Green Day: A Musical Biography

By Kjersti Egerdahl | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
Walking Contradiction

Despite the accolades, the cash, and their growing families, the members of Green Day felt shell-shocked by the reaction to Dookie, both positive and negative. Music had been the one stable thing in their lives for so long, and now it had escaped their control. No matter the quality of the songs, the enthusiasm of mainstream fans for their music meant that the old fans and friends rejected the same music. “I couldn’t find the strength to convince myself that what I was doing was a good thing,” Billie Joe Armstrong said later. “I was in a band that was huge because it was supposed to be huge, because our songs were that good. I couldn’t ever feel like I was doing the right thing, because it felt like I was making so many people angry. That’s where I got so confused, and it became really stupid. I would never want to live that part of my life over again. Ever.”1 Unsure how to enjoy their success, they retreated a bit; they became more defensive in interviews and gave off an angrier vibe, which came through in the songs they wrote during this period. On top of everything else, Billie Joe spent many sleepless nights taking care of his infant son while trying out song ideas; the resulting record was eventually titled Insomniac.

Once again, in tough times the three friends pulled closer to each other: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool all bought houses in the suburbs outside Oakland in early 1995. Even though

-65-

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Green Day: A Musical Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Timeline ix
  • Chapter One - Sweet Children 1
  • Chapter Two - Lookout! 19
  • Chapter Three - Local Heroes 33
  • Chapter Four - The Big Splash 45
  • Chapter Five - Walking Contradiction 65
  • Chapter Six - Out on a Limb 77
  • Chapter Seven - Early Warning 91
  • Chapter Eight - Rebuilding an Album—And a Career 105
  • Chapter Nine - Idiot Proof 119
  • Chapter Ten - Worth the Fight 131
  • Appendix One - Discography of Lps and Eps 145
  • Appendix Two - Awards 153
  • Further Reading 157
  • Index 163
  • About the Author 175
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