Hey, Camp Fans!
Lots of kids have been hitchin’ a ride to summer camp since the mid-1800s. Many adults nowadays are former summer campers themselves and a bunch of them have gone on to become famous icons. It’s my pleasure today to tell you a little about a guy named Tré Cool—drummer for the insanely popular alternative punk band, Green Day.
Tré was given a warm welcome to paradise among the beautiful, rolling foothills of Camp Winnarainbow in Mendocino County, California. There, Tré and his camp buddies learned the tricks of the circus trade, specializing in the performing arts of the circus. From circus etiquette to balance training—and don’t forget the ticket to perfect timing—is all taught by the well-trained staff of Winnarainbow.
Back then, he wasn’t known as Tré, but Frankie—as in Frank Edwin Wright III. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany to American parents and he grew up in Willits, California. But it didn’t take long for him to go by the moniker Tré Cool.
At just 12 years old, Tré’s next-door neighbor, Larry Livermore, asked him to join as the drummer in his new band, ‘The Lookouts’. Once he was in the band, Larry gave him the nickname which combined French (trés—for ‘very’) and English so as to say that he was ‘very cool’.
Tré opted to earn is GED instead of finishing high school and got an early start on classes at his local community college. Around this time, Green Day’s original drummer, John Kiffmeyer, left the band and they called Tré for his drumming skills. It took a long while for the band and Tré to fall in sync. So long, that the band discussed breaking up. “It took me a while to get it,” Tré has been quoted. “Play the song, don’t play the instrument.”
Luckily, the band stuck with it and they ended up a huge success! Tré’s dad played a big role of support for the band. He even turned a bookmobile into a means of transport that the band could use. “I watched them go from a bunch of kids to a group of musicians with work ethic,” Tré’s father once said.
Among many other awards and sources of recognition, Tré is thought of as one of the world’s top drummers, right up there with Ringo Starr and Dave Grohl. In fact, he was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Tré followed a bumpy road that led to super success. What road will you follow? As always, thanks for reading.