Green Day

Green Day
Green Day. Photo by Nigel Crane / Redferns


1988 at Pinole Valley High School, Pinole, California.


  • Billie Joe Armstrong - Vocals and Guitar
  • Mike Dirnt - Bass
  • Tre Cool - Drums

Early Years

Green Day emerged out of the Northern California underground punk rock 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. It has become a favorite graduation song.

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 was "Know Your Enemy." The album was released in May 2009. The single peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album topped the chart eventually earning a platinum certification for sales of one million.

In 2010 a stage adaptation of American Idiot premiered on Broadway. The show's album included a new song "When It's Time."  The production earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical and the album won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

American Idiot closed in April 2011 after 422 performances.

For their next recording project, Green Day put together a trio of albums titled Uno! Dos! and Tre! released between September and December 2012. In 2015 Green Day were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.