- Nov 2016
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Armstrong and Dirnt turned to music as an escape and to bring a little excitement into their admittedly staid, suburban lives. Though many of their punk brethren have accused them of selling out, complaining that real punk rock cannot be found on a major corporate label, Green Day's success has not cast a shadow over their drive for fun. Dirnt commented to Rolling Stone, "I told Bill, 'Let's just take it as far as we can. Eventually we'll lose all the money and everything else, anyway. Let's just make sure we have one great big story at the end.'"
Green Day began in San Francisco, California, as an escape for two troubled teens— Michael Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong. Dirnt (born Michael Pritchard) was the son of a heroin-addicted mother. A Native American woman and her white husband adopted Dirnt, but they divorced when he was an adolescent. At that time, Dirnt returned to his birth mother, then left home at age fifteen, renting a room from the family of a school friend—Billie Joe Armstrong. (The friendship had solidified around the time of the death of Armstrong's father, when Billie Joe was about ten years old.) Dirnt and Armstrong eventually moved out on their own, inhabiting various basements throughout Berkeley, California, and frequenting a club called the Gilman Street Project.Armstrong and Dirnt hired Jeff Kiftmeyer as the new drummer and began touring. Upon their return to California in 1990, Gilman Street Project regular Tré Cool replaced Kiftmeyer as the drummer. This combination turned into the formula for Green Day's success as the band tried to bring punk rock into the mainstream.This trio of tattooed, pierced, and dyed-hair 22-year-olds emerged in 1994 as one of the hottest commodities in the entertainment business and ushered in punk as the heir apparent to grunge in rock and roll's quirky evolution. For all their efforts, the band has helped make punk mainstream and opened the gates for other punk bands including former Lookout! labelmates, the Offspring and Rancid.
- "Green Day." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1995. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
- Green Day." UXL Biographies. Detroit: UXL, 2011. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.