Most of us have headbanged and performed great guitar solos, singing in synchronicity with hits like ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Holiday’. Green Day was once a favourite band that inspired the California punk revival and awoke the little punk in all of us. But where are they now?
To most people’s surprise, Green Day is as old as thirty-one years. The band originally formed in 1986, with lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool.
Green Day was widely credited, alongside fellow California punk bands Sublime, The Offspring, and Rancid, with popularising and reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the United States.
Although Green Day has been around since the 80’s, they didn’t make it big until 2004 ‘American Idiot’. That global hit put them on the map, particularly with the younger generation. But before American Idiot, they made a major debut in 1994, called ‘Dookie”. It became a massive success and eventually shipped over 10 million copies in the U.S.
Green Day has sold more than 85 million records around the world. The group has won five Grammy Awards: Best Alternative Album for ‘Dookie’, Best Rock Album for ‘American Idiot’, Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, Best Rock Album for the second time for 21st Century Breakdown and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.
After a string of misdemeanours and stage fails, Green Day seems to be scraping the bottom. On September 21, 2012, while Green Day was performing at the iHeartRadio music festival, they threw their toys out the cot. Lead singer and guitarist, Billy Armstrong, yelled on stage after seeing a screen flash that they had only one minute left of their performance. Armstrong presumed that their group’s performance time was being shortened, possibly to extend Usher’s.
Enraged, he swore at the crowd and broke his guitar. Bassist Mike Dirnt followed suit. After a serious of rude gestures and words, they departed the stage. An apology was issued by the spokesperson, but Armstrong was later checked into rehab for alcoholism and drug abuse.
Green Day is still performing and touring, but fans say that these days their concerts feel more like political rallies. Armstrong often preached politics between songs, yelling “No Racism! No Homophobia!” at the eager crowd. Despite their setbacks in the late 2000’s, the band seems to be going strong. They are on tour with their latest album and still have die-hard fans at every performance.