Green Day Frontman Checks Into Rehab After Onstage Meltdown

Billie Joe cites "substance abuse" issues after Las Vegas rant.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
67

Billie Joe Armstrong's recent outburst at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas after the band's set was apparently cut short may have come as a surprise to some of the band's fans. What may come as even more of a shock is the statement that Green Day's Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool have released this morning regarding their frontman, as Classic Rock reports:

"Billie Joe is seeking treatment for substance abuse. We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short and to apologise to those we offended at the iHeartRadio Festival. We regretfully must postpone some of our upcoming promotional appearances."

Armstrong's profane outburst at the iHeartRadio festival had reportedly come about because the band's set was cut short by 20 minutes to make way for a performance by Usher. During a rendition of the 1994 hit single "Basket Case", Armstrong stopped playing before announcing the following:

"Let me f--king tell you something. I've been around since f--king nineteen-eighty-f--king-eight. You're going to give me one f--king minute? You've got to be f--king kidding me. What the f--k? I'm not f--king Justin Bieber, you motherf--kers."

He then proceeded to smash his guitar and throw away his microphone before leaving the stage, with the rest of the band then following him.

As Classic Rock notes, the singer was previously arrested for drink-driving in 2003, and while admitting having used drugs in the past, had claimed that he had moved on from such behavior.

The news_backup casts a shadow over the release of the band's new studio album "¡Uno!", which came out today. The disc is part of a trilogy of albums set to be released between now and January of next year. There has been no word yet on how Billie Joe's rehab will affect the band's scheduled tour.

