Like Nevermind, Dookie has gone platinum 10 times over. The only "rock" records that have matched or topped that in the 15 years since are Hootie & the Blowfish's Cracked Rear View, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, Santana's Supernatural, Matchbox 20's Yourself or Someone Like You, Creed's Human Clay, Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause, and No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom.

To me, that makes Dookie the last massively impactful rock record of the music-selling era. Now, if you want to argue that Hootie, Rob Thomas, or Alanis are worthy of discussing alongside The Beatles, Metallica, and Pink Floyd, I won't bother to argue with you. To me, it seems pretty clear: Dookie was the last true splash rock 'n' roll has made in a way that's artistically, culturally, and commercially significant. It was the final cairn along a trail of mythologized rock albums that began with Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds.

I'm just thankful I was there to experience it. Like a lot of people, I got my first real exposure to Green Day watching their incendiary Woodstock '94 set on pay-per-view, seeing a purple-haired Billie Joe Armstrong throwing, catching and, finally, eating the mud a raucous crowd tore from the upstate New York earth. I wasn't there, but I got a taste of it that September when Green Day played at Blossom Music Center (Cleveland's version of Cricket Pavilion) three days before my 14th birthday.

Green Day, as they looked in 1994.
Green Day, as they looked in 1994.

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US Airways Center

201 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Category: Music Venues

Region: Central Phoenix

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Green Day are scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 22.
US Airways Center

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Tickets were $5 — a steal even in those days — and the show was sold out. I had purchased early and ended up in the 13th row. It wasn't Woodstock, but it was the little taste of anarchy I appreciate in a great rock concert: Pot was smoked openly; a trip to the bathroom meant hearing the sound of sex in the nearby woods; the lawn of the gorgeous wood-shelled amphitheater was torn to shreds after a light rain made it soft enough to pull up and throw. The barriers keeping the lawn people back were overrun, stretching the pit back into the seats. The band, of course, was amazing.

I've gone to nearly 1,000 concerts since and, with a handful of exceptions, few have come close. I'm chasing the dragon.

But, like I said, we all are. We can argue about the exact dates, but human intelligence and pop culture have been on an obvious downward trend since sometime in the mid- to late 1990s. Happily, however, Green Day has continued on, releasing several classic records in the years since. They could do a three-hour set at U.S. Airways Center without playing a bad song. No, they've never topped Dookie, but no one else has, either.

And, if I'm right, no one ever will.

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3 comments
Matt
Matt

This is just absolutely one of the most inane things I've ever read. This drivel makes it clear that you're at least six or seven times less qualified to write about music than Sarah Ventre, with or without the Beach Boys.

the REAL s. gnash
the REAL s. gnash

this is the most stupid fucking bullshit i have ever read in my entire life. and at 72, i've seen a lot of bullshit, from the fall of saigon to the carter administration, the discovery disaster to viagra, but this tops it all.

martin cizmar, you are fucking out of your mind.

Mike R. Meyer
Mike R. Meyer

I don't hold Green Day in as high regard as you do, but I certainly agree with the basic premise that pop culture peaked from about '91 to '94.

Even more great albums from 1994:GraceBettyChocolate and CheeseWelcome to Sky ValleyIll CommunicationMagnifiedSelflessStoner WitchTicalDummy Under The PinkDo You Want More?!!!??!

It was a helluva year...

 
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