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Longview by Green Day

Album: DookieReleased: 1994Charted:
30
  • This song is about being bored, lonely, and feeling like a complete loser. In an interview with VH1, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said: "I was just in a creative rut. I was in-between houses sleeping on people's couches. It's a song about trying not to feel pathetic and lonely. I didn't think that masturbation was really seen from the point of view that I was looking at it. In songs like 'Turning Japanese' it always seemed more about people pulling a pud or something. I was coming from a lonely guy's perspective: No girlfriend, no life, complete loser."
  • The lyrics refer to masturbation as means of escape: "Take me away to paradise." Lead singer Billy Joe describes his masturbation habits at the time as "chronic."
  • This was the first Green Day single released on a major label: Reprise Records. This was not a hit, but their next single, "Basket Case," launched them to popularity. Before Dookie came out, Green Day released two albums on a small label.
  • In a 1995 Rolling Stone magazine interview, bassist Mike Dirnt revealed that he initially wrote the unique bass riff to this song while on an acid trip. The next day a sober Mike, along with Billie Joe, had a hard time remembering the riff they liked so much the night before. What became the song's bassline was what they could remember to the best of their ability. (thanks, George - Islip Terrace, NY)
  • Most radio stations aired the edited version with the line "I smell like sh-t" mumbled at the end.
  • True to the Punk style, most of Green Day's songs to this point were very short. This was one of their longest at 3:59. (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)
  • Green Day recorded the Dookie album at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. Their first attempts at recording "Longview" during these sessions didn't take, but they then went on tour with Bad Religion and performed the song every night, which helped them refine it. When the tour ended, they went back to Fantasy and recorded the proper version of the song.
  • A lot of consideration went into how this song would flow on the album. The open, which contrary to most Green Day tracks is built with a slow fade up, was designed to follow the previous Dookie track, "Chump," which gradually fades out after a brazen climax.
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Comments: 61

Thus song describes my life, boredom and masturbation :/Nick - Ludlow, Ma, Ma
um this song is about living in a craphole town, longview ,washington, i live here don't come it sucks... great punk rock bands because there is nothing to do but sit around and make up songs on your guitars... it always rains, except when it doesn't, and the town smells like crap because of a pulp mill. God i miss home. take me away to paradise... which is in santa cruz california.... the only thing i have to do here is sit around, puff a joint, and spank my monkey!!!!!! ps, i remember the old days at gilman street project in berkley, when i was a 15 year old gutter punk.... i am so glad to see that greenday made it... same with primus!!!!Devin - Longview, , Wa
I absolutely love this song! Mike Dirnt wrote an amazing bass line. Longview is what convinced me to play bass and it was the best decision of my life!

By the way, Nancy, I listen to the unedited version in the car ALL the time with my mom, who loves Green Day and the song. You can't just go around and say people shouldn't listen to the song, it's a personal choice! It's a great song, no matter the lyrical content. I mean, no 5 year olds should listen to it, but it's fine for teens. :)
Jessica - Fairfax, Va
"Bite lip and close my eyes, take me away to paradise."

quite possibly the greatest song about masturbation and the never ending mindspin of being labeled as a bored/druggie/bum of society.

I sure as hell can do it by myself, he says. But he asks to get peeled off his seat.
Tara - Dallas, Tx
Yes there is a town called Longview TX tho this song is not about that town. It is about Longview WA which is about 40 min north of Portland OR. When Green Day very very first started out they travelled up here from Cali to get their name out. Well, they ended up in longview some how. Longview IS a RUT!! And this song discribes it too a 'T'! I grew up in longview and I know people who jammed with them in the local bars and garages.Michelle - Kelso, Wa
Seriously nancy, theres got to be something in the constitution that proves you wrong.Sam - Deerfield, Il
Oh my God. Mike did not write this song. He wrote the bass riffs for it. Armstrong wrote the lyrics.Corey - West Portsmouth, Oh, Afghanistan
That's a mighty conservative point of view you have there, Nancy. I agree with Vicky. I hardly understood ANY of the lyrics I heard back in the day. Remember the Spice Girls? "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends"? When I was little I thought it just meant "you've gotta be friends with my friends", aha. (; Besides, we're not idiots. Drugs are bad, blahblah, yes. The bass part which they thought was phenomenal when they were on drugs was probably mediocre and they're lucky they didn't completely remember it, ahaha. (:Kat - Chicago, Il
Longview's a really awesome song. Many people relate to it.Liz - Smallville, Ks
Anyone who would write that this song is not about masturbation is delusional hahaha.
But Nancy you know when I first heard this song I was 12, and I knew all the words but didn't UNDERSTAND what they meant. So your talk about it affecting young minds is utter utter utter utter........ cr*p
Vicky - Melbourne, Australia
longview,waDepends - Kelso, Wa
from wiki;

