Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt started playing music together whilst at Pinole Valley High School. Calling themselves Sweet Children they played their first gig in the lounge of Rod's Hickory Pit, where Billie's mother was waitress, aged 15.
Their first record, the Sweet Children EP was released in 1987 and was mostly sold by the band at their own gigs.
In their sophomore year, Billie Joe and Mike left Rodeo and moved into a squat in West Oakland-inspiration for "Welcome to Paradise". They changed the name of the band to Green Day (a lazy, pot-smoking day), recruited John Kiffmeyer (aka Al Sobrante, after his hometown of El Sobrante) to play drums and decided to go for a record contract with Berkeley punk label, Lookout!
At first, Lookout! boss Larry Livermore was unimpressed, and tried to put them off by making their audition 200 miles away at his home in the Mendocino Mountains. They arrived in the rain to find no Livermore, no roof and no electricity, but refusing to be defeated they rigged up a generator and played to an audience of 12 kids. Livermore was so impressed he put up the money for two days recording of their first album "39/Smooth".
When Billie Joe and Mike left school, John decided to go to college and quit the band. They knew Tre Cool, drummer in Larry Livermore's band the Lookouts, as both bands played in the Gilman Street punk club. When recording for "Kerplunk" began in May 1991, Billie and Mike signed Tre, and the rest is history !
They achived grammy for the album American Idiot. This album became hit through out the world.
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