YouTube preview picture

354 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jesus_Dean
    Mad props to Mike Dirnt for backing him up. LOL Mike Dirnt: "Oh, what!? We're smashing our guitars now...? OKAY!!"
    withoutanyname
    Really, he's like: "Oh well... let's smash it!"
    PowerStruggle
    Yeah I know, it's like Mike Dirnt is all like "Time to smash our guitars!"
    Worldonfire91
    And then Mike was like "Imma break my guitar too!" ...
    Trowzaa
    Guys, did you see when Mike smashed his guitar as well? He was all like "oh, we're smashing our guitars? okay"
    BjarnedeGraaf
    He was like: "Im better at that then Billy is... I don't need like 20 hits for it to break, watch me... FUCK YOU 1 MINUTE" after that he walked off like the boss he is
    Hydra150
    Yeah, and after he noticed Billie destroying his guitar he decided to join in also!
    guitar7masta
    who was that guy smashing his guitar with billy? he's like "what, thats what we're doing?" and he smashed it
    Johnny_Ibanez
    Hardly a meltdown. He had a legitimate point.
    Pagan_Poetry
    Exactly. To be cut short for anybody is crappy, especially when you have had such a long career (especially for pop rock/punk standards where bands usually come and go within a few years) and when you were promised a specific amount of time. To be cut for USHER, one of the biggest corporate Whores in the business who does NOTHING but play by what the current trend is to get money, is absolutely disgusting. I don't even like Green Day but I agree with them. If anything, this is a sadly wonderful representation of the music industry now (and, I guess, for the longest time). I could go on for hours as to why Usher is one of the most vile people in the music industry and why artistic integrity means absolutely shit all to him, but I wpn't because I don't want to be banned. Point is I wish Billie wasn't on anything because everything he said was worth saying, and now it's seen as a cry for help and not a stand for reason like it should have been.
    BlitzkriegAir
    Except they werent cut short "We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short and to apologise to those we offended at the iHeartRadio Festival."
    stoltobot
    We would like everyone to know that we are NOT a punk band anymore and we will shortly resume our corporate cock-sucking duties, starting by publicly stating the event organisers had done no wrong. Secondly, we will be putting our singer in rehab as punishment for returning to his rock and roll ways. Seriously, this is the coolest thing Green Day has done since 1994.
    jacobtheimpaler
    iHeartRadio's website slotted Green Day for a 45 minute set. They definitely did NOT play for 45 minutes.
    6con6man6
    They didn't play for 45 mins BECAUSE Billie stormed off. As Blitzkrieg has pointed out, Mike stated that their set was not cut short, just Billie throwing a tantrum. That said, I love Greenday and hope BJ makes a speedy recovery, gets himself back on the rails so the band can move on and get playing again
    guitar7masta
    @6con6man6 - You didn't actually watch the video, did you? It's clear to see, he stormed off BECAUSE he had no time left, they cut him short.
    IrishConnor1994
    They were supposed to get 45 minutes, but they got cut off 25 minutes in, so Usher could play, that's why Billie got so pissed
    Nkolstad
    Here's the thing. Festivals like this have extremely strict time restraints. I understand it from the staffs point of view that you have to make things work especially for the headliner. HOWEVER! For Usher????? Really???? That's the biggest problem I have with the pop scene. It's all about making a buck and kissing the ass of the one who rakes it in. It was a tricky situation but IT WAS NOT A MELTDOWN! He had a point. Getting cut short sucks. I've been there myself. Especially if they were going to bust out a new track. Originally I thought Green Day messed up but now that I read about it more I agree with what happened. Smashing the equipment may not have been ethical or professional but It made a point didn't it? I just hate that it was attributed to drugs and all. Even if they were involved it wasn't the main reason he did what he did. Mike Dirnt will always and forever be a true punk rocker. When equipment starts getting smashed you follow suit, no questions asked. Well played Dirnt! That is all
    Epi g-310
    Yeah, thing was, at least if I heard correctly, Usher took an extra 25 minutes, and there was another musician that day that took extra time. The cut into Green Day's set to make extra time. That's what I saw on Reddit yesterday, anyhow.
    stoltobot
    "Smashing the equipment may not have been ethical or professional"? Um, are you on the right website?
    Shøtø
    I agree. +1 For Billie. Greenday is definitely deserving of their allotted stage time, if not more. The music industry has bit the dust and this is a prime example of the corruption that has taken hold of the industry. Keep doing your thing Billie.
    iommi600
    Hardly? The guy says more ****s per minute than Al Pacino.
    stonedhippos
    not as much as corey taylor, though.
    boydgrossii
