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billie joe armstrong
Jamming Econolux: E-Achero on eBay! 
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As we sit here wondering why a significant woman from our past chose yesterday to contact us, listening to Billie Joe Armstrong exhort, "This is Berkeley, not the West Bay. Fuck you," from a show we...

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Billie joe armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong, lead vocalist of Green Day, during a concert
Billie Joe Armstrong
Origin Berkeley, California
Country United States
Years active 1988 to Present Day (With Green Day)
Genre(s) Punk pop, Punk Rock
Label(s) Reprise Records (1994-present)
Lookout! Records (1988-1994)

Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is the main songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist for punk band Green Day.

Armstrong is the youngest of six children born in Oakland, California, and raised in Rodeo, California. His father, Andy, was a jazz musician and truck driver who died of cancer in the esophagus when Armstrong was ten. His mother, Ollie, was a waitress at Rod's Hickory Pit, where Billie and his friends Mike Dirnt and Brandon O'Lech worked during their teen years. Rod's Hickory Pit was where Armstrong and his band Sweet Children performed their first show. He insists that his name is spelled with an 'ie' because, according to the liner notes in 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, his mother was under the influence of drugs (painkillers) while giving birth to him. He is the only member of Green Day who uses his given name, as the other two members, Michael Ryan Pritchard (Mike Dirnt) and Frank Edwin Wright III (Tré Cool), have switched to shorter nicknames.

Together, they are co-founders and part owners of the independent label Adeline Records, to which he has a side band called Pinhead Gunpowder with Green Day second guitarist Jason White which is on Lookout! Records. Armstrong has also worked as a producer, most notably in a co-production with noted punk producer Mass Giorgini, legendary producer/owner of Sonic Iguana recording studio, and Lafayette pop-punk band Squirtgun. He is also a member of the band The Network, along with the rest of the members of Green Day.


  • 1 Instruments
  • 2 Green Day's Early Years
  • 3 Collaborations
  • 4 Personal
  • 5 Trivia
  • 6 Awards
  • 7 External links


Armstrong received his first guitar at age 10, a Fernandes Stratocaster copy, "Blue" which he received from his dad before he died. Billie Joe still uses "Blue", as well as Fender replicas that have the same duct tape and sticker covered aesthetic with the initials "BJ" written with a red marker.citation needed] He sometimes still uses replicas of "Blue" at concerts. "Blue" was used in these music videos, "Basket Case", "Longview", "Welcome to Paradise" "Brain Stew/Jaded", "Geek Stink Breath", "Stuck With Me", and "Minority", and can be seen getting covered with mud in the Woodstock '94 video, and their recent live CD/DVD Bullet In A Bible. In a few live videos he can be seen playing a red Gibson SG, and in the video for Redundant he uses an old, beat-up Gibson ES-175 that has been taped in a few places. He can also sometimes be seen playing a modified '72 black Fender telecaster Custom with a white pick-guard. The bridge pickup has been replaced with a Seymour Duncan Jeff Beck Humbucker, similar to his Stratocasters. Armstrong can be seen playing the Telecaster in the video for "Nice Guys Finish Last". He now uses several customized Gibson Les Paul models, including a Les Paul Junior. The Telecaster and Les Paul's channel switch located on the top of the guitar has been removed and covered with tape so that it does not interfere with his strumming. Armstrong's custom models will be on sale starting in late 2006. Other instruments that Armstrong can play include the bass guitar, drums, harmonica, mandolin, piano and the saxophone.

Green Day's Early Years

Armstrong in an early Green Day concert at 924 Gilman St., Berkeley

Armstrong recorded his first song (Look for Love) when he was five. In 1986, he wrote his first song entitled Why Do You Want Him. This song was written when he was twelve years old, about his step-father, whom he did not like. The song appears on Green Day's debut album on Lookout! Records, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours.

During his stay in school, he was nicknamed "Two Dollar Bill", because he was supplying the school with joints for two dollars.citation needed] In 1988, Armstrong formed a band called Sweet Children with childhood friend Mike Dirnt, and Al Sobrante (b. John Kiffmeyer). They changed their name to "Green Day" in March 1989, prior to the release of their first EP, 1,000 Hours, on Lookout! Records. The name was their slang expression for a pot filled wasted day - they watched TV while being stoned and Ernie (from Sesame Street) used the term "Green Day", and it became an inside joke. In 1990, Sobrante left Green Day for college and was eventually replaced by Tré Cool (born Frank Edwin Wright III), who made his debut on Green Day's second album, Kerplunk!.


Apart from working with Green Day, 'The Network' and Pinhead Gunpowder, Armstrong has proved himself busy in the music world, collaborating with many artists over the years. In 2002, he and Green Day toured with their counterparts at the top of the pop-punk world, blink-182. He has co-written for the Go-gos ("Unforgiven"), former Avengers singer Penelope Houston ("The Angel and The Jerk" and "New Day"), written a song for Rancid ("Radio"), sung backing vocals with Melissa Auf Der Maur on Ryan Adams' "Do Miss America" and recorded lead guitar with Green Day for two tracks, where they acted as the backing band for Iggy Pop on his "Skull Ring" album ("Private Hell" and "Supermarket"). A duet with Elvis Costello is planned for a VH1 special.


