A track from Green Day's first major-label album, "When I Come Around" is a very personal song lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote about being away from his girlfriend, Adrienne Nesser, and the frustrations they both felt when he was on the road. Billie Joe met Adrienne in 1990 when Green Day performed in Minnesota, where she lived. He was just 18, and found it difficult to maintain a long distance relationship, especially with his touring schedule. In this song, he affirms his devotion for her, assuring her that when he does get to see her (when he "comes around") he will make it up to her.
Billie Joe and Adrienne got married in July 1994, a few months after Dookie was released and right in the midst of the band's rapid ascent to stardom (the band was touring at the time). The marriage endured, and couple had two children together.
MTV aired two different videos for this song. A concept video for the song was directed by Mark Kohr, and MTV also showed a live version from Green Day's infamous Woodstock '94 performance (lots of mud was in the air). They used this video to promote the MTV Woodstock '94 retrospective video tape.
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Jason White, who sometimes played as a second guitarist for Green Day, is in this video. He's the guy kissing the girl.
When performing this song at Woodstock '94, a fan threw a clump of mud onstage and Billie Joe stuck it in his mouth. This caused the fans to keep throwing mud and started the infamous mud fight. A security guard (in a rush to get fans off of the stage) accidentally slammed bassist Mike Dirnt into an amplifier, causing him injuries to his arm and three of his teeth.
This song was not released as a single, which was a strategic move by Green Day's label (Reprise) to goose sales of the album. Airplay pushed the song to #6 in America.
The Woodstock '94 version is included on the festival's live album, Woodstock 1994.