If huge media attention right before a major album release is a bad thing, then Billie Joe Armstrong’s onstage meltdown and temper tantrum were ill-timed. But some think it came not as a precursor to him checking into rehab, but as a ploy for the spotlight.
Apparently, when the band was told they only had a minute left on stage at the iHeart Radio Music Festival, Armstrong threw a fit and started cursing and smashing his guitar in a rage, screaming, “I’ve been around since 19-f—ing-88! I’m not f—ing Justin Bieber, you motherf—ers. This is a f—ing joke! And now you’re gonna give me one minute? Now I got nothing left. I got nothing left. I’m gonna show you what one f—ing minute looks like.”
The band later released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “Green Day would like to apologize to those they offended at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. The band regretfully must postpone some of their upcoming promotional appearances.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the mysterious hospitalization of Billie Joe in Italy during their tour, which only the barest details of were given. The latest news is that he has entered rehab, but whether his blowup has anything to do with that remains to be seen.
“Is it possible no one in management bothered to tell Green Day ahead of time they had a half-hour slot, just like (almost) every other headliner on the bill? Not likely. (Although it was being spun within hours on Gawker, Perez Hilton, and other websites that the band’s set had been “cut short by 20 minutes” because Usher went over—not true.) Is it possible Armstrong knew this was good theater and bound to get them into the news cycle three days before the release of their long-awaited new album? Who could be so cynical!” wrote Chris Willman.