    I saw a video where Corey Taylor admitted that he respected Bieber, but didn't listen to him. It was...interesting. As musicians, I think we become too narrow-minded and allow our own opinions get in the way of a lot of things. In all, I just simply say that, like most things, music is simply perception. What one person likes, another won't and what one person classifies a genre as will not be agreed upon by someone else. I've been around enough to see 14 year old kids wearing Blink shirts with dyed hair and calling themselves punk and then seeing a dude stand a foot from a urinal with a 2 foot spikey mohawk, pants to the floor and he's taking a wizz with his hands on his hips. He had a punk thing stitched to his jacket, so without talking, he was making a statement. All of that being said, to each their own.
    NarwhalG2G
    I'll be honest, this was better than the new album, watching him trash his guitar like that. They should do this every concert. Green Day fan right here, too.
    dannydesktop
    correct sir. and before he can earn back some of the respect i lost for him, he had to go and apologize, so he's not Justin Beiber, he's worse!
    RitchieRamone
    He didn't apologize. It was Warner who did it...I don't think that Billie or other guys in the band agree with it.
    dannydesktop
    how would you know? They are too scared not to side with the record company, i don't see how that is any better.
    McSon501
    They're punk rockers. so the fact that he "lost your respect" makes no sense, unless... you dont know what punk rock is. yeah, that's probably what it is.
    one-dead-cop
    They haven't been 'punk' (it's a loose term to begin with) since the mid-90s. I've no idea what point you're trying to make after the first sentence.
    McSon501
    their first album thats not punk would be 21st century shitdown. Even the new album has some punk with pop mixed in. Also, learn the def. of a punk please. Everything he did in that "meltdown" was the epitome of punk rock.
    one-dead-cop
    I'd disagree. The first album that's not 'punk' or signalled the end of what they began as was Warning.Punk isn't a sound.
    dannydesktop
    sorry if i don't think a 40 year old man smashing his guitar and saying Justin Beiber sucks isn't PUNK ROCK lol
    whywefight
    Yeah, I was talking about the downvotes on one-dead-cop.
    one-dead-cop
    Don't worry about it. All the down voting on this are probably from 15 year old Green Day fan boys who read Kerrang and are told they're punk.
    dannydesktop
    That is the strangest statement i have ever heard, are "punk rockers" inherently not respectable? is that what you are saying? also lol@ saying green day are "punk rock"
    kartikc11
    apologise to whom? the fans? he would have to move off the stage in a minute anyway, the fans will get it... good luck to the organizers in getting them back again... he apologised in his own way right at the end when he said "god bless you all, we'll be back"... and u have the nerve to say hes worse than Justin Beiber? man you dont deserve to be on a guitar forum
    dannydesktop
    dude i'm not 13 years old, i don't hate justin beiber, because like any other teen pop act he will be gone in a couple years just like hanson, arron carter, Jonas brothers ETC I'm guaranteeing you will obsess over Beiber 100% more then me just by spending so much time talking shit about him. grow up. Keep throwing your $$ at billie joe, so punk rock, derp. Nothing worse then a ageing rockstar.
    withoutanyname
    Billie Joe smashing his guitar and throwing his mic was priceless, I actually had a good laugh seeing this! He was quite right for being a bit angry, even if he was probably under something's influence. I would also be pissed if my set was cut short to let more time to a lipsync-pop act.
    metallica-#1
    The set was cut from 45 minutes to 25 minutes to give more time to Usher, and from what I think he said at the beginning of the rant he was hoping to play the fans a new song during that 45 minutes, but only had 1 minute left which would have been taken up by finishing Basket Case. I can understand why he would be so upset, they planned on debuting a new track and got ****ed over, while the way he handled the situation may not have been professional it's still somewhat understandable.
    notaconotaco
    Arrested for drink driving?
    gkex
    FYI You need a special license to operate an alcoholic beverage in California.
    Johnny_Ibanez
    Nigga be all about the medals up in here.
    on3andth3sam3
    Doesn't saul have some work for you to do, Huell?
    Kilimacory
    I think he's probably only going to rehab because the record label wants to do damage control. It's obvious he was drunk off his ass, but I don't think it's a big deal
    tmiam0720
    I'm not much of a Green Day fan, but I love the meaning behind what he is saying in the video.
    milanio
    Fuck the man! Billy is right, why should he be cut short so some disposable pop singer can mime on stage for longer?
    IrishConnor1994
    Yeah, it's ****ed up that a band's performance was cut short so some shitty rapper can dance and lip synch to his music more Anyone in Billie's position would have done the same thing. Because that's ****ing insulting.
