Over and Underground

Billie Joe Armstrong

    Billie Joe Armstrong was born in California on  February 17, 1972 a.k.a. National Cabbage Day.  That day Billie became the youngest of six children.  All his sibling’s names were Allen, David, Anna, Holly, and Marcy.  Yes, that is his real name.  It is not William Joseph, just Billie Joe.  Andrew Armstrong, Billie’s father, was an ex-golden glove boxer, played in a jazz band, and drove a truck for Safeway for a living, while Ollie Armstrong, Billie’s Mother, was a waitress and worked at a gass station before Billie was born.  As a child, Billie Joe would sing while his father played the drums.  All that practice must have paid off because at the age of five Billie Joe Armstrong recorded his first song, Look for Love on Fait Records.  For those of you who never heard Look for Love, Billie had a great voice even at that age.  There are some background singers in there that make it sound like a cheesy 70’s song but none the less it was still good.   
     In the cafeteria, Billie Joe met Mike Dirnt (Born Micheal Ryan Pritchard) when they were both 10 years old.  Mike and Billie quickly became friends and shared their love of music.  Sadly when Billie Joe was only 10 years old his father died of cancer in his esophagus on September 15th, 1982, hence the song "Wake Me Up When September Ends" .  Mike Dirnt was one of the few of Billie’s friends that knew his father before he died.  After this tragedy happening all hell broke loose in the house.  There was always a lot of fighting going on but every sibling is still alive so it never got TOO bad.  
    At the age of 11 Billie Joe got his first guitar and called it Blue.  It’s a Fernandez Stratocaster  You can still see Billie using the guitar today.  At the age of 14 Billie wrote his first song called “Why do You Want Him?”.  It’s great song  if you don’t already know this song can be found on the album 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. Go buy it!  In Billie’s senior year of high school he quit to devote more time to his band.  At that time the band was called Sweet Children but decided to change it because one band was called Sweet Baby and it was too close.  Another reason could be that they all had a green day and was seen written on John’s (original drummer but later left the band to go to college, was the drummer for 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and part of Kerplunk)
      In 1990, on a tour playing their 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours songs,  Billie Joe met a girl named Adrienne Nesser.  They both kept in touch by phone but eventually lost contact.  Finally, after a couple years they regained communication.  Unfortunately for Billie Joe, she was engaged to Billy Bisson.  Lucky for Billie he won her back!  Billie convinced Adrienne to come to California with him.  Shortly after they decided to get married.  The whole thing was planed in only two weeks time and was held in Billie’s backyard.  Both of them did not belong to any religion so they mixed up a whole bunch of religions and ceremony lasted only about five minutes.  Their honeymoon wasn’t very far away.  They both stayed at a hotel down the street from Billie’s house, Berkeley‘s Claremont Hotel.  You’d think that wouldn’t be very special but according to Billie they had a great time.  The next day Adrienne said she started to feel funny so the two went and bought a pregnancy test.  They were sitting with the pregnancy test in the other room, both afraid to see the results.  But then eventually Billie, being brave, went to go check.  Sure enough Adrienne was pregnant!  They were both completely happy about it.  The bad news was that Billie had to go on tour for the album Dookie.  
     On February 28,1995 their first child was born.  They decided to name him Joseph Marcicano Armstrong.  A few years later during the reign of Nimrod they had another child on September 12,1998.  He was named Jakob Danger Armstrong.  Danger was probably picked as a middle name because Billie Joe has an interest in Austin Powers, Billie even named his cat Basil.  Billie Joe’s other cat’s name was Zero but tragically died in a washing machine hence the song “Deadbeat Holiday”.
     Currently Billie is involved with his very own record company, Adeline Records.  This company has Billie’s side project, Pinhead Gunpowder and Mike’s side project the Frustrators on their label.  Billie and Adrianne even have a clothing line called Adeline Street.  Billie Joe is now involved in another band called the Foxboro Hot Tubs also includes Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool, Jason White, Jason Freese, and a new guy named Kevin.