Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the lyrics to this song about a slum in Oakland where he lived together for a while as a teenager – they had a band at the time called Sweet Children. “It’s about West Oakland, living in a warehouse with a lot of people, a bunch of artists and musicians, punks and whatever just lived all up and down, bums and junkies and thugs and gang members and stuff that just lived in that area. It’s no place you want to walk around at night, but it’s a neat warehouse where you can play basketball and stuff.”
This was first released on Green Day’s 1992 Kerplunk LP on Lookout! Records. When the band signed to the major label Reprise Records and cut the album Dookie, they re-recorded the song and included it on the album. It was one of 2 old Green Day songs they recorded during the Dookie sessions
Green Day’s drummer Tre Cool wrote the guitar riff for this song, and Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the drums. In their early days, Green Day would often swap positions in the band.
Tre Cool said of this song: “It’s like, ‘Everything sucks but we’re having fun anyway.’ We’ll look you in the eye and still smile, even if horrible things are happening.
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