By Zachary Swickey
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like if your dad was the singer for one of the most successful punk band of all time, but that’s just a day in the life of Joey Armstrong, son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. And somewhat fittingly, the 16-year-old drummer is now ready to follow in his father’s footsteps by forming a punk rock outfit with three of his chums.
Dubbed Emily’s Army — a name derived from two bandmates’ 15-year-old cousin Emily, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis — the group’s rather sneeringly-titled debut album, Don’t Be a Dick, was produced by none other than Papa Armstrong himself and will be released through his own Adeline Records come June 14th.
“The record has a lot of youthful punk rock attitude. They’re raw,” Billie Joe proudly affirmed to Spin, “It’s well-played, has great hooks and is catchy as hell.”
So, to celebrate Joey Armstrong’s brand-new day job, we decided to take a look back at some other rock-star offspring who have decided to follow in their father’s footsteps … with, it should be noted, varying degrees of success.
It shouldn’t be hard to guess that Jakob is the son of living legend Bob Dylan (happy belated birthday, BTW!) Forming his own band The Wallflowers in the early ’90s, the group experienced sweet success with hits like “One Headlight” and a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” for the 1998 ‘Godzilla’ Soundtrack. While The Wallflowers may be in a state of limbo, Jakob is now a solo artist and even had his last album produced by T-Bone Burnett … a man who has more Grammys than I have fingers.
Sean is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and can even boast Elton John as his godfather. While Sean is, first and foremost, a solo artist, he has dipped in other musical endeavors as well. In addition to scoring independent films and helping The Strokes’ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. with his solo albums, Sean is the now the bandleader of his mother’s outfit, Plastic Ono Band, and produced their ’09 record.
Another Beatles offspring, Dhani is the son of the group’s guitarist/mystic George Harrison. He began his musical career in 2001 when he took on the task of completing his father’s last and unfinished album, Brainwashed. Currently, Dhani fronts the London-based alternative rock band, Thenewno2, but also began a new project, Fistful of Mercy, last year with fellow musicians Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur.
Jeff Buckley and his father, singer Tim Buckley, both had their lives cut short, passing at the ages of 30 and 28, respectively. While Tim managed to record 9 albums during his eight-year career, Jeff only managed to complete one solo record, Grace, which can always be found charting on numerous publications’ “Greatest Album of All Time” lists. His rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been used countless times in television and film, and even shot to number one of the iTunes music charts in 2008, the week after “American Idol” contestant Jason Castro performed the tune on the show.
Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Sr. is arguably one of the most important country artists of all time, and while those are some tough shoes to fill, Hank Jr. has managed to carve out his own rather sizable niche, too. In the 80’s alone, Jr. produced 11 albums, all of which went gold or platinum. And, then, of course, there’s his eternally epic theme for “Monday Night Football,” which has become a staple over the past twenty years. And his son, Hank Williams III, is a prominent “neo-traditional” country artist in his own right, releasing albums that veer from traditional Honky Tonk to punk and metal.