Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Green Day

Green Day

It' been a few years and a few extra pounds for singer Billie Joe Armstrong since his punk revival outfit Green Day took the world by storm in a 1994 Woodstock appearance. But as their new album Warning indicates, the band are still in top form.

When Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt formed their first band, Sweet Children, at the age of 14 in the refinery town of Rodeo, California, it's unlikely that they could have imagined the success that awaited them. Hooking up with drummer John Kiffmeyer, they issued their first release, the 1000 Hours EP, in 1989 as Green Day (reflecting their fondness for marijuana), on the independent Lookout Records. Their first full-length album, 39/Smooth, consisted of 10 pop-punk songs, recorded in a single day.

After Kiffmeyer left the band, Tre Cool was drafted as a replacement, contributing the song "Dominated Love Song" to 1992's Kerplunk!. It provided the band's first hit, selling over 50,000 copies in Green Day's San Francisco Bay Area home territory. The success of Kerplunk! led to major label interest and the band eventually signed with Reprise Records, part of the Warner group.

For their first album on Reprise, Green Day offered up Dookie, a concoction - simple in its perfection - of British three-chord punk and hormonal teen angst that harked back to the rock groups of the early '60s. When Green Day stole the show at the '94 Woodstock festival, Dookie was given a major boost. The album went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide and earn the band four Grammy nominations, of which they won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.

Green Day's success also broke open the floodgates for the California-based punk revival of the '90s, which has seen groups like Offspring (who follow Green Day to Tokyo a week later), 311 and No Doubt go on to significant success. While their follow-ups, Insomniac in 1995, and Nimrod in 1997, failed to move as many copies as Dookie, Green Day remain a significant draw, especially here in Japan where they headlined last summer's Summer Sonic festival.

While Green Day maintain their fine form, they haven't been able to avoid some of the problems that go with fame. They are now facing a lawsuit from an obscure Cambridge, England band, Other Garden, who claim that Green Day stole their title track on Warning from Other Garden's '97 song "Never Got the Chance."

Green Day plays Yokohama Arena on Mar 12. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana