Green Day

  • Formed in 1986, East Bay California. Formed by Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar and vocals) and Mike Dirnt (bass). Current drummer Tre Cool joined the band in 1990.
  • They’ve released 12 studio albums from 1990 to 2016. Their mega seller was Dookie, with worldwide sales exceeding 20 million copies. American Idiot also was a huge success, with 14 million copies sold worldwide.
  • The five singles from Dookie were Longview, Welcome to Paradise, Basket Case, When I Come Around, and She. The album name is in reference to the band members suffering from diarrhea while touring, which they referred to as “liquid dookie.” Seems consistent for a punk rock band! It ranks #193 on the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums of all time, and some consider it one of the greatest punk rock album of all time. It won a Grammy Award in 1995 for Best Alternative Music Album. 
  • American Idiot was their seventh album, receiving a Grammy Award for best rock album in 2005. It is a concept album, a “punk-rock opera,” following a character named Jesus of Suburbia, a teenage anti-hero divided between rage and love. A broadway musical was written based on the album, running for 422 performances in 2010 and 2011. The show was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, and won 2 Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design. The Cast Recording won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
  • They have two more Grammy Awards – Record of the Year for Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Best Rock Album for 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • Green Day can be considered the most successful punk rock band ever. That said – there is controversy in the “punk rock community” – some players do not agree with their classification as punk, since they are signed by a major label and have been very successful. It’s true – their songs tend to be “catchier” than classic punk rock songs (see Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Still Breathing, 21 Guns, etc). Billie Joe Armstrong’s response to this is “…you can take us out of a punk rock environment, but you can’t take the punk rock out of us.”
  • Basket Case is about Armstrong’s real struggles with anxiety – he thought he was going crazy, until he was diagnosed with a panic disorder. The video was filmed at an abandoned mental institution – it gives a good sense of the song’s theme of paranoia. Here it is.

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