Did you know that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong once wanted to "kick people's asses?" Or that bassist Mike Dirnt wrote one of the band's most memorable basslines while on drugs? What about the original album title that was changed because it was deemed "too gross?" Stick around and we will answer these questions and more on....
10 Fun Facts about Dookie by Green Day
1. Kicking People's Asses
Billie Joe Armstrong wanted Dookie to "kick people's asses"
in 2002, the Green Day songwriter told a VH1 interviewer: "We wanted simple songs that didn't have bullshit like guitar solos... and for everybody's parts to get highlighted. Mike's bass lines are almost like a doo-wop singer... Trey fills in every single beat. We wanted to kick people's asses. We loved playing festivals because we got to kick bands' asses every single night. There is not a band you can mention that we haven't kicked their ass on stage at one time or another." - Billie Joe Armstrong (Billie Joe: Confessions of a Basket Case, VH1 2002)
Heck, I've even seen them kick people's asses off of the stage as well.
2. Iconic Album Art
The album art which almost resembles a Where's Waldo book was created by East Bay artist Richie Bucher:
in a 2002 interview, Billie Joe said: "I wanted the art work to look really different. I wanted it to represent the East Bay and where we come from, because there's a lot of artists in the East Bay scene that are just as important as the music... There's one guy with his camera up in the air taking a picture with a beard. He’s this guy Murray that's been around the scene for a long time. He took pictures of bands every weekend at Gilman's. The robed character that looks like the Mona Lisa is the woman on the cover of the first Black Sabbath album. AC/DC guitarist Angus Young is in there somewhere too." - Billie Joe Armstrong (Billie Joe Explains Dookie's Cover, VH1 2002)
cool things can you find on the Dookie album art? I found Satan. An
American Gladiator. A chia pet. And is that George Takei?
3. Liquid Dookie
Liquid Dookie was the original name of the album but they settled on Dookie after the title was deemed "too gross."
as Billie Joe said in Confessions of a Basket Case, Billie Joe: "It's a really disgusting story, but I'll tell it. We were on tour, and you eat bad food all the time. You just end up getting the shits basically. So we started calling it liquid Dookie. Like, "How did it go in the bathroom?" "Oh, liquid, man, liquid." Later on we were like, "Wouldn't it be fun if we named our record that?"" - Billie Joe Armstrong (Confessions of a Basket Case, VH1 2002)
I mean, for a band who's previous album was called Kerplunk!, I don't see why not. Dookie goes Kerplunk!
4. The Insane Asylum
The music video for "Basket Case" was filmed in an actual insane asylum.
request of the band, the video was filmed at the abandoned Agnews
Developmental Center in Santa Clara, California. The asylum had long
been abandoned but most of the structures were still remaining. The
video was shot in black & white with color being added during
post-production. The video features
references to the movies Brazil and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
5. Mike Dirnt's Abusive Ex-Girlfriend
"Pulling Teeth" was written about Mike Dirnt's abusive relationship.
Billie Joe wrote the song as a humorous take on Mike's relationship with his girlfriend Anastasia who would later become his wife (and now ex-wife.) The song pokes fun at the couple who once had a pillow fight that sent the Green Day bassist to the emergency room after he ran around a corner and hit his head on a low-hanging beam which caused him to fall backwards, breaking both of his elbows.
6. Anthem to Anxiety.
"Basket Case" was written about Billie Joe's panic attacks.
In a 2002 interview with VH1, the Green Day frontman explained: ""Basket Case" was about anxiety attacks and feeling like you're ready to go crazy. At times I probably was. I've suffered from panic disorders my entire life. I thought I was just losing my mind. The only way I could know what the hell was going on was to write a song about it. It was only years later that I figured out I had a panic disorder." - Billie Joe Armstrong (Billie Joe: Confessions of a Basket Case, VH1 2002)
would say that writing a number one billboard hit would probably rank
up there as one of the more productive ways to manage one's disorders,
7. Billie Joe's Ex-Girlfriend
Three songs on the album were inspired by Billie Joe Armstrong's ex-girlfriend.
The lyrics for "She" were written in response to a poem that Billie's former girlfriend once showed to him. "She gave me this poem about this empowering woman... I wrote the song as an answer back to
her. My now ex-girlfriend is also on the songs "Sassafras Roots" and
"Chump."" - Billie Joe Armstrong (Billie Joe: Confessions of a Basket Case, VH1 2002)
"Longview" was named after a city in Washington state.
While the lyrical content is about frustration and boredom, "Longview" was actually named after the city which has special significance to the band.. A 2011 tweet from Billie Joe revealed: "Our friend/roadie Kaz Hope, suggested we call our song Longview because the 1st time we played was in Longview Washington in spring 1992 " - Billie Joe Armstrong; Twitter Feb 9, 2011
9. A Group Effort
All three band members wrote songs for Dookie.
Although Billie Joe wrote the lion's share of music, each member contributed to writing at least one full song for the album. Mike wrote the song "Emenius Sleepus" while Trey both wrote and performed the album's secret song "All By Myself."
10. Mike D on LSD
Mike Dirnt wrote the bassline for "Longview" while on acid.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the Green Day bassist told an interviewer:
"When Billie gave me
a shuffle beat for “Longview,” I was frying on acid so hard. I was
laying up against the wall with my bass lying on my lap. It just came to
me. I said, “Bill, check this out. Isn’t this the wackiest thing you’ve
ever heard?” Later, it took me a long time to be able to play it, but
it made sense when I was on drugs." - Mike Dirnt (Green Day: Best New Band, Rolling Stone 1995)
Billie Joe would later go on to add "Mike's bass-line is probably one of the most played bass-lines in Guitar Center history." - Billie Joe Armstrong (Confessions of a Basket Case, VH1 2002)
Rolling Stone - Green Day: Best New Band, 1995 - https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/green-day-best-new-band-246152/
VH1 - Billie Joe: Confessions of a Basket Case - https://web.archive.org/web/20021002075300/http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/ultimate_albums/58025/episode_interviews_int.jhtml?start=1VH1 - Billie Joe Explains Dookie's Cover - https://web.archive.org/web/20021002074011/http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/ultimate_albums/58025/episode_interviews_int.jhtml?start=2