Green Day

Green Day is an American rock band consisting of three core members: Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar, lead vocals),Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tré Cool (drums).Green Day were originally part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Their early releases for independent label Lookout! Records earned them a grassroots fanbase, some of whom felt alienated when the band signed to a major label. Nevertheless, their major label debut Dookie became a breakout success in 1994 and eventually sold over 10 million copies worldwide.As a result, Green Day was widely credited, along with fellow California punk bands The Offspring and Rancid, with reviving mainstream interest in and popularizing punk music in the United States.Green Day's immediate follow-up albums didn't achieve the massive success of Dookie, but they were still successful. Their 2004 "punk rock opera" American Idiot reignited the band's popularity, selling 15 million copies worldwide.
The band has sold over 50 million records worldwide,Their success has influenced prominent pop punk bands such as Sum 41 and Good Charlotte.Green Day currently have three Grammy Awards under their belt for Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, and Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".


Formation and Lookout years (1986–1993)

In 1986, childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt (both 14 years old) formed a two person band called Sweet Children. The first Sweet Children show took place on October 17, 1989, at Rod's Hickory Pit in Vallejo,California where Armstrong's mother was working. In late 1989, Armstrong, Dirnt and John Kiffmeyer (aka Al Sobrante)formed Green Day, allegedly choosing the name in reference to an entire day they had spent smoking marijuana.Green Day performed its first show in the courtyard of Contra Costa College, a junior college in San Pablo, California that Sobrante attended.Larry Livermore, who played guitar for The Lookouts and ran the Berkeley, California independent label Lookout!
Records, offered the band a record deal after hearing them play. The band, he said, played the show like "The Beatles at Shea Stadium" In late 1989 they released their first EP, 1,000 Hours, and quickly followed it up with their first LP,39/Smooth in early 1990.Green Day printed a fictional letter purporting to be from I.R.S. Records that claimed the label had made an attempt to sign them. In a mock reply to the fictional letter, the band made it clear that they were loyal to Lookout! Records, saying that I.R.S. was a cheesy and washed-up label.They recorded two more EPs later that year: Slappy and Sweet Children,the latter of which included some older songs for the Minneapolis, Minnesota indie label Skene! Records. In 1991,Lookout! Records released 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, a compilation of the 39/Smooth, Slappy, and 1,000 Hours EPs. In late 1990, shortly after the band's first nationwide tour, Sobrante moved to Arcata, California to attend college. Lookouts drummer Tré Cool began filling in as a temporary replacement, and when it became clear that Sobrante did not plan on committing to the band full time, Tré Cool's position as Green Day's drummer became fixed.The band went on tour for most of 1992 and 1993, and played a stretch of shows overseas in Europe. They headlined a gig at the Hollywood Palamino club in 1992 with Jughead's Revenge and Strung Out, a show that would become legendary among the band's following. Kerplunk sold about 50,000 copies in the U.S.,which was considered quite a large amount for the independent punk scene in 1992. It eventually sold over 2 million albums worldwide.

Breakthrough success (1994–1996)

Kerplunk!'s underground success led to a wave of interest coming from major record labels, and eventually they left Lookout! on friendly terms and signed with Reprise Records after attracting the attention of producer Rob Cavallo. Signing to Reprise caused many punk rock fans to regard Green Day as sellouts.Reflecting on the period, Armstrong told SPIN magazine in 1999, "I couldn't go back to the punk scene, whether we were the biggest success in the world or the biggest failure ... The only thing I could do was get on my bike and go forward."They then went to work on recording their major label debut, Dookie.

Released in February of 1994, and recorded in a mere 3 weeks, Dookie became a commercial sensation, helped by extensive MTV airplay for the videos "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When I Come Around", all of which sat in the #1 position on the Modern Rock Tracks charts. That year, Green Day embarked on a nationwide tour with queercore band Pansy Division as their opening act. The band also joined the lineups of both the Lollapalooza festival and Woodstock 1994, where they started an infamous mud fight. During the concert, a security guard mistook bassist Mike Dirnt for a stage-invading fan and punched out some of his teeth. Viewed by millions via pay-per-view television, the Woodstock 1994 performance further aided Green Day's growing publicity and recognition,and helped push their album to eventual diamond status. In 1995, Dookie won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and the band was nominated for 9 MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year.

In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled "J.A.R.". The single went straight to #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song was followed by their new album, Insomniac, which was released in the fall of 1995. Insomniac was a much darker response by the band, compared to the poppy, more melodic Dookie. Insomniac opened to a warm critical reception, earning 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine, raving "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets." Insomniac used a piece of art by Winston Smith entitled God told Me To Skin You Alive for its album cover. Smith said to drummer Tré Cool that if he ever needed album artwork, that he should call him. Singles released from Insomniac were "Geek Stink Breath", the radio-favorite double single "Brain Stew/Jaded", "Walking Contradiction", and "Stuck With Me". One track, "86," was a reference to the Gilman Street club refusing them entry after the release of Dookie, claiming that they had "gone too commercial." Though the album didn't approach the success of Dookie, it still sold seven million copies in the United States. Insomniac won the band award nominations for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards, and the video for "Walking Contradiction" got the band a Grammy nomination for Best Video, Short Form, in addition to a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards.After that, the band abruptly cancelled a European tour, claiming exhaustion.


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