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Last Updated: Monday, 29 August 2005, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Green Day: Punks for the masses
Green Day
Pop punk trio Green Day have sold 20 million albums
US trio Green Day, winners of seven MTV music awards, have established themselves as one of the biggest bands in the world and influenced a number of bands in both America and the UK.

Green Day began life in Berkeley, California, under the name Sweet Children in 1988, with Billie Jo Armstrong (vocals), Mike Dirnt (bass) and John Kiffmeyer (drums).

A few weeks before their first EP was to be released in 1989 they changed their name to Green Day, a supposed reference to smoking marijuana.

Kiffmeyer left the band in 1990 for college and Tre Cool, real name Frank Wright, stepped in on a temporary basis although the arrangement worked so well it became permanent.

Their first major record label album was 1994's Dookie, which took them from talked about unknowns to mainstream success.

The 10-times platinum album went to number two in the US charts and number 13 in the UK, producing singles Basket Case and Longview.

Their music is described as pop punk, mixing the energy and attitude of the punk era with a more mainstream approach to song writing.

Green Day
The band arrives in style at the MTV music awards

In MTV's bio of the band on, it says: "Out of all the post-Nirvana American alternative bands to break into the pop mainstream, Green Day were second only to Pearl Jam in terms of influence."

Subsequent albums Insomnica, Nimrod and Warning failed to match the success of Dookie as the US chart became dominated by hip hop and R&B.

But last year's album American Idiot re-established Green Day as one of America's biggest acts.

It has sold seven million copies in the US and has been described as the first punk rock opera.

But American Idiot almost never was after master tapes for 20 songs for the album were stolen before it was released.

The band decided not to try and re-create the lost tracks and instead wrote more, new material.

The concept album, which follows the journey of "Jesus of Suburbia", earned the trio a Grammy this year and a movie based on the album is due to go into production next year.

In pictures: MTV music awards
29 Aug 05 |  In Pictures


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