Pulling Teeth

Songfacts®:

  • This song is a tongue-in-cheek look at an abusive relationship. Billie Joe wrote it around an inside joke the band had with bassist Mike Dirnt after he was sent to the emergency room for injuries resulting from a pillow fight with his girlfriend at the time. Around the time of Kerplunk! they were at a friends house having a pillow fight when Mike ran around a corner and hit his head on a low ceiling beam. He fell backwards and broke both of his elbows. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    MsZacEfron - Chicago, IL
  • The title itself is a further play on that inside joke. Metallica had a song on their Kill 'Em All album titled "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth." Mike's girlfriend who the song is loosely based on was named Anastasia, so they kept the "Pulling Teeth" from the Metallica track for the title. Mike eventually married her in 1996 and had 1 child with her; they have since divorced. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    George - Islip Terrace, NY

Comments: 7

  • Caroline from Long Island, Nythis song is more than loosely based on her, they were in a pillow fight, mike and anastasia, and billie joe was watching, and during said pillow fight, she broke both of mike's arms, and billie joe laughed all the way to the hospital
  • Alex from Gourock, United Statesnah it's definately about mike. it's really funny in a weird sarky way one of my favourites off dookie
  • Tanya from London, FranceBecause I heard that the song's about tres accident and other people have heard its about mike breaking both his arms in a pillow fight
  • Alex from Loveland, Cothat was sort of random, paul.
  • Tanya from London, EnglandI read it was about tre's tragic unicycle accident in which he apparently lost one of his testicles.
  • Paul from Castalia, NcI dont understand how you can break both of your arms in a pillow fight.
  • Tanya from London, EnglandI couldve sworn i read this song was about tre cool. well whoever its about this song rocks
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Randy HouserSongwriter Interviews

The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.