The title of the song "Longview" by the rock band Green Day was inspired by the city. The pop-punk trio had several friends in the area due to frequent performances in Portland, Oregon. Often they would meet other punk acts from Longview who would open their shows for them. According to one concert's press agent, Jim Baltutis, Green Day played a show at a Longview club, the Cafè Forum, in the summer of 1992, which later inspired the title of the song. However, several misconceptions circulate about the title, one being that the members of the band attended Longview's R.A. Long High school, and at one of their shows they decided to name it after their "home town." Green Day is actually from Berkeley, California.
Depends - Kelso, Wa
This is definetly one of my fav songs, but i like all of there old stuff, there new stuff is ok (some songs) but yeah. Green day rocks.Dan - Kansas City, Ks
"When lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong wrote it, he was in a rut. He was sleeping on friends' couches and having a real hard time writing songs." Umm maybe I'm mistaken, but every single other thing I've looked at about this song said that it was written by Mike Dirnt (The Bass Player for those of you who don't know) when he was on an acid trip. then he forgot it the next day but remembered it the best he could and wrote it down.Frank - Custer, Sd
Sorry, I pressed TAB by accident. He took away ALL of my Green Day stuff, because they say F**K, D**N, S**T, and so on.Michael - La Porte, Tx
I agree with Brad and Dylan, we have every right to listen to whatever kind of music we want to. My dad ignored my rights as an American Idiot. He thew away ALL of my Green Day Stuff, Because They SayMichael - La Porte, Tx
Nancy, if you are going to bash something, please do us all a favor and:

1) Spell words correctly.
2) Make sure your sentences make sense.

As for the song, I think that it is a great song. If someone doesn't like the content, they should simply not listen to it. It makes no sense to me when someone else tries to be everyone's mother saying, "You shouldn't listen to this. It says, *gasp* masturbation!"
Brad - Austin, Tx
Nancy, we kids have the right to listen to whatever we want. And if you hate this song so much, then why are you here?Dylan - Port Orange, Fl
Too many young minds are subjected to his words.
Parents BEWARE!
The lyric's that are so negative and brain washing to young minds.
He needs to take some kind of turn, not a negative one expalin to our young people how he was on drugs while making these songs.
Nancy - Ceres, Ca
I love this album ! one of their bests! =)Kayla - Richmond, Va
"True to the Punk style, most of Green Day's songs are very short. This is one of the longest at 3:59." I do not understand this comment. Most of Green Day's singles are 3+ minutes, and their shortest hit (Time of Your Life) is one of the their least punk-like songs. Besides, it's not true that punk artists as a rule do short songs. The Ramones did fairly short songs, but the Sex Pistols' main songs were around three minutes--not much shorter than standard pop length.N.i. - Baltimore, Md
this really relates to me 'cause i play guitar, write songs, and jack off all the time.Sam - Portsmouth, United States
Who cares if Billie Joe is a chronic masturbater he is still hot as hell! ;) :} ;] :>Shana - Gastonia, Nc
This Song rocks i like the bass line in here it is amazing!!!Zaquan - Albany, Ny
This video sends the wrong message to kids out there. Violence aginst couches must stop!! Join The Solution!!!!Petrified Monkey - South Park, Co
this is real punk rock at it's best, in your face with plenty of attitudeErik - Willow Hill, Pa
i love the album dookie it rocks my stripe socks off!!!!! i love longview one of my faveorites by green day.Sarah - Bakersfield, Ca
I loved this song because I could kinda relate to it. Green Day, you ROCK!Intoxicated_curls - Westchester, Il
This song is really cool its definetly one of my favorites if i was a critic i would give it two thumbs upSarah - Sandiego, Ca
okay first off Longview is not 10 min from tyler texas, it's 2 hours and it's about the same size as tyler...anyways I don't think the song is refering to Longview because it's not exactly what i'd call boring...anyways awsome songJessica - Athens, Tx
People used to think you could go blind from masturbation. There is the line "I'm so damn bored I'm going blind...." I think this song has to do with masturbation.Becca - Hamilton, Canada
I have abolutely no idea paul. Apparently, the video was shot in the place Billie Joe was living at the time. A really small flat or house, with loads of people living there. Maybe the monkey lived there too? lolTanya - London, England
This song is about being bored and trying to occupy time by compulsive masturbation habitsBlake - Cincinnati, Oh
This is one of my alltime favorite CD's and Songs well i do like everysong by greenday but this one excpecially!!!~Me~... I Love You Billie JoeHolly - Dallas, Tx
I love green Day and well This song I could relate to sometimes now in the past maybe once or twice and well probally alot in the future! Love you green Day!~JENNIFERJ-lee - Cherry Hill, Nj
Well,I hate Green Day with a passion. But I love this song!Becca - Hamilton, Canada
It's kinda funny how so many people sing along to this...Mister Penguin - San Francisco-ish, Ca
Actually, Joshua from Phoenix, Welcome to Paradise is the name of another song on Dookie. This is probably my favorite Green Day song. Songs about masturbation usually are better then other songs, in my opinion (Take a guess why, lol). Green DAy, u guys rock.Elliot - St. Louis, Mo
Longview is currently my favorite Green Day song!! It is so cool!!Hannah - Tacoma, Wa
Longview ROCKS! Green Day have made amazing songs & i can't decide which one is best, because they all rock, but longview does stand out quite alot! The sound of the drum's and bass guitar make this song memorable! Thank's Billie, Mike & Tre' for releasing such a memorable song about MASTURBATION!!!Jade - London, England
This song is perfect. Billie Joe Armstrong, the sexiest guy in the world, singing a song about masturbation. Ohhhhh yeah.Suzanne - Vernon, Canada
I noticed in the music video for Longview, Billie Joe's eyes are dark brown. But in pictures that have been taken of him lately, they're like blue and green, which a lot of people think is his natural eye color but it's not. Just thought I'd point that out.Mary - Philadelphia, Pa
I agree with Hammerlock, but not his over the top comments. chill out man, have you considered seeing a doctor about your blood pressure?

