Kerplunk was recorded from May-September 1992. It was Green Day's second full-length release, and marked the beginning of the "Tré Cool era" (the band had previously juggled other drummers, such as John Kiffmeyer, "Dave E.C.," and Sean Hughes).
An interesting, random digression: the liner notes in Kerplunk are almost as entertaining as the music. Among those thanked/mentioned in the liner notes:
- someone named "Brainstew"
- Jason Andrew Relva (J.A.R.)
- "Eggplant," a teenage friend of Billie Joe's
- "All the potent males"...
- band "The Village People"
- then-members of Operation Ivy, including Jesse Michaels and Tim Armstrong
- the last line reads "In memory of Gravy...," Mike's diseased cat
- "Laurie L." (Larry Livermore), founder of Lookout! Records
- Mr. and Mrs. Fiataroni, who helped Billie Joe record "Look For Love" at age 5
- "Yo Momma"...
- Billie Joe's love interest at one time, Amanda, who we now know inspired "She," "Whatsername,"
"Stuart and the Ave.," and "Amanda"
- "Adrienne Nesser," who would later become Billie Joe's wife
For more, check out this high-quality scan of the liner notes in Kerplunk!
On their 21st Century Breakdown tour in 2009-2010, Green Day started playing a lot more old songs (they especially favored playing songs from Kerplunk). In the live album Awesome As Fuck, Billie Joe tells the crowd that "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?" is his favorite song from Kerplunk. Here's a quote from Billie Joe about how it feels to play Kerplunk songs live, 20 years after they were written:
"On our last tour, we were playing a lot of old songs, like 'Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?' and 'One for the Razorbacks.' It was really fun. And sometimes when you're in the middle of playing the song you start to realize, 'Oh, god, I remember who this song was about. I remember what I was feeling at that time. How is it relevant to me now?' You almost get lost in all that, and you're performing it in front of 10,000 people or whatever. It's a trip going back like that. I think we were reluctant to do that before the last tour, but then we just started bringing those songs in. We've always wanted to write songs that we could play 20 years later, like the Rolling Stones are able to play '19th Nervous Breakdown' and stuff like that."
"2,000 Light Years Away" (first 2:20 of video) live from Irving Plaza, NYC, 9/15/12
"Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?" live from LA, 11/23/09
"Christie Road" (Acoustic) live from Washington D.C., 7/29/09
"One For The Razorbacks" live from Mansfield, MA, 8/16/10