On this Wednesday, December 20, you can own a piece of American punk history. We at Reverb have partnered with Green Day co-founder and frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, to launch the Official Reverb Green Day Garage Sale. The shop will feature a substantial cache of gear that Armstrong has collected over the years, from guitars and amps to pro-audio equipment. You can sign up here to be first to receive information.
As a user of Reverb for both his personal collection and Oakland-based guitar store, Broken Guitars, Armstrong told us how passionate he is about gear continuing to collect stories as it changes hands.
“Used guitars,” Billie Joe says, “in particular, come with a history to them. I love the character you can see looking at a fretboard that’s been used—you can see where someone played it in clubs, in barns, in churches. We had a guitar come through our store, and you could just see the smoke from the clubs it was played in. It was beautiful. I hope the gear from the Green Day Reverb shop goes to someone that plays it.”
Luckily, the Green Day Garage Sale is packed to the brim with all kinds of new and vintage specimens to choose from.
Known for his love of Gibson Les Paul Juniors, Armstrong has picked three from his impressive collection to include in the sale. “When Green Day was on tour, I was always looking for Les Paul Juniors at local guitar shops, and I started to accumulate a collection. At one point, we’d walk in, open the door, and the guy behind the counter would say ‘Les Paul Junior, right?’ And I’d say ‘Yes, sir.’”
Armstrong is also parting with a 1970s Martin D-41 used on “21 Guns” and several other songs from 21st Century Breakdown, and one of three Les Paul Specials that were refinished for him by Jay Black. One of the Specials is currently on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Armstrong continues to play the third on stage. The LP Special up for sale in Armstrong’s Reverb shop is a white 1960 model that he played during Green Day’s American Idiot tour in 2004.
Speaking of American Idiot, also up for sale is the Victoria tweed amp (affectionately known as “Little Vicky”) that Armstrong used to record the unmistakable intro to the album’s title track. “It has this big, nasty sound—I recorded it on everything,” Armstrong told us about Little Vicky. “Why am I selling this thing again?”
In addition to Little Vicky, the Official Reverb Green Day Garage Sale will be packed with:
- More than twenty pieces of new and vintage pro audio gear from JingleTown Recording (formerly 880 Studios) in Oakland, which closed this year. According to Armstrong, the last few Green Day albums were recorded on the rig.
- Two Silvertone amps used on Uno… Dos… Tré!
- A Burns Brian May guitar that the band picked up during the American Idiot tour to play on its “We are the Champions” encore.
- Several Gretsch guitars, including a black Brian Setzer Hot Rod model used on the American Idiot tour and a red Anniversary model used on Foxboro Hot Tubs recordings.
- A Trident Console used on Uno… Dos… Tré! and Revolution Radio.