"Am I just paranoid or am I just stoned?" Well, that's the grand conundrum, isn't it? Green Day's video for "Basket Case" is a decidedly bonkers bit of video magic, featuring a trippy horror flick-style psych ward, spooky masks and enough retina-scorching colour choices to have you scrambling for an eyewash station. The promo was a big hit on MTV and scored the band a whopping nine (9!) MTV Video Music Award nominations. So, how many Moonmen did the pop punkers win? Nada. That's enough to drive any sane person just a little bit nuts.
Geek Stink Breath
Want us to sum up this video in just one word? Sure thing. "YUCK!" fits the bill quite nicely. Green Day were riding high following the colossal success of their major label debut Dookie; they could have had a big fancy megabudget video to accompany their new album's leadoff single. But the band did not go that route. "Geek Stink Breath" is a total grossout clip featuring a friend of the band getting some nasty-looking dental work done. The less-than-glamorous visuals accompany a song that addresses the issue of meth mouth. Charming!
DANGER! WHY ARE YOU IGNORING THE DANGER? Pulling some tricks from Mr. Magoo, the clip for "Walking Contradiction" features the band narrowly avoiding calamity at every turn. The oblivious rockers enjoy a nice walk to their car as chaos reigns around them. Newsstands collapse, cars get wrecked and a building turns to rubble in the band's rearview mirror. This Roman Coppola-directed clip earned the band a Grammy nom for Best Short Form Music Video, although Green Day were beat out for the prize by some band called The Beatles.
Hitchin' A Ride
The sparks fly in the promo for "Hitchin' a Ride." (We mean that literally. Sparks burst from the bar when a giant insect terrorizes everyone in the clip.) This video features Green Day looking incredibly dapper in their warped jazz club style surroundings. Come for the terrifying Betty Boop headed dancer, stay for the shots of Billie Joe Armstrong laying waste to a nightclub.
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
Careful. If you put this song on, there's a chance a late '90s prom could break out at any moment. The video for Green Day's signature nostalgia-beckoning ballad is a surprisingly sincere affair. Viewers were treated to shots of regular folks (plus band members Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt) just kinda staring off into space. All and all, it's a fairly straightforward video for a fairly straightforward song.
Considering the album this comes from has a song (a single no less!) called "Macy's Day Parade," you'd figure Green Day would save the float and big balloons for that tune. Nope. The clip for "Minority" features the California punks rolling down a city street on a float. Enormous inflatable versions of the band are also part of the pageantry, accompanying the trio as they navigate their way through San Diego. (There's also some sneaky bird flipping in the mix.) Sadly, the float doesn't survive the video. The band tear it to pieces before the song reaches its conclusion. By the way, Green Day actually did make their way into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The cast of the Green Day musical American Idiot performed at the event in 2010.
In the video for "Walking Contradiction", Green Day are the ones narrowly avoiding danger. In the promo for "Warning," the band let someone else do the 'obliviously avoiding peril' thing. This Francis Lawrence-directed clip features a schlub engaging in a lot of dangerous behaviour. Our hero runs with scissors, drinks rotten milk and wanders through a police shootout, but ultimately survives relatively unscathed and totally unbothered.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Green Day have dialed down their wiseass tendencies over the past decade; that shift extends to their music videos, too. The Samuel Bayer-directed clip for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" scored six VMAs (including Video of the Year) and loads of acclaim for its dramatic approach. This wander-heavy clip has a companion in the much less self-serious video for "Holiday."
Wake Me Up When September Ends
Evan Rachel Wood and Jamie Bell co-star in this music video critique of the Iraq War. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" tells the story of a couple that's been pulled apart by the conflict and the fallout that arrives after tragedy strikes. The promo earned the band a MuchMusic Video Award in 2006 for Best International Video.
Geez, what a bunch of lousy shots. The video for "21 Guns" features a couple holed up in a house as a hail of gunfire rains down upon them. None of the bullets strike the characters (shades of "Freak on a Leash") and they survive the ordeal unharmed. The clip wound up grabbing three Video Music Awards in 2009, including the prize for Best Rock Video.