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Mike Dirnt (born Michael Ryan Pritchard on May 4, 1972, in Rodeo, California) is the bassist and backing vocalist for the band Green Day. While at school, he would pretend to play the bass when unable to practice, making a noise of someone playing single notes (dirnt, dirnt, dirnt), he later adopted his stage name, "Mike Dirnt."
Dirnt was born to a heroin-addicted teenage mother, who soon placed him for adoption at 6 weeks of age. He was adopted by a Native American mother and a Caucasian father. He has one step-sister, Myla, who left home at 13. Soon after Dirnt's 7th birthday, his adoptive parents divorced, leaving him torn between his father, a prosperous computer programmer, and his struggling mother. "I grew up with my mom hating the white man and loving me," he has said. His mother later remarried. "When I was in fourth or fifth grade, my mom stayed out all night, came home the next day with a guy, and then he moved in. I'd never met the guy, and suddenly he's my step-dad." When asked about his stepdad, he says, "We didn't get along for years."
"Later on," Dirnt continues, "my mom moved away and my stepdad and I got real close. He instilled a lot in me. The one thing my family did give me is blue collar morals. But he died when I was 17." Mike had left home at 15 to live out of his truck, but later rented a space over Billie Joe Armstrong's garage. He attended John Swett High School, switched schools, and ended up graduating from Pinole Valley High School in 1990, and Green Day went on their 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 lowly results instead of the grades he'd worked to achieve. "I took my mom aside and I said to her, 'This is how it is. You have so much crap 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. I haven't failed yet, have I? And I'm going to graduate if you stay off my back. The one time in your life you choose to have morals, and it's going to mess me up. Don't play mom once a year. It doesn't cut it."
Dirnt met Billie Joe Armstrong in 1982, in the Rodeo Elementary School cafeteria, a few months before Armstrong's father died. He first founded Sweet Children with Armstrong in 1986, which later was renamed Green Day. Some years before, Dirnt moved in with Armstrong because his adoptive mother and step-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 and his right elbow while attempting to haul him off the stage.
He used to play an old Gibson G-3 bass, but during Nimrod, Tré Cool accidentally broke it on stage. Armstrong then sent Mike's bass tech out to get him a new bass. It resulted in a '69 Fender Precision Bass. He also learned to play guitar and drums. 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" Single Coil Pickup, a BadAss II bridge and a thinner neck. It was released in early 2004.
Dirnt is also bassist in another band called The Frustrators. He was the bassist for Chicago punk band (and Lookout Records labelmates) Screeching Weasel on the album How to Make Enemies and Irritate People and also appeared as a guest vocalist on the debut album by Squirtgun.
Dirnt married his first wife, Anastacia, in 1996 and divorced shortly afterwards bearing one child, Estella "Stella" Desiree. Dirnt gained full custody of Stella in 2008, and she currently lives with him in Oakland. He married his second wife, Sarah, in 2004 but divorced shortly afterward because Dirnt was too busy working on American Idiot. He married Britney Cade, his third wife, in May 2009. The couple have two children together, Brixton Michael (born in 2008) and Ryan Ruby Mae (born in 2010).
- Mike wrote the bassline for Longview while he was high on LSD and forgot it the next day.
- Mike has a sister named Myla.
- Mike took the picture of himself in the Nimrod booklet.
- Mike smoked his first joint with his mom's friend.
- Mike Dirnt is the part-owner of Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville, California. Emeryvillie is between Berkeley and Oakland.
- Mike and Billie Joe are both wearing work shirts that say "Chuck" in two music videos, Mike in Basketcase and Billie Joe in Redundant.
- Mike Dirnt completed a years worth of college courses after high school.
- On the back cover of the green day booklet for Dookie, there is a picture of Mike Dirnt looking in the mirror. If you look in the mirror, you can partially see the person taking the picture.
- Mike was born with a heart problem and sometimes has panic attacks.
- Mike's adoptive parents divorced when he was 6.
- Mike once rented a small part of Billie's house to live in during high school.
- Mike got mistaken for a ambushing fan at Woodstock 1994, and a security guard kicked him and knocked a couple of his teeth out.
- Mike actually believes that one day dogs will take over the world (remember the Dookie cover?)
- In the self titled New Found Glory CD inlay it thanks Green Day and the bass player has a special thanx to Mike "...and Mike Dirnt for the influence...".
- Mike likes donuts and hotel coffee, and Starbucks coffee aswell, maybe just coffee in general.
- Mike favors Fender P Bass Guitars
- Mike likes to have those little packages of donuts on tour.
- Mike dressed up as a vampire, or as he said "Count Mikeula", for Halloween 2004.
- Mike is a vegetarian.
- Mike and Billie Joe moved out and moved to punk rock communed Seventh Street (according to some sources, they deticated Welcome To Paradise to Seventh Street).
- Mike married his girlfriend Anastasia in August 1996.
- They had a daughter. Mike and Anastasia named her Estelle-Desiree born in April 1997.
- They got divorced, but they still are friends and Mike visits his daughter as much as he can
- Before shows Mike will eat a meal and do stand up comedy
- Mike broke both his elbows in a pillow fight a long time ago.
1,000 Hours • Slappy • Sweet Children • Live Tracks • Australian Tour Souvenir Edition • Bowling Bowling Bowling Parking Parking • Foot In Mouth • Tune In, Tokyo... • American Idiot Bonus Disc: Live in Tokyo • Live in Japan • Last Night on Earth (Live in Tokyo) • 21 Guns • 21 Guns (Live) • Oh Love