want Him?” when he was 12.
  6. For Green Day’s first US tour in the early nineties they rode around the country in an old bookmobile - a mobile library. It was Cool's father who converted the bookmobile in to a tour bus, and he also served as the band’s driver.
  7. In the year 2001, Armstrong was mugged at gunpoint and is now said to be “terrified” of guns.
  8. In the year 1994, Green Day started a mud fight at Woodstock. Amid the chaos, bouncers mistook Dirnt for a stage-invading fan and manhandled him so violently they knocked out some of his teeth.
  9. Several words were scratched out in the entire booklet of Nimrod CD. On a closer look, the scratched out words are nothing but “Delete This. Delete This. Delete This. Delete This,” over and over again.
  10. Armstrong's father died of cancer when Billie was 10 years old. Before he died, he gave Billie Joe his first guitar - a cherry red acoustic instrument. He named it "Blue" and has used it extensively during touring, and it is featured in the videos for “Basket Case” and “Longview,” among others.
  11. Green Day had initially planned to follow up "Warning" with an album titled "Cigarettes and Valentines," but the record’s studio masters were reportedly stolen and the 20 new songs were abandoned in the year 2003.
  12. It is said that Dirnt supposedly wrote the bass line for ‘Longview’ while flat on his back, high on LSD, and then forgot it the next day. According to Armstrong, the breakthrough track is all about "boredom, masturbation and smoking dope.”
  13. On April 18, 2015, the band was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, with pop-punk band Fall Out Boy inducting the band at the ceremony. As a part of their celebration, the band performed a two-hour-plus show at the House of Blues in Cleveland two days before the ceremony. The show also reportedly featured a special hour-long set as their original Sweet Children incarnation – complete with the band's original drummer John Kiffmeyer. It was the first time Kiffmeyer performed with the band in well over two decades.
  14. Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo had learned how to write songs by listening to the songwriting techniques of Green Day.
  15. Dirnt was adopted at the young age of six weeks old, after being given up by his heroin-addicted teenage mother. His adoptive parents also got divorced when he was young. He left home at the age of 15 to live out of a truck but moved in with Armstrong instead.
  16. Green Day was originally part of the punk scene at the DIY 924 Gilman Street club in Berkeley, California.
  17. “American Idiots’” centerpiece, the seven-minute epic ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’, is a memorial to Armstrong’s father, who died of cancer in September 1982.
  18. It was reported that Dirnt trashed his hotel room in a fit of nervous excitement, when he got to see himself on TV for the very first time.
  19. Cool initially joined the band as a temporary replacement to Kiffmeyer in the year 1990, when Kiffmeyer split town to attend college. However, Cool was made permanent when he drummed on the second album "Kerplunk."
  20. It is widely reported that when the band members went to their high school principal to say that they are quitting to become a full-time band, the principal observed that “would be a green day in hell” before they amounted to anything.
  21. During the 2016 President election, Armstrong used social media to share his opinions and used the band's appeal to reach out his message against Donald Trump. “No Trump/No KKK/No Fascist USA,” he sang, urging the crowd to sing along.
  22. Pritchard adopted the name ‘Dirnt’ from school, where his favorite hobby was playing “air-bass”. He sang ‘dirnt, dirnt, dirnt’ while plucking invisible strings.
  23. Before "Insomniac" was released in 1995, Armstrong is said to have contemplated leaving the band, apparently overcome by anxiety by the pressure of following up the success of "Dookie."
  24. Green Day headlined a Mad Cool festival in Madrid on July 7, 2017. About 20 minutes before the show, an acrobat fell about 30 meters (98 ft) from a cage above the stage and died. Some fans were upset with the band for continuing to perform. Later, Armstrong said on their website that they were not aware of the accident and if they had known it, they would have cancelled the show.
  25. Every member in the Green Day band reportedly has the letters “E.B.P.M.” tattoed somewhere on their bodies, meaning “East Bay Punk Mafia.”
  26. Armstrong wrote the most popular “Good Riddance” as early as 1990, but did not bring it to the other member’s attention until the “Dookie” sessions. However, since it was different from the rest of the material, "Good Riddance" ended up with Nimrod, two albums later.
  27. Dirnt is one of the owners of Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, a diner in Emeryville, California. The MySpace page of the diner states - “We are not Mike Dirnt, but we do love him.”
  28. The original back cover of their famous album ‘Dookie’ featured a glove puppet of “Sesame St’s” Ernie. It is said that the character was later airbrushed out due to a legal claim of copyright infringement brought by the producers of ‘Sesame St.’
  29. Wal-Mart reportedly refused to sell the most popular album "American Idiot" due to some lyrical content. However, Green Day refused to release a censored version for the store to stock.
  30. The band was initially formed by Armstrong and Dirnt when they were just 14 years old. They played their first gig under the name Sweet Children, but later changed it to Green Day to avoid confusion with another band Sweet Baby.
  31. Billie Joe Armstrong Net Worth: $55 Million

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