Mike Dirnt Dirnt was born to a heroin-addicted mother, who soon gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by a Native American mother and a white father. He has one step-sister, Myla, who left home at 13. Soon after Dirnt's 7th birthday, his adoptive parents divorced, leaving him torn between his father, a prosperous computer programmer, and his struggling mother. "I grew up with my mom hating the white man and loving me," he has said. His mother later remarried. "When I was in fourth or fifth grade, my mom stayed out all night, came home the next day with a guy, and then he moved in. I'd never met the guy, and suddenly he's my stepdad." When asked about his stepdad, he says,"We didn't get along for years. Later on, my mom moved away and my stepdad and I got real close. He instilled a lot in me. The one thing my family did give me is blue-collar morals. But he died when I was 17." He had left home at 15 to live out of his truck, but later rented a space in Billie Joe Armstrong's basement. He ended up graduating from Pinole Valley High in 1990, and Green Day went on their first tour the day after graduation. However, Dirnt almost didn't graduate, due to the fact that he was missing school because of work, and his mother was not around to sign absentee forms. Two unexcused absences lost him a full grade point,and at the end of senior year, he had lowly results instead of the grades he'd worked to achieve. "I took my mom aside and I said to her, 'This is how it is. You have so much shit going on in your life, so if once every semester you ask me if I've done my homework and jump all over my case, that's not right. Have I failed yet? No. And I'm going to graduate if you stay off my back. The one time in your life you choose to have morals, and it's going to fuck me up. Don't play mom once a year. It doesn't fucking cut it."
Pritchard met Billie Joe Armstrong in 1982, in the Rodeo Elementery school cafeteria, a few months before Armstrong's father died. He first founded Sweet Children with Armstrong and Al Sobrante (John Kiffmeyer), and then Green Day in 1988. Some years before, Pritchard moved in with Armstrong because his adopted mother and sister moved away from Rodeo. Pritchard did not want to move away from his new found best friend and love for music.
Pritchard went to Salesian High School as a freshman but graduated from Pinole Valley High in 1990.
Green Day's 1994 Woodstock gig was one for the history books: a huge mud fight ensued between the band and the audience; so many mud-covered fans wound up onstage by the end of the set that one of the security guards mistook Dirnt for a marauding fan and broke several of his teeth while attempting to haul him off the stage.
He used to play an old Gibson G-3 bass, but during Nimrod, Armstrong got Pritchard his first Fender Precision Bass. He later asked Fender if they could make him a custom P-Bass, and the result is a bass modeled after the 55' P-Bass with a split-coil pickup in the middle. It was released in early 2004.
Pritchard is also bassist in another band called The Frustrators. He was the bassist for Chicago punk band (and Lookout Records labelmates) Screeching Weasel on the album How to Make Enemies and Irritate People, and also appeared as a guest vocalist on the debut album by Squirtgun (yet another Lookout Records recording artist).