Armstrong married Adrienne Nesser (Natalie) on July 2, 1994. The ceremony itself lasted just five minutes. They have two sons, Joseph Marciano (born March 1995), and Jakob Danger (born September 1998).

Nesser was born October 6, 1969 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her brother, Steve Nesser, is a professional skateboarder. While studying Sociology in Minnesota State University, Nesser met Armstrong and asked him where she could buy a copy of their album. Armstrong has remarked that he had spotted Nesser as he peered into the crowd from the stage during the gig and he was immediately taken by her beautiful long, black hair. The two kept in touch over the phone—often discussing Nesser's human sexuality class. Their first kiss inspired an old Green Day classic, 2,000 Light Years Away. Armstrong arranged two tours around Minnesota, simply for the purpose of seeing Nesser, but, after dating for a year-and-a-half, they resigned themselves to the fact that they couldn't be together due to distance.

During the next year, Nesser got engaged to Billy Bisson, the front man of a Minnesota band, Janis Figure. However, their relationship deteriorated, and, when Nesser finished college, Armstrong asked her to move out to California and marry him. She agreed, and Bisson claims that Armstrong stole her from him, saying "I helped that guy, and what does he do? He steals my fiancée." Armstrong and Nesser became engaged soon after, and planned their wedding in about two weeks.citation needed]

In the documentary Behind the Music, Nesser says "We didn't think about it, we just did it." The ceremony took place in Armstrong's back yard and lasted five minutes; they wrote their own vows: one Protestant, one Catholic and one Jewish, because they were of no particular religion. The couple spent a week in the Claremont Hotel for their honeymoon (a ten minute walk away from their house). The day after the wedding, Adrienne discovered that she was pregnant.

Their son, Joseph Marciano Armstrong, was born in March 1995. They had their second son, Jakob Danger, on September 12, 1998. The Armstrongs were prone to arguments during the recording of Green Day's albums, particularly during American Idiot. As Adrienne commented in VH1's Documentary Driven: "I think it challenged us to a new level. It pushed us pretty far. The farthest I ever want to go."

With these problems resolved, Adrienne is often seen backstage at Green Day's shows. She works at Adeline Records and co-owns Adeline clothing.

In a January 1995 interview with The Advocate, Armstrong stated that he is bisexual:

"I think I've always been bisexual. I mean, it's something that I've always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of 'Oh, I can't'. They say it's taboo. It's ingrained in our heads that it's bad, when it's not bad at all. It's a very beautiful thing."

In 2002 rumors had been circling that Armstrong had died in a tragic car accident, until a statement on Green Day.net cleared things up.

Armstrong and Green Day actively promoted the candidacy of John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, co-headlining the Vote For Change tour and lending a track to the Rock Against Bush benefit album.


  • Armstrong is a playable character in the video game, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, and "Holiday" is part of the game's soundtrack.
  • During the American Idiot tour, Green Day played a show at the Milton Keynes Bowl. It was their biggest show ever, and was watched by over 100,000 people over 2 days. The show was captured on their DVD Bullet In A Bible.
  • Armstrong is 5'7", but still taller than Tré Cool who is 5'6", but shorter than Mike Dirnt who is 5'10"citation needed]
  • Armstrong can be seen here doing a leaping drop kick to a belligerent member of the audience on an earlier tour.
  • Armstrong's cat, Zero, died in a tragic washing machine accident.
  • Armstrong used to have a nose ring, but he took it out because it repeatedly got caught on his guitar strings.


  • Armstrong was given an "Esky" for Best Frontman in Esquire's 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue.
  • In 2005 Kerrang! magazine awarded him the Best Dressed Star and Hero of the Year.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong once aided Rancid on their album Let's Go.

External links

  • Green Day.com
  • Billie Joe Biography, as well as information on his stint in Common Rider
  • Billie Joe Armstrong at the Internet Movie Database
Green Day
Billie Joe Armstrong | Mike Dirnt | Tré Cool
Jason White | Jason Freese
Related bands: Pinhead Gunpowder | The Network | The Frustrators | The Lookouts
Albums: 39/Smooth | Kerplunk! | Dookie | Insomniac | nimrod. | Warning: | American Idiot
Compilations / Live: 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours | International Superhits! | Shenanigans | Bullet in a Bible
Singles: "Longview" | "Basket Case" | "Welcome to Paradise" | "When I Come Around" | "She" | "J.A.R." | "Geek Stink Breath" | "Brain Stew/Jaded" | "Walking Contradiction" | "Hitchin' A Ride" | "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" | "Redundant" | "Nice Guys Finish Last" | "Minority" | "Warning" | "Waiting" | "Macy's Day Parade" | "Poprocks & Coke" | "Maria" | "American Idiot" | "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" | "Holiday" | "Wake Me Up When September Ends" | "Jesus of Suburbia"
Search Term: "Billie_Joe_Armstrong"

Jamming Econolux: E-Achero on eBay! 

Jalopnik - Jun 25 1:51 AM
As we sit here wondering why a significant woman from our past chose yesterday to contact us, listening to Billie Joe Armstrong exhort, "This is Berkeley, not the West Bay. Fuck you," from a show we...

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