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Why Do You Want Him?

Song of the Week

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#1
pasalaska

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With all the hype for the new albums recently, I thought it’d be fun to go back to Green Day’s humble beginnings and have Song of the Week be Billie’s (reported) first ever song Why Do You Want Him?. While it was originally released in 1990 on the Slappy EP, and later on 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, the song was actually written when Billie was just 14 years old.

It’s widely stated amongst us Green Day fans and on various Green Day biographies on the internet that WDYWH? is about Billie’s mother’s relationship with his stepfather, but this is untrue. On the 92Y interview with Michael Mayer (director of American Idiot the Musical), recorded in September of 2010 in New York, Billie stated that the song is in fact about a girl; it’s about “wanting to be with someone and they want to be with somebody else”. The lyrics describe a girl who’s clearly in a broken, possibly even abusive relationship, and while it’s clear to Billie as an outsider that she’s better off without her boyfriend, she’s still with him and wants him. Musically, WDYWH? is classic early Green Day, with simply rhymes, simple guitar with a short solo and Billie’s high vocals harmonised by Mike’s deeper, backup vocals.

Here’s Billie’s hand-written lyrics to Why Do You Want Him?, taken from the enhanced version of 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours CD.
Posted Image

This week’s video is from way back in June 1989, filmed at the Davis Community Centre in Davis, CA. The video quality is awful, and the audio’s not great, but it’s a reminder of just how long ago Green Day started, and just how far they’ve come musically.


Lyrics:

I saw you standing alone
With a sad look on your face
You call him on the phone
Looks like he left you
Without a trace
Tears falling out of your eyes
He's living in a disguise
You've been feeling bad for so long
You wonder if it's right or wrong

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Now many days have gone by
And you still just sit there and cry
You're feeling bad for yourself
His memory will always dwell
You're so obsessed with his love
That's why push came to shove
You've been feeling bad for so long
You wonder if it's right or wrong

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

You find a way out...
To throw it all the way
But you can bet...
You got someting to say

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

*********************************************************************************************************

You can nominate songs for discussion as Song of the Week in the SotW Nominations and Archive thread, which contains links to each previous Song of the Week in its first post.
  • ~ Walking Contradiction, Disapperingirl, WestboundSign! and 2 others like this

#2
Brigister

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Oh, Billie's first song :wub: It's a bit rough and simple, but to be a first song it's really great :) love it anyway

#3
ThaDisapperingBoy

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This song is AWESOME!!! nuff said!

#4
LMC

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I have a question: What does "that's why push came to shove" mean?

#5
Anja

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I have a question: What does "that's why push came to shove" mean?

According to wiktionary:
When the pressure is on; when the situation is critical or urgent; when the time has come for action, even if it is difficult.

Not sure if that helps.

#6
Ritz

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Gotta listen to it more now. I like the lyrics.

#7
frunsi

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really awesome song. best song on slappy.

#8
TheGreenDayKidd

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Great decision that this song is Song of the Week! :thumbsup: Love it. :wub:

#9
WestboundSign!

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This is one of these Green Day songs I simply love. Easy structured, uncomplicated but meaningful lyrics, straight to the point. :happy:

#10
LMC

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According to wiktionary:
When the pressure is on; when the situation is critical or urgent; when the time has come for action, even if it is difficult.

Not sure if that helps.


Interesting. I interpret it as the song ends on a positive note for the girl, as she actually starts to do something about the way she feels.
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#11
Mandy_PunkRock

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"Why do You Want Him?" is one of my favourite songs from 1039/Smoothed our Slappy Hours. The guitar solo is my second favourite after Dry Ice, I love when Billie use bendings and make that bluesy solos. Also this song is special because it was Billie's first song and it shows that he was a good songwriter at his early age.

I've always thought that this song was about Billie's stepfather because I 've always read that in a lot of biographies, now I know that it wasn't.

So glad that this song has been chosen song of the week! :)

#12
Nemo.

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i don't like this song very much but it's still better than the new stuff (okay this was aff-topic but i had to say that)

#13
naeemiih

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really love this song. one of the best on that album!

#14
whatshername0303

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Yay! I love this song! :happy: It's one of my favorites on 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and it's easy to learn the lyrics of this song. The guitar solo is so good!

#15
ChelseaDagger

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Good choice for song of the week!!!!! I always liked this song :)
First song ever...not bad, not bad at all!!

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#16
Laly

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It's special for being Billie's first song, but also because he turned that worry for his mother into a good song.
I like it, mostly the chorus.

#17
gumwithatwist

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This song is my favorite on 1039/SOSH. It's really catchy and easy to relate to, as are many of their earlier songs. Not to mention it's an amazing first song!
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#18
TheGrouch33

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this is their first gig as Green Day i think!!

With all the hype for the new albums recently, I thought it’d be fun to go back to Green Day’s humble beginnings and have Song of the Week be Billie’s (reported) first ever song Why Do You Want Him?. While it was originally released in 1990 on the Slappy EP, and later on 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, the song was actually written when Billie was just 14 years old.

