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Time of Their Lives: Green Day’s 22 Biggest Days

As the punk rockers prepare to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we look back at the memorable moments that helped get them there

Billie Joe Armstrong

As Green Day prepare to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a look back at their biggest days.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

It's been a long and twisted road, but somehow the three snotty punks in Green Day – singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool – have made it from the cramped stage at Berkeley's 924 Gilman Street to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band's induction this weekend is only the most recent significant moment in a career filled with 'em. From Woodstock to Broadway, smash albums to smashed teeth, mud fights to meltdowns, Green Day has experienced more than its share of highs, lows and downright odd incidents. Here, we look at some of the most memorable ones. Because as Armstrong sang on 1995's "Jaded," "Going straight will get you nowhere."

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs as part of the UCSF Concert for Kids at AT&T Park on November 19, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

21st Century Breakdown

As far as concerts go, the iHeartRadio festival has proven to be a fairly smooth-running event – that is, until Green Day showed up. During a performance of "Basket Case" on September 21st, 2012, an inebriated Armstrong flew off the handle after a monitor signaled the band had only one minute left in what he believed was an abbreviated set. "You've gotta be fucking kidding me!" Armstrong exclaimed, adding, "I'm not fucking Justin Bieber!" He then removed his guitar, smashed it to bits and walked offstage. The next day, as the outburst made headlines in the music press, Armstrong recalled to Rolling Stone, "I woke up and asked [my wife] Adrienne, 'How bad was it?' She said, 'It's bad.'" But the very public meltdown was also a wakeup call as Armstrong subsequently entered a rehab facility to deal with a years-long struggle with drugs and alcohol.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs as part of the UCSF Concert for Kids at AT&T Park on November 19, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

Triple Play

In a move that had shades of Kiss' simultaneous release of four solo albums, in the final months of 2012 Green Day issued three full-band albums, each, in Kiss-like fashion, emblazoned with the face of a different member. The wide variety of music on the discs, combined with the whimsical packaging, made the whole thing feel more ambitious, and also more lighthearted, than the two concept albums that preceded it. Either way, the release of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! – on September 21st, November 9th and December 7th, respectively – was another definitive step forward for the band. "We are going into the unknown," Armstrong said to Rolling Stone prior the release of ¡Uno! "I don't know what's going to happen."

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs as part of the UCSF Concert for Kids at AT&T Park on November 19, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

I’ll Be You

Armstrong has often referred to the Replacements' Paul Westerberg as a "hero," and so when Westerberg was grounded with back pain for the Minneapolis legends' reunion gig at Coachella on April 19th, 2014, the Green Day frontman was only too happy to come to the rescue. Armstrong, who once recalled seeing the Replacements perform in 1987 all dressed in plaid, came on stage at Coachella – in a plaid suit, natch – and backed up Westerberg as the 'Mats singer reclined on a sofa. Armstrong provided similar support at various festival gigs through the summer. Was he psyched? Before playing the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Armstrong uploaded a photo of himself with Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson to his Instagram account with the hashtag, #holyshitIminthereplacements.

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