Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's grief for his dying father inspired him to become the lead singer in a punk rock band.

The AMERICAN IDIOT rocker was only 10 years old when his father ANDY died of cancer, and Armstrong's recent hit WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS charts the pain of watching his father pass away.

Armstrong recalls, "Only a few days before he drew his last breath, he gave me my first guitar.

"He gave it a name - Blue - because it was a blue fender Stratocaster copy.

"It ended up battered, covered in duct tape and stickers, because I played it so much. It's become my trademark and I still use replicas on stage and in videos.

"My dad wouldn't have believed where that first guitar has lead. We're just a f**k-all, know-nothing band from California.

"He'd have shaken his head in disbelief."