Punk Rock Trivia: Billie Joe Armstrong was invited to join Rancid in the 90’s

Every once in a while the punk rock geniuses here at Dying Scene like to unleash some punk rock trivia to enlighten and enhance the minds of you, the readers. Today’s trivia is about the time when Billie Joe Armstrong (of Green Day, every punk’s favorite band to hate) may or may not have almost joined his fellow Bay Area punks in Rancid.

The story goes like this: In 1993, Billie Joe Armstrong co-wrote the song “Radio” with his not-brother or cousin Tim Armstrong, and Matt Freeman early in Rancid’s career. At the time Rancid was performing as a three piece and looking to shake things up by adding a fourth member. They had previously tried to invite guitarist Lars Frederiksen, but he wanted to commit to his then-current band, the UK Subs. After writing “Radio” with Billie Joe, the band invited him to perform a show with them, playing second guitar. Afterwards they asked if he would like to join the band, although as everyone has probably guessed by now, he turned them down and decided to stick with Green Day full time. Luckily for Tim and Matt, Frederiksen then changed his mind and joined the band.

Just stop for a moment and imagine what “…And Out Come the Wolves” would have sounded like if Billie Joe had co-written it! Since it was 1995, I like to think it would’ve been heavily influenced by his insomnia… although then what would “Insomniac” have sounded like?  I guess the world will never know what could have been- for better or for worse.


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