Since first charging onto the music scene, Green Day has been one of the most distinctive, beloved, and successful punk bands of our time. Started in 1986 by singer Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, Green Day has been known to buck musical conventions, almost as aggressively as nihilistic punk legend Sid Vicious. The group's music has made them one of the best rock bands of all time. And their occasionally poppy hits have even be featured in a Broadway musical. When it comes to Green Day music, we all know to expect the unexpected.
In their personal antics, the members of Green Day are just as boundary-pushing. Actually, they've done some incredibly crazy things both on and off the stage, and their music has sometimes had to take a backseat to the band's shenanigans. Their fans, however, are unfazed; Green Day has sold more than 85 million albums, earned more than 20 Top 10 singles, and won five Grammy Awards.
Read on for some of the craziest Green Day stories that have nothing to do with their crazy good lyrics.
Green Day band members stayed at the Sunset Marquis hotel in Los Angeles, in 1997, and they proceeded to get into all sorts of trouble there. They stole the hotel's guest register; they walked the hallways naked, in hopes of shocking the Rolling Stones; and they started fights with other musicians. The most disturbing event from this stay, though, was definitely when bassist Mike Dirnt took a dump off his balcony. His detritus landed on the balcony of French actress Juliette Binoche below him. Understandably, Binoche was livid and tried to get Green Day thrown out of the establishment but her plans were thwarted. According to Dirnt, "It wasn't me. OK, maybe it was me. But as they say, sh*t happens."
While in Toronto, Canada, Billie Joe Armstrong, for reasons unknown, asked fellow musician Chris Cote if he could brand him. At first Cote, very logically, refused but he was eventually persuaded. Armstrong stamped Chris's butt with a searing-hot brand, resulting in second-degree burns. It's a small consolation, but Armstrong seemingly felt bad about the incident. At one point, he even rubbed ointment into Chris's scars.
Green Day was playing the Esplanade in Boston in 1994 when a riot erupted. This was no small upheaval or unrest, however. Green Day tried to calm the increasingly agitated crowd and it worked for about 20 minutes. After that, fans started tearing up the outdoor venue's flowerbeds where Billie Armstrong joined them. In the end, around 50 people were injured and about 50 more were arrested.
Even on his best days, Billie Joe Armstrong has come off like a loose cannon onstage. His moods seem ever changing and it's likely this unpredictability at the mic that keeps so many fans enamored with Green Day's antics. At one concert, Armstrong noticed a fan bullying other show-goers and he wasn't about to let such behavior go by unchecked. He invited the "little mohawk motherf*cker" onstage to fight but when the bully refused, Armstrong took an epic dive into the crowd to teach the bully some manners.