After Kerplunk, Green Day’s second record, the major labels were paying attention. Before that, they booked their own tours while belonging to independent label Lookout Records. Reprise Records signed them just ahead of Dookie.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Billie Joe Armstrong said:
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Longview is the title of the first single, and it’s not mentioned in the song. We later learn Mike Dirnt was under the influence of LSD when he wrote it and almost forgot it.
“When Billie gave me a shuffle beat for ‘Longview,’ I was frying on acid so hard,” recalled Dirnt to Rolling Stone. “I was laying up against the wall with my bass lying on my lap. It just came to me. I said, ‘Billie, 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.”With the beat in place, Armstrong then wrote lyrics about boredom and masturbation.