Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Whatever became of Green Day’s first drummer?

It’s hard to imagine Green Day being anything but Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool. But it wasn’t always this way. Green Day’s first drummer was John Kliffmeyer, although he went by the name Al Sorbrante.

In the early days, he did everything for Green Day. He was the drummer, he managed the band, and even produced some of the group’s early recorded work. But John wasn’t convinced that Green Day was going anywhere, so he went for Plan B: going to college. That didn’t go over so well with Billie Joe and Mike, so in late 1990, John was given an ultimatum: college or the band. John chose school and 17-year-old Tre Cool from a band called The Lookouts got the gig.

The parting was completely amicable. John is now an experimental filmmaker and specializes in green screen techniques and produces a lot of commercials.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38403 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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