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  • February 26th, 2019

    10 Bands That Met in High School and Never Looked Back Again

    High school is a prime place for musicians to form bands! Laundry Day is an up-and-coming band of kickass high school students quickly rising through the ranks. While we count the days until they play our stage on Sunday, March 3, here’s a list of 10 notable bands who also started while the members were in high school.

    1. Green Day

    Green Day is a five-time Grammy-winning rock band that formed at Pinole Valley High School in California. Founding members Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt met in middle school and hit it off immediately. This friendship eventually led to the formation of the band, originally called Sweet Children. Armstrong and Dirnt played their first show in 1986, when they were 14 years old. After recruiting drummer Tré Cool, they released their major label debut, Dookie. Dookie was an overnight hit, and made them one of the bands to introduce mainstream audiences to punk rock.

    2. U2

    U2 is a 22-time Grammy winner, more than any other rock band. U2 began when their drummer Larry Mullen Jr., posted an ad in his school looking for musicians to play with. Bono, The Edge, and Adam Clayton were some of the musicians who responded. Who would’ve guessed that a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted band who’s sold approximately 160 million records over the course of their career would’ve formed through an ad posted on a high school’s bulletin board?

    3. Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Red Hot Chili Peppers is another iconic band which formed during the members’ high school years. Originally named “Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem,” they soon settled on the name they still use today after signing with EMI. Though the membership has changed since the band’s origin back when they were in high school, they’ve had a prosperous career and a very recognizable sound. Since their formation, they have sold over 80 million records worldwide and won 6 Grammy awards.

    4. Radiohead

    All the members of Radiohead met at Oxfordshire’s Abingdon School, as high school in Oxfordshire, England. Radiohead signed a six-album recording contract with EMI in 1991 and released their debut single “Creep” in 1992. Though it wasn’t an instant hit, the song eventually gained them a following outside of their home country, and is still one of their most famous songs today. Radiohead has gone to win three Grammys and is still composed of the same members who met all those years ago at Abingdon School.

    5. Boyz II Men

    This R&B group, originally known as Unique Attraction, was formed in 1988 at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). All of the original members were members of the school’s choir. In 1992, they released their number one single “End of the Road” which reached the top of charts worldwide. This single stayed on Billboard Hot 100 for thirteen weeks, breaking the record held by Elvis Presley. Boyz II Men helped usher R&B music to the mainstream, and are credited with the ubiquity of the genre in mainstream radio during the early 2000s. We can’t imagine a group of high school choir members ever thought they would have such an impact!

    6. Panic! at the Disco

    Panic! at the Disco was formed in 2004 in Las Vegas by students from two different area high schools: Ryan Ross (guitar) and Spencer Smith (drums) from Bishop Gorman High School, and Brent Wilson (bass) and Brendon Urie (vocals) from Palo Verde High School. Although they had never performed live, Panic! At the Disco somehow managed to STILL get signed to Fueled by Ramen imprint label Decaydance Records on 2004. They have sold more than 4.6 records just in the United States. Though membership has shifted multiple times since the band’s formation, Panic! is still active today and continues to have a sizable fanbase.

    7. The Cure

    Led by the vocals and guitar licks of Robert Smith, the band was formed in 1976 by Smith and a few other school mates at St. Wilfrid’s Comprehensive School. After a few lineup shifts and name changes, one of their demo tapes got into the hands of Chris Parry, an A&R representative of Polydor Records who signed them immediately. The Cure are widely considered to be one of the first alternative bands to find mainstream success. Just this year, they were voted for inclusion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and will be officially inducted next month, on March 29.

    8. The Donnas

    The Donnas formed in May of 1993 in Palo Alto, California, and practiced nearly every day after classes while they were in high school. All four members are self taught instrumentalists. The Donnas was originally considered a side project by the members of the band, who were also part of a metal group called The Electrocutes, but that attitude quickly shifted as The Donnas began to find commercial success. They signed first to independent label Lookout! before signing to Atlantic in 2001. They’ve since released seven albums.

    9. Jimmy Eat World

    Jimmy Eat World: Though they had known each other since pre-school, it wasn’t until high school that Jim Adkins (singer/guitarist) and Zach Lind (drums) decided that they wanted to form a band. They eventually joined forces with Mitch Porter (bass) and Tom Linton (singer/guitarist) and formed Jimmy Eat World in 1994. The band found commercial success after their 2001 single “The Middle” reached #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100. They’ve released nine total albums, and only accrued more success over the years.

    10. The Beatles

    Before The Beatles existed, we had The Quarrymen. Formed by John Lennon in 1956, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of Quarry Bank High School, which they attended. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, cinemas, and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined the band in October 1957. In 1958 McCartney recommended that George Harrison become the group’s guitarist. They experimented with sound quite a bit in their early days, but eventually, they began moving more towards rock n’ roll. The group changed their name to The Beatles in 1960, and Ringo Starr joined two years later, creating the lineup everyone knows. The Beatles found monumental success and currently hold the Guinness world record for best-selling band.