What was Green Day’s first official band name?
Before the renowned trio coined the name Green Day, they went by Sweet Children, likely because founding members Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt were only 14 years old when they started the band. Right before former drummer John Kiffmeyer parted ways with them in 1990, they decided to change their name to Green Day. Soon after, Tre Cool snagged the snare and joined Billie Joe and Mike to become one of the most popular and successful rock bands of our time. Source: Gibson
In 1986, friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt, 14 years old at the time, formed a band called Sweet Children. The group’s first live performance took place on October 17, 1987, at Rod’s Hickory Pit in Vallejo, California. In 1988, Armstrong and Dirnt began working with former Isocracy drummer John Kiffmeyer, also known as “Al Sobrante”. As said in the film Punk’s Not Dead, Armstrong cites the band Operation Ivy (which featured Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman of Rancid) as a major influence, and a group that inspired him to form a band.
In 1988, Larry Livermore, owner of Lookout! Records, saw the band play an early show and signed the group to his label. In 1989, the band recorded its debut extended play, 1,000 Hours. Before 1,000 Hours was released, the group dropped the name Sweet Children; according to Livermore, this was done to avoid confusion with another local band Sweet Baby. The band adopted the name Green Day, due to the members’ fondness for cannabis.