Green Day’s lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong doesn’t hold back from sharing his honest thoughts with fans. For example, there are many instances of him being outspoken about his political views on stage. During one performance in 2012, however, he ended up going to rehab after having a public meltdown.
Billie Joe Armstrong went on a rant during a 2012 performance
In September 2012, Green Day performed at that year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival. As reported by Rock Celebrities, the band was performing their 1994 hit song “Basket Case” when Armstrong abruptly went on a profanity-laced rant. The singer appeared to be upset about the organizer cutting their set short and only giving them a minute left to perform.
“Give me a f***ing break. One minute left. You’re gonna give me one f***ing minute?” he said on stage. “Let me tell you something, I’ve been around since 19-f***ing-88. And you’re gonna give me one f***ing minute?” At one point, Armstrong also said, “I’m not f***ing Justin Bieber.”
Additionally, Armstrong smashed his guitar in protest, as did Green Day’s bassist Mike Dirnt. Then, the band members reportedly walked off the stage together.
Billie Joe Armstrong went to rehab to deal with substance abuse
After the viral rant, a representative for Green Day released an apology on the band’s behalf. The rep also stated that Armstrong would go to rehab for his abuse of alcohol and prescription pills.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Armstrong opened up about this part of his life in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m a blackout drinker. That’s basically what happened [that night],” he said.
Armstrong also addressed his situation of using pills to treat anxiety and insomnia, explaining, “I started combining them to a point where I didn’t know what I was taking during the day and what I was taking at night. It was just this routine. My backpack sounded like a giant baby rattle.”
As for what his stint in rehab was like, Armstrong admitted it was “gruesome.” “That was gruesome, laying on the bathroom floor and just feeling like … I didn’t realize how much of that stuff affected me,” he said.
Billie Joe Armstrong revealed in 2020 that he is ‘not sober anymore’
After receiving treatment at rehab, Armstrong remained sober for years. However, in 2020, the singer shared in an interview with NME that he is “not sober anymore.”
“I’m not really sober anymore,” he said. “I had a time where I needed to learn to grow up a little bit and take responsibility for myself and for my own independence, and I did. Now I’m moving forward. I had a good run, so let the good times roll!”
Green Day also returned to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2019.
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