    !zAck
    Man **** Justin Beiber
    My Last Words
    My respect for Billie has suddenly grown astronomical..
    JMZ08
    No shit! That was badass. I want a shirt that says 'One Fucking Minute.' This shit is going down in folklore haha!
    fatgleeson
    This is rock and roll right here
    dechagny
    what's rock and roll? singing between Usher and Rihanna or being introduced by Demi Lovato while tweens are screaming their asses off? Billy can say whatever he wants, but when he puts himself in this kind of company... oh, and to quote cracked: He made an ass of himself because he doesn't realize that he is the exact thing that he spent his 15 minutes or so on stage crying about ... a rich, entitled pop singer who wouldn't be where he is today without the help of a bunch of music industry suits."
    kennedys1
    I'm sure it was just a demonstration to highlight the durability of Gibson guitars. That thing took a couple good whacks!
    the_real_adrian
    Thats because Billy Joe has the build of an 11 year old girl and judging by recent public appearances, the mentallity of one too.
    felixramsey
    Not sure why you had 2 dislikes on that, so I took one of em back. Awesome!
    felixramsey
    Probably shoulda pointed out that I was talking to the_real_adrian.
    6-String_Madman
    Solid bodies like that of a Les Paul Junior and Standard can take a lot of beatings unlike Fenders that are so light and thin. That's why Cobain, Blackmore and Hendrix are prominent when it comes to smashing guitars.. it's because of the guitar their using which are basically, Strats. Special mention... Kirk Hammett for smashing and throwing an Ibanez RG (which is a "superstrat" type body guitar) to the floor during the Black Album days.
    IronSamurai10
    I don't know about you guys but I find his point to be completely legitimate and I love him for having the balls to do this.
    robje2000
    He has a point. I thinking he's showing that h loves preforming. And no artist should cut short, that festival needs a better time management !
    zalant
    For someone completely wasted on booze, I would have expected his speech to be more slurred. He seemed pretty focused to me, at least in the video above. Maybe some people can just hold it together better than others. I dunno. Seriously, though, for someone to even suggest than Green Day should only get a 25-minute set is more than a little insulting. Go Billie! I'm really hoping that this doesn't cut into the upcoming tour. I've got tix for Nov. 29th. He should be in fighting shaping by then, right? *crosses fingers*
    cmh102592
    his speech wasnt slurred? did you hear any of his words when he was singing?
    plindqui
    Watch the video I posted above. It' an interview right after the show, and it's pretty obvious he's ****ed up pretty good
    zalant
    Oh, I watched it prior to posting, but it still seemed like he kept it together OK. On a side note, thank you so much for that link! I can't tell you how big of a crush I had on Kennedy back when she was on MTV in the 90s. Everyone thought I was out of my mind, and perhaps I still am, 'cause she still looks good to me. Are you sure it was after they played? She seemed to ask about what they'd be playing during their set, so perhaps it was before they went on?
    daheck1210
    Five Finger Death Punch did the same thing when their set was cut short in Pittsburgh. No one got sent to rehab, they were just extremely pissed, bashed the venue, let loose an expletive-filled rant, blessed the fans, and stormed off stage. Side note: Because they stood up for their own values, I've gained back some of the respect I've lost for Green Day since 1998.
    sunnyinphilly13
    completely legitimate move being cut off for the same pop garbage. a great screw you to current state of popular music. i have a feeling this apology, and possibly the rehab stint, were forced by the label though, as some sort of "damage control". obviously if their set wasn't cut they wouldn't have freaked out. I'd wait for a statement from the actual band.
    OneTimeReview
    Are you ****ing joking?! That was not a freak out worthy of rehab! Rock stars used to do this all the time and they were AWESOME! Fuck this new age of political correctness!
    the_real_adrian
    bill jo aint no rock star. Im not sure what kind of star he is but it definetly isnt of the rock variety
    Jimmyboba
    I'd give him more rock star props than most other popular "rock stars" these days.
    KJP
    I'm not into Green Day at all but I really want to high-five this guy right now.
    withoutanyname
    Billie Joe SLAMS Justin Bieber.
    Pagan_Poetry
    I'll be slamming the person who uses this overused meme again's mother, I swear to Fuck.
    benjixoath
    Pagan_Poetry SLAMS peoples overuse of meme
    Pagan_Poetry
    THAT'S IT Your mother is getting it
    benjixoath
    Pagan_Poetry SLAMS ug'ers mother
    Salvo416
    SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM
    Sir-Shredalot
    thats either an unusually well made gibson, or hes a pussy.
