409 Online - Spin Magazine Spin Magazine; August, 1999

The Picture
Green Day - Dookie; 90's Album #53 out of 90

When Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the lyrics for Dookie, he was living in a dank Berekeley, California, basement, sleeping on a couch beside a giant bong. So when he got his record company advance, he paid his rent for a year, just to be safe. "I couldn't go back to the punk scene, whether we were the biggest success in the world or the biggest failure," he says. "The only thing I could do was get on my bike and go forward." He rode off into the post-grunge punk explosion that led to an album that went ten-times platinum, a Woodstock '94 mud bath, and the flowering of punk as the new American pop. Green Day made disaffection seem strangely loveable, and their success encouraged the Sex Pistols to reunite, Pearl Jam to turn toward punk, and Warped Tour bands such as Blink 182 to come forward and celebrate their bodily functions. "All of a sudden you had Guns N' Roses and the Seattle bands saying, 'We want to reflect our punk-rock roots," says Dookie producer Rob Cavallo. "But Green Day were the ones who broke punk." The album also gave Armstrong, now married with child, the money to move out of the basement. "My life completely changed because of that record- in ways I'm still coping with."
Article by RJ Smith, Spin Magazine