Green Day: Billie Joe Had Been 'Drinking A Lot' Before Breakdown

Tre Cool's ex-wife alleges that the singer had battled with alcohol problems.

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NME is reporting that Billie Joe Armstrong had been "drinking a lot" on the night of his breakdown at the iHeartMusic festival in Las Vegas. Claudia Saurez, the ex-wife of drummer Tre Cool, has told Celebuzz that Armstrong had been sober for a year, but had started drinking again on the evening of the show:

"When he was in Vegas he was drinking a lot. The night of the show he had been drinking. In Las Vegas there's a lot of temptation to drink and it's tough to be around when you're fighting against it. They have a new album coming out and it's a demanding lifestyle. It's very difficult".

Armstrong's foul-mouthed tirade had been reportedly sparked by the cutting short of the band's set after Usher's performance had overran. However, in the statement announcing that Billie Joe had checked into rehab, band members Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt noted that this was not the case. Ex Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum has had some heated words to say about Armstrong's breakdown on Twitter, as Classic Rock notes.

Sorum claimed that the outburst was "the most punk rock thing he has ever done" and added: "Then he had to go an ruin it by apologizing. Corporate rock is alive and well. Never really bought that band anyway". Sorum's former band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Armstrong in April of this year.

Billie Joe's meltdown has somewhat overshadowed the release of "Uno!", Green Day's ninth studio album, which came out on September 24th. The record is the first of a trilogy of albums that will be released between now and January 2013.

127 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Jesus_Dean
    It's funny how whenever someone has the courage to say what they really think, everyone else who doesn't have the balls to do so claims "he must have been drunk at the time".
    Eirien
    Why do they feel the need to make excuses for him speaking his mind? And why do people keep calling it a breakdown?
    CateringCowards
    I think that, sadly, the "rock and roll" life isn't as accepted as it used to be. Not that drinking yourself to death is cool, but the guy has a right to his opinion. And why should usher get to go over time and not green day? They've been around like 10 years longer, and were one of, if not the ONLY rock act there.
    on3andth3sam3
    It's probably also because there's an incredible stigma over addiction now. Have a drink before 5pm and you're suddenly a drunk. Smoke weed every once in awhile and suddenly you're a drug addict. It's not like he got drunk and drove home intoxicated to beat his wife, or he's calling off tours and recording sessions to go party. The guy was just angry that his set was cut short, which he rightfully should have been. He just happened to be a plastered at the time.
    IrishConnor1994
    Honestly, I think he had every reason to be pissed off. Their 45 minute set was cut by 20 minutes, which is almost half the time they had. Also Billie Joe wanted to play some new somgs, but couldn't because of the cut. And worst of all, the cut happened so USHER of all people could play more. Who wouldn't be angry that their performance was cut in half so an inferior "artist" could have some extra time to dance and lip synch to his music
    jacobtheimpaler
    This story is full of so much bullshit. There are videos on Green Day's YouTube account that clearly show Billie Joe doing shots while playing the piano, and those videos are only a few months old.
    JackalUK
    Usher released his first independent album in 87. 1 year after Green Day. On a commercial level they only got famous in 94 and Usher in 97. Green Day have hardly been around longer. Anyway it's a commercial event, and they will want the more commercially viable act on stage, which just happens to be Usher.
    SergioA20
    Why does Matt Sorum have to put a message like that on his stupid Twitter? Why didn't he have the courage to tell him personally at the HoF that "He has never done anything punk in his life"?
    zalant
    Since this happened after 2000, is it officially a 21st Century Breakdown? (Sorry, I just couldn't believe no one else had said it. Maybe they did in the other threads, but I'm too lazy to go look right now.) I still say that it appears he was just really angry, and that he seemed pretty damned focused in his rant. The whole rehab thing seems kind of made up after the fact, as some sort of appeasement tactic.
    ketangupta96
    who cares! he did the right thing, and that's what matters!
    hotdogs585
    this so called freakout is very anti-punk. him saying that he's been around since 88 so he should get more privileges than everyone else is just him being an old dick. usher has been making music since 87. he agreed to play at the IHeartRadio festival with between usher and rihanna...not very punk. not to mention the fest is basically a glorified smartphone app commercial the app is owned by clear channel. if you dont know what clear channel is listen to the leftover crack song "clear channel (**** off)"
    sokpupet
    Somebody read a Cracked article.
    hotdogs585
    cracked? is that like a leftover crack magazine or something? i love the band but i dont know of every little project they do
    !zAck
    Pretty sure hes been drinking since some time before this.
    Jesus_Dean
    ...and never had a so-called "meltdown".
    !zAck
    Exactly haha. Green Day have posted quite a lot of videos in the studio showing Billie drinking. Unless for whatever reason they thought it was cool to stage them, I'm pretty sure he hasn't been sober for a year.
    metallica-#1
    that's why I'm not too keen to trust Tre Cool's {b}ex{/b}-wife we might as well trust Mike Dirnt's side-burn barber
    Obama FTW
    I give props to Billie Joe for his meltdown.
    schirripar
    Love the meltdown. Hate the apology
    Epi g-310
    Billy Joe didn't actually apologize, did he? I thought it was Mike and Tre that released the apology letter. I don't know if that makes a difference, but y'know, it could have been damage control, trying to keep Armstrong out of trouble for calling them out on their crap... that's what I've chosen to believe anyhow.
    jacobtheimpaler
    It has never been confirmed that the statement was made by Mike or Tre. It was posted on their website and Facebook first, pages run by publicists and PR people. UG has been saying that they released this statement personally when they in fact did not.
    Vicious_Turtle
    i dont like green day, i love guns n roses, but i really hate matt sorum. hes a mediocre drummer who seems to think he can just throw his opinion in anywhere. and honestly. what drummer do people remember more from gns? adler or him? adler is a beasttttt
    whywefight
    Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, and Ecstasy not involved. Oh, and c-c-c-c-c-cocaine.
    Year Zero
    He wasn't even in the wrong, how is it a melt down? People are such tools in society today.
    Tster
    I recently started listening to Green Day again after his 'meltdown' on stage.
    brnbasler
    Me too. I hadn't been interested in a Green Day record since hearing Warning, and not liking it. This peaked my interest enough to give Uno a chance. It is not bad.