Mike Dirnt

6. january 2012 at 10:57 | no one |  green day
Michael Ryan Pritchard (born May 4, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the bassist, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American rock band Green Day. While at school, he would play "air-bass." While pretending to pluck the strings, he made the noise, "dirnt, dirnt, dirnt". As a result, his schoolmates began to call him "Mike Dirnt".


Dirnt was born and raised in California. Mike's mother was a heroin addict. He was given up for adoption when he was a baby to a Native American mother and a white father. He has one sister, Myla. When he was seven, his adoptive parents got a divorce. Mike lived with his father for a while, but confrontations sent him back to his mother. He lived there on the borderline of poverty, his sister left home at the age of thirteen. "There were all sorts of things happening," says Mike. "When I was in fourth or fifth grade, my mom stayed out all night, came home the next day with a guy, and he moved in. I'd never met the guy before, and all of a sudden he's my stepdad. We didn't get along for years. Later on, when I hit high school, my mom moved away from us, and me and my stepdad got real close. He instilled a lot in me. The one thing my family did give me is blue-collar morals. But then he died when I was 17."

Dirnt had left home when he was 17 to live out of his truck, but later rented a room in Billie Joe Armstrong's house. He attended Salesian High School (where he briefly played with the band Helder and the Heldernauts), John Swett High School, and ended up graduating from Pinole Valley High School in 1990; Green Day went on its first tour the day after graduation. However, Dirnt almost didn't graduate. He had missed school because of work, and his mother wasn't around to sign absentee forms. Two unexcused absences caused him to lose a full grade point; and at the end of senior year, he had poor results instead of the grades he'd worked to achieve. "I took my mom aside", Mike says. "I said, 'This is how it is. You have so much shit going on in your life, so if once every semester you ask me if I've done my homework and jump all over my case, that's not right. Have I failed yet? No. And I'm going to graduate if you stay off my back. The one time in your life you chose to have morals, and it's going to fuck me up.'"

Dirnt met Billie Joe Armstrong in 1982 at age 10 in the Rodeo Elementary School cafeteria, a few months before Armstrong's father died of cancer. He and Armstrong first founded Sweet Children in 1987 at age 15, and they then started their current band Green Day with former Isocracy drummer John Kiffmeyer (a.k.a. Al Sobrante) and then switched to their present drummer, Tre Cool. Some years before, Dirnt moved in with Armstrong because his mother and sister moved away from Rodeo. Dirnt did not want to move away from his new-found best friend and love for music. Green Day's Woodstock '94 gig was one for the history books: a huge mud fight ensued between the band and the audience. So many mud-covered fans got up on stage by the end of the set that one of the security guards mistook Dirnt for a marauding fan, tackled him, and broke several of his teeth while attempting to haul him off the stage. He used to play a Gibson G3 bass, but during Nimrod., Tre Cool accidentally broke it on stage trying to show fan Brendan Taylor how to spin a bass around his back. Armstrong then sent Dirnt's bass tech out to get him a new bass. It resulted in a '69 Fender Precision Bass. He later asked Fender to make him a custom P-Bass, and the result is modeled after the '51 P-Bass with a '59 Custom Shop "Hot Rod" Split-Coil Pickup, a BadAss II bridge and a thinner neck. It was released in early 2004. Armstrong credits Dirnt as "The best bass player in the history of punk rock" in Bullet in a Bible.
 

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