Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong Thought Fans Would ‘F**king Hate’ ‘Good Riddance’
For Green Day, "Good Riddance" was actually a "turning point" at their "fork stuck in the road," with Billie Joe Armstrong admitting in a recent interview that he was ready for the hate to pour in on the acoustic ballad from the Nimrod album at the time of its release.
Though the words "Good Riddance" never appear in the song and most would recognize it better from the subtitle "Time of Your Life," it feels like the title might have come as an expression of Armstrong's fears about the reaction to the track. In actuality, the title came from moving on from an ex
Speaking with Kerrang!, Armstrong admits it was a long way to making an album, as he started writing the track dating back to the Dookie sessions. Eventually deciding to add it to Nimrod, the singer says, “Doing something like 'Good Riddance' was terrifying for me, to put myself out there and be that vulnerable. I thought people were probably gonna fucking hate it, you know?"
But, he adds, "I think the way that it resonated with people, I was able to kind of go, ‘Okay, now I’ve really accomplished something that was a shift.’ And, as an artist, I felt more empowered that I could keep doing my thing without having to feel like I had to please everybody.”
Armstrong says it taught him a valuable lesson in terms of approaching music, explaining with a laugh, “It’s important to never give people what they want; you give people what they don’t know they want. It can definitely turn people off, but, I mean, with me, Mike and Tré, it’s always just been this collective effort. It’s like being a three-headed monster.”
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" was placed 17th out of 18 tracks in the track listing of Green Day's epic Nimrod album. It was not officially released as a single in the U.S., but did become one of their most popular digital downloads. The track would climb to No. 7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart and No. 2 on the Mainstream Alternative chart, while crossing over to hit No. 13 in the Billboard Mainstream Top 40.
The Mark Kohr-directed video won the band an MTV Best Alternative Video award, while the song also became a prom and graduation favorite. It has gone on to become one of Green Day's most popular songs and opened the door for them to push the boundaries beyond the pop-punk focus of their early work.
Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
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