If we're going to talk about other songs off the subject, and on the new album. I love holiday, the political rant is great and really hits the spot for me and I was hoping they'd bring it out as a signal so none obsessive fans could enjoy the greatness.

King Jonny, aka captain king aka genious
Jonny - Rotherham, England
In an interview with Green Day, Billie joe said the obvious references to masturbation were only a metaphor for being bored and lazy. And Mike Dirnt apparently composed the bassline when he was really stoned and forgot it the next morning. lolClaire - Cambridge, England
I think "Americaan Idiot" is the best Green Day CD so far with "International Super Hits" and "1,039/ Smoothed Out Slappy Hours"James - Clemson, Sc
Without a doubt,this is the best song ever. Greatly written with great lyrics and music.Becca - Hamilton, Canada
Mike Dirnt wrote the bass-line for this song while on an acid trip.Jon - Luton, England
BEST SONG EVER. (next to London Calling). Boredom, dope and masturbating. How could this song POSSIBLY be bad?Betsy - Glenview, Il
I love this song, and its cool cause i can relate to it alot, and its so fun to listen to, and all green day songs are fun to listen to, i love Bille Joe's voice, its cool cause its different from all the other singers voices, which is so awesome!Lisa - Huntington Beach, Ca
Longview is probably one of my favorite songs... and i feel i can relate to it somwhat. i listen to the Green Day Cds that i have almost everyday cuz they are my favorite bnd the make alot of sence and the dont just blabberon about stupid stuff they also sing really good....peace out.Morgan - Mt. Pleasent, Mi
This song is about longview texas and yes it is a very boring town because my uncle lives about 5 minutes awayAngie - Prairieville, La
he wrote the song when he was bored, and the song's origonal name was Welcome to ParadiseJoshua - Phoenix, Az
quite possibly my favorite gren day song, and i do love them. great performance when in concert, and good teenage-driving-too-fast-memories.Madison - Atlanta, Ga
When you see Greenday live, don't forget to call BJ are "What you will!" in the third verse, and don't forget that he lets the crowd sing the line "When masturbati*n's lost its fun you're f*cking lonely"Arkady - London, England
The first time I heard this song i was about 9 year old, now ten years later i listened it again and realized it was about my life. It is describing my life bit by bit. I know that is pathetic but theres nothing I can do to change thatFrancisco - Barcelona, Spain
I've always thought that this song described the '90's better than anything written before or after. It completely portrays the cynical, burned-out, unmotivated generation that came after the 'let's-go-get-rich' '80's. The great video captures Billie Joe at his most paranoid and spastic.Steph - Ottawa, Canada
maybe thats what the song is about o.OPaul - Concord, Nh
Longview is a town in texas like 10 minutes from Tyler. The song remindes me of it alot because it is a very small town that is boaring so masturbation is a way of passing time.Gavin - Albuquerque, Nm
Yea i totally agree... this song was a hit in my mind. (and i was only in third grade when this song was released) But yea it so totally was I hit and I bought the cd because of hearing this song!Julia - Buffalo, Ny
This was indeed a hit...someone up there said its not but it was. This was released on Dookie,I beleve it's number 4 on the CD. It's about being bored, masturbation, and smoking dope.? - Nyc, Ny
The 2 preceeding albums "1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours" and "Kerplunk" were released by "Lookout! Records."Mark - Hudson, Ma