Green Day

A Musical Biography

by Kjersti Egerdahl


Green Day's 1992 album, Kerplunk!, cost just $2,000 to record, but went on to be certified platinum in 2003. Their 2009 album, 21st Century Breakdown, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, selling 215,000 copies in only three days. Just what indefinable something vaults a band to this kind of superstardom?

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Cover image for Green Day

December 2009


Pages 178
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Music and Performing Arts

Here is an up-to-date, thoroughly researched biography of the world's most popular pop-punk band.

Green Day is almost certainly the world’s most popular pop-punk band. How they got there is the subject of Green Day: A Musical Biography, the first book to follow the band from their beginnings through the spring 2009 release of 21st Century Breakdown.

Tracing the band’s evolution from fiercely independent punks to a global powerhouse, Green Day starts with the members' earliest musical influences and upbringing and the founding of the punk club 924 Gilman Street that shaped their sense of community. Discussion of their conflicted feelings about signing to a major label explores the classic rock 'n' roll conundrum of "selling out," while details of their decline and 2004 rebirth offer an inspirational story of artistic rejuvenation. Interviews with the band members and key figures in their lives, excerpted from punk 'zines and other publications, offer a perspective on their methods of self-promotion and the image they have chosen to project over time.


  • A timeline shows major events in Green Day's career and the lives of its members, and a second timeline shows every award they have won
  • Includes rarely seen images of Green Day playing live before signing to a major label, as well as a never-before-published image of Billie Joe Armstrong on the 2000 Warped Tour


  • Offers coverage of Green Day's career through the album 21st Century Breakdown, released on May 15, 2009, and their 2009-2010 tour
  • Documents the vital scene from which the band came, their complex feelings about success, their decline, and their rebirth in confusing political times
  • Provides a critical look at the making of their phenomenally successful 2004 album American Idiot, which is the basis of a new “punk opera” musical
Author Info

Kjersti Egerdahl is a music and pop culture editor who has edited books on Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Michael Jackson, and many other topics. During her time as West Coast editor of Performer magazine, she covered Bay Area and West Coast music of all genres. She has written for Paste magazine and Flavorpill, among other publications.

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