Billie Joe Armstrong is selling off heaps of gear as Green Day Official Reverb Shop reopens – including stage-played guitars, prototype Juniors, and that Gretsch he customised with spray paint and fire

Billie Joe Armstrong
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

Green Day is to reopen its official online shop on Reverb and is selling off a huge trove of Billie Joe Armstrong’s stage-played and prototype electric guitars – one of which, a heavily distressed Daphne Blue signature Les Paul Junior is being given away, and all you need to do is sign up for store details for a chance to win it.

As you might expect, that prototype is not the only Les Paul Junior that is going up for sale; anyone who shares Armstrong’s affections for the Gibson single-cut rock ’n’ roll machine might find their credit card burning a hole in their pocket. But it’s not just the Juniors that will set pulses racing here.

With some 100 or so items of gear being sold – including a HiWatt 4x12 speaker cabinet that was used during the recording of Green Day’s triptych of 2012 albums, Uno, Dos, Tré – there are some very cool pieces here. Where best to start?

What about with the Gretsch Electromatic Armstrong plays in the promo video for Back In The USA? Once upon a time it would have had a neato factory finish from the good people at Gretsch, but this was not punk enough for Armstrong, who, with a little help from his tech, applied some spray paint and naked flame to the guitar’s finish, giving it a distressed look that is more Murphy’s Law than Murphy Lab.

Billie Joe Armstrong's Prototype signature Gibson Les Paul Jr

Billie Joe Armstrong's Prototype signature Gibson Les Paul Jr (Image credit: Reverb)

There is also a lesser-spotted Fender Bullet Deluxe that has been taken from Armstrong’s private collection. This may or may not have made it on record but it was in regular rotation on the tour bus and was used as Armstrong’s practice guitar.

You rarely see these early ‘80s budget Fenders. Armstrong’s has been modded with what looks like a reverse-mounted Seymour Duncan SL-59 Little ’59 at the bridge. Gnarly.

Those looking for a grown-up high-end electric guitar might go for a black Gibson ES-335 that was a custom order and used onstage during the 21st Century Breakdown Tour. But the super-fans have got to go for a Junior, and it looks like there is going to be plenty to choose from. 

Besides the blue prototype that’s being given away, there’s a hot salmon pink Gibson prototype that looks like a guitar that’s had an awkward entry into the world and is all the more punk for it.

Billie Joe Armstrong's Prototype signature Gibson Les Paul Jr

Billie Joe Armstrong's Prototype signature Gibson Les Paul Jr (Image credit: Reverb)

There are no control knobs on the guitar. Just the pots. There’s no pickguard either, and just one humbucker pickup at the bridge, with a wraparound bridge and tailpiece completing that stripped-down singlecut format.

Arguably, the cream of the crop is Armstrong’s 1956 Les Paul Jr, which he acquired circa 2017 during the Revolution Radio tour cycle and used once more as a practice guitar.

Head over to Reverb to preview the collection and sign up for a chance to win that prototype BJA signature guitar. The shop opens on 18 October.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.