Nice Guys Finish Last

Album: Nimrod (1997)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song explains how the hard-working, helpful types will lose out to the arrogant jerks of the world. The conceit is that Green Day were very much the outcasts in the world of pop music, yet dominated it when their 1994 album Dookie took off, selling over 10 million copies just in America. It took them a while to dig out from under their newfound fame, and their next album, Insomniac in 1995, was very dark. After some rest, they wrote some lighthearted songs like "Nice Guys Finish Last" for their Nimrod album, released in 1997. This is the opening track on the set.
  • The music video is an homage to NFL Films, which produces game recaps using tight, slow-motion footage and very dramatic voiceovers. At the beginning, we're introduced to "Green Day Stadium," with a narrator that sounds a lot like John Facenda, the voice of NFL Films:

    The mere mention conjures up images of sweat-covered mosh pits, vomit-soaked stands, and very worried parents. But to three rag-tag musicians from the Bay Area, it was simply known as home.

    We then see fans tailgating in the parking lot and the band getting a pep talk from a coach. The voiceover concludes:

    In punk rock, nice guys finish last.

    When the band starts playing, it's like a football game, with fans scrambling for a fumbled water bottle and eluding tackles after buying T-shirts at the merch tent.

    The video was directed by Evan Bernard, who also did The New Radicals' "You Get What You Give," and shot at the College Of The Canyons in Santa Clara, California. The band did a five-song set for the fans who showed up as extras, and had a place-kicking contest with the band and crew that was one by drummer Tre Cool, who kicked a 25-yard field goal.
  • This song plays at the beginning of the movie Varsity Blues when the kids are driving to the football game. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 6

  • Hayes from Newark, OhI believe this song is about how being a "Yes Man" can get you screwed over so much in life. pouring your trust into others, and it gets broken! but instead of resenting them, you give them countless second chances, plus as a "Yes MAn" you can't really say no, and so you get peer pressured into everything, getting you into a lot of trouble. I am a "Yes Man" and this is what sent my life spiraling into suicidal depression! my best friend was after my girl friend, and so, i wanted them both happy, even if it was at my own expense. So i left her, hooked her up with him. i missed her so much i attempted to take my own life.

    all in all this is a good song, that i completely agree with.
  • Frank from Toronto, Onya i know how you feel phil, karma just aint on my side
  • Phil from Guernsey, United Kingdomi'm a nice guy, guess where i finish? i'll give u a clue it ain't 1st!
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnCool song, didn't get much radio play.
  • Kyle from Cardiff, WalesHow true is this song!
    Screw you you dam arrogant joblkess drug addicted pieces of crap!
  • Ryan from Mobile, Al"Nice Guys Finish Last" is also a sexual inuendo.
see more comments

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