It’s widely stated amongst us Green Day fans and on various Green Day biographies on the internet that WDYWH? is about Billie’s mother’s relationship with his stepfather, but this is untrue. On the 92Y interview with Michael Mayer (director of American Idiot the Musical), recorded in September of 2010 in New York, Billie stated that the song is in fact about a girl; it’s about “wanting to be with someone and they want to be with somebody else”. The lyrics describe a girl who’s clearly in a broken, possibly even abusive relationship, and while it’s clear to Billie as an outsider that she’s better off without her boyfriend, she’s still with him and wants him. Musically, WDYWH? is classic early Green Day, with simply rhymes, simple guitar with a short solo and Billie’s high vocals harmonised by Mike’s deeper, backup vocals.

Here’s Billie’s hand-written lyrics to Why Do You Want Him?, taken from the enhanced version of 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours CD.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8etnq...

This week’s video is from way back in June 1989, filmed at the Davis Community Centre in Davis, CA. The video quality is awful, and the audio’s not great, but it’s a reminder of just how long ago Green Day started, and just how far they’ve come musically.


Lyrics:

I saw you standing alone
With a sad look on your face
You call him on the phone
Looks like he left you
Without a trace
Tears falling out of your eyes
He's living in a disguise
You've been feeling bad for so long
You wonder if it's right or wrong

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Now many days have gone by
And you still just sit there and cry
You're feeling bad for yourself
His memory will always dwell
You're so obsessed with his love
That's why push came to shove
You've been feeling bad for so long
You wonder if it's right or wrong

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

You find a way out...
To throw it all the way
But you can bet...
You got someting to say

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

Why Do You Want Him?
Why Do You Want Him?

*********************************************************************************************************

You can nominate songs for discussion as Song of the Week in the SotW Nominations and Archive thread, which contains links to each previous Song of the Week in its first post.

this is their first gig as Green Day i think

#19
CristhyneS

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It’s widely stated amongst us Green Day fans and on various Green Day biographies on the internet that WDYWH? is about Billie’s mother’s relationship with his stepfather, but this is untrue. On the 92Y interview with Michael Mayer (director of American Idiot the Musical), recorded in September of 2010 in New York, Billie stated that the song is in fact about a girl; it’s about “wanting to be with someone and they want to be with somebody else”.



Hey, you learn something new everyday! I didn't know of this interview, so up until this day I thought the song was indeed about his mother and her new boyfriend.

I'll have to listen the whole interview now too :P

#20
kaylubd

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Right now I can't remember what the song sounds like in my head, but I don't it's one of my favorites :P

#21
Todd

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this is their first gig as Green Day i think!!

this is their first gig as Green Day i think


Their first gig as Green Day was gilman street, the same day as operation ivy's last (official) gig

#22
TheGrouch33

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Their first gig as Green Day was gilman street, the same day as operation ivy's last (official) gig

nooope it was as sweet children believe me, theyve said in many interviews that their first gig AS Green day was Daviiis im 90 per cent sure

#23
Rusty Hart

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nice first song from Billie..
just simple and awesome :D

#24
TheGrouch33

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Their first gig as Green Day was gilman street, the same day as operation ivy's last (official) gig

loooook :)

There is some confusion as to what Green Day's first gig was. After the lyrics in the 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours booklet, it says they first played at Rod's Hickory Pitt where Billie Joe's mom worked as a waitress, but during a recent interview Billie Joe said their first gig was in Davis, California with other bands like Nasal Sex and Sewer Trout. Anyway, neither of those were as important as their fourth or fifth show.

#25
Justin

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I actually really like this song and think its a shame they dont play it live these days

#26
Todd

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loooook http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

There is some confusion as to what Green Day's first gig was. After the lyrics in the 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours booklet, it says they first played at Rod's Hickory Pitt where Billie Joe's mom worked as a waitress, but during a recent interview Billie Joe said their first gig was in Davis, California with other bands like Nasal Sex and Sewer Trout. Anyway, neither of those were as important as their fourth or fifth show.


Rod's Hickory pit was Billie, Mike and Sean's first gig, under one of their early band names. Then they became sweet children. Then they played davis, then they became green day.

#27
Iop

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Rod's Hickory pit was Billie, Mike and Sean's first gig, under one of their early band names. Then they became sweet children. Then they played davis, then they became green day.


Yeah, i think you're right. Their first show as Green Day actually was the last one of Operation Ivy.. I don't remember if i read that in the "Nobody Likes You"-book. Too bad i can't find it right now (shame on me...). Also it's such a nice picture: The greatest band in the Gilman scene (Operation Ivy) hands the torch to the next greatest band of the Gilman scene (Green Day).


Back to WDYWH?:
I've always liked the song, and i always thought that is was written about a girl rather than about his mother. (I also think that "In The End" isn't about his mother, either...but well...)

#28
Todd

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The greatest band in the Gilman scene (Operation Ivy) hands the torch to the next greatest band of the Gilman scene (Green Day).


Omg i think im gonna cry.

#29
Iop

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Omg i think im gonna cry.


Sarcasm? I'm not good at recognising it.

And i actually DO believe that that show has some symbolic significance.

#30
Todd

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Sarcasm? I'm not good at recognising it.

And i actually DO believe that that show has some symbolic significance.

No sarcasm. that was beautifully stated. Best bands ever. and the ramones. Which brings up that question....Why did the Ramones play with Rancid on their last show ever....and Green Day wasnt there? Can you imagine "Ramones featuring Rancid and Green Day" That'd just be awesome. whatever other bands that were there that night can go screw themselves.
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