… Well, by now they are an institution, aren’t they?

(Meaning, we can probably skip the usual intro: “Green Day is an American rock band, formed in 19ZZzzzz…”)

Why not just link to wikipedia here and call it a day? Besides, who cares about Green Day? Well, personally I respected how, after Dookie, they could’ve played things safe and stayed on the usual pop-punk gravy train forever—but instead, they grew a social conscience, and came back with American Idiot (2004). Their action inspired and maybe even radicalized zillions of young people globally, which for my money, made them worth caring about.

But to what extent did Oakland factor into their success? Weren’t they from somewhere in the north bay? They first got noticed at Gilman St. in Berkeley. So let’s use this topic to segue, right here, into discussing their …

Oakland Connections

warehouse at 8th and Pine
photo from Our Oakland

  • Green Day band members lived in West Oakland for a time, squatting in a warehouse at 8th and Pine. This page says the song “Welcome To Paradise” is about the squalor around them, also stated by the Wikipedia page about Welcome to Paradise. (On Howard Stern, October 5th, 2016, the band mentioned the address was 1640 7th street, West Oakland).
  • Many of Green Day's songs were recorded at Studio 880 in Jingletown. source. The members of Green Day purchased Studio 880 in (or around) 2011, and renamed it Jingletown Recording. Jingletown is also mentioned in Green Day's album and Broadway show American Idiot.
  • Band member Mike Dirnt is part owner of Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe in Emeryville and Oakland.
  • Somewhere I have a photo of a buddy in the parking lot at a Raiders game, with his arm around his bemused-looking new pal, Billie Joe. I’ll post it if/when I find it – Mike
  • Shh … Billie Joe was reportedly born in … Piedmont?! (Bet he doesn’t want that getting around! – Gene claims the house is on Kingston Avenue, near the Oakland border; if true, ain’t no shame in that.)
  • At one point Billie Joe Armstrong owned a house at 6076 Manchester Drive in Upper Rockridge, built for him in 1998 and sold in mid-November. 2009. Piedmont home/ source. The house replaced an elaborate estate known as Red Gate designed by Julia Morgan, completed in 1911, which burned down in the 1991 during the Oakland Firestorm.

Links and References