Billie Joe Armstrong


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Billie Joe, who is ranked one of the 10 of the most influential people in punk rock music, was born on February 17, 1972 in Rodeo, California, as the youngest of 6 children. His father, Andy, was a jazz musician and a truck driver for Safeway, who passed away of oesophagous cancer, in September 1982. Billie Joe was only 10 years old. His mother was a waitress at a restaurant called Rod's Hickory Pit. As soon as he started to talk he also began to sing and went to hospitals and sang to patients to cheer them up! Billie Joe's first song was "Look For Love". When he was 5, he recorded this song for the locally based Fiat Records.

Sweet Children
At the age of 10, Billie Joe met Mike in the school canteen and they got hooked up on punk rock music. Soon after they had formed their first band named Sweet Children. At the age of 11 Billie Joe got his first guitar he called Blue that his mother bought for him. At 14 he wrote his first song named "Why Do You Want Him?" (This can be found on 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, track 12). This song was about Billie Joe's mom and his step-dad that he and his siblings hated. It was obvious that Billie Joe's biggest love was music so he dropped out of school to devote himself to the band.

Green Day
The band's first drummer, Al Sobrante, quit the band to attend college, and he was quickly replaced by Tre Cool. Tre was, at the time, playing with The Lookouts. Sweet Children was renamed Green Day. In a matter of time they were playing across the country, traveling in a bookmobile driven by Tre's father. In 1997 (just after the release of Nimrod) Green Day played a show at Tower Records. The show only lasted 40 minutes. During this time they totally wrecked the place, which cost up to $50,000. The band, however, was not charged. Billie Joe quoted "You can't start a riot 'cuz you're at Tower records. You start a riot coz you're at a Green Day concert!"

In 1990 in Minneapolis, Billie Joe caught a glimpse of Adrienne for the first time. They married on July 2, 1994, the service lasting all of five minutes. The next day Adrienne and Billie Joe discovered that they were going to have their first child together. They now have two sons, Joseph Marciano born in March, 1995 and Jakob Danger, born September 12, 1998.

Some Interesting Facts
The first album that Billie Joe bought was Elvis Presley's "The Sun Sessions." Billie Joe is well-known for his odd and amusing antics on-stage and his kinda rebellious sense of humor. Billie Joe is co-founder and partial owner of the independent label Adeline Records. He's currently a member of a band named Pinhead Gunpowder. He was also member of Blatz, Rancid, The Lookouts, Goodbye Harry, Corrupted Morals. When Billie Joe was in high school he was given the nick name "$2 Bill" because he used to sell joints for $2! On the topic of joints, he smoked his first joint with his best friends mom!

Speaking of his guitars, he has since had a copy of Blue made by Fender. It's just like the original one but with different stickers on. Billie Joe's original Blue had two single-coil pick ups and a Seymour Duncan "Jeff Beck" Humbucker pick up. Billie Joe has a Fender Jazzmaster, a sonic blue Fender Jagstang, a Gibson classic Series ES-135 and ES-335, an SG, Rickenbacker, and a Guild sunburst acoustic (played in the "Good Riddance" video). And to play them lovely guitars he uses Dunlop Tortex standard size (0.88mm) picks! Read more about Billie Joe Armstrong on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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