    Eirien
    "Let me f--king tell you something. Ive been around since f--king nineteen-eighty-f--king-eight. Youre going to give me one f--king minute? Youve got to be f--king kidding me. What the f--k? Im not f--king Justin Bieber, you motherf--kers." I wonder what 'f--k' means? I guess we'll never know. F--k censorship.
    RitchieRamone
    I think the record label is trying to "repair the damage" after the show in Vegas. I mean, they wouldn't send anyone to therapy just because of one incident. What Billie did was punk, he stood up for all the artists that make good music and care about their reputation and their fans. But, if he does have a problem, I hope he gets well soon.
    CoreysMonster
    He got arrested for drunk driving almost 10 years ago. He doesn't need therapy, this is just damage control after an artist flipped out.
    strat-strat
    I'm not a Greenday fanboy or anything, but i f****ing love this! This is how a rock n roll star should behave: intoxicated and with a controversial attitude! More of this please! Todays rock n rollers have just become to polite and boring. *cough* Dave Grohl *cough* slash *cough* *cough*
    Sorsdahl
    Ok, I'll start off by saying that yes, I am a Green Day fan. From the day I first heard them, I've been a fan. From the start of their career til now. If this was any other rock band out there, I'd gladly defend them on their actions as well. Now, I don't consider what Billie did, to be a "meltdown". It's just a man who got angry. I do think that Green Day was told that, "Hey we're going to cut your time down to 20 minutes. We want to give Usher more air time." I'm sure Billie was upset about it already, but the screen telling him he had one minute, was just a complete slap in the face. It is a complete insult to a band like them, who've been around for decades and are still pumping out new music. I don't think that Billie deserves to go into rehab. He got angry. Lots of people get angry on stage. This time, it was just taped. I also, don't totally agree that Green Day, as a band, apologizes for what happened, because it wasn't the entire band that did it. There's two people to look at in this equation. There's Billie Joe Armstrong, obviously, and there's Mike Dirnt, who joined in on the smashing. Far as I'm concerned, those are the only two people that should be saying anything about it. Not the publicist of the band, trying to play mommy, and make things all better again. Something tells me, that Billie and Mike, are not sorry for what they did and aren't going to apologize. They're going to stand for what they did and tell everyone else to bugger off. As far as what I saw, that's the biggest thing, that screams "Rock 'n' roll, is not ****ing dead."
    theguitaristdud
    You can find another angle somewhere on youtube and the bass player starts smashing his bass too for no reason. It's absolutely hysterical!
    korn_jer28
    umm, doesn't Dirnt say in the press release that their set WAS NOT cut short? did everyone just watch the video and ignore the actual article?
    sunnyinphilly13
    it wasn't necessarily dirnt that said anything. in fact its just a statement on green day's website. it was probably the label making them put something out. obviously it was cut being that he flipped out haha
    vikkyvik
    yes. to both questions. We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short
    jrchevy2005
    He said it was not cut short BY iHeartRadio or ClearChannel. It was cut short by the stage managers.
    PorkRocker
    FINALLY! A rock star actung like a rock star! It's the best thing they've done for 10 years. I will now listen to their new album.
    City_Machine
    man, Kurt Cobain could've broken that guitar in 3 swings. So either old Billie's getting weaker or guitar craftsmanship is getting better
    Like I Is
    What a crock. He had a totally normal reaction to being told that he has to get out of the way for Big Money's Pop Stars. The only reason he is "going to rehab" is so his reaction will seem influenced by narcotics. It's unfortunate that a frustrated rock megastar can't express his anger without being dubbed "unstable" or "an addict". But if he does have a drug problem, good luck to him.
    RCA1186
    Here I thought I was going to be laughing at him but I actually can understand it, getting cut short is total bullshit, and that was a legit freakout haha
    yoman297
    "Let me tell you something. Ive been around since nineteen-eighty-eight. Youre going to give me one minute? Youve got to be kidding me. What the? Im not Justin Bieber, you motherers." as you can see, once i removed obscenities this speech became a lot more coherent
    Clarkinator
    Rehab? This guy has gotten drunk before almost every show in his life... I read an interview once in which he described his writing process for American Idiot as staying up late every night getting hammered and jamming/writing. I think his label forced him to do this after he made a huge stink. No one sure thought it was a problem for the past 20 plus years.
    Dutchan93
    He's ****ing right! **** Justin bieber and USher they can suck my ****ing ass AWSOME BILLIE!!