- (Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has opened up about his drug abuse and onstage meltdown that led him to seek treatment in rehab. The performer said his public breakdown during a concert was a wake-up call.
"I couldn't predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night," Armstrong said in a new interview with "Rolling Stone." "I'd wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn't remember how. It was a complete blackout."
At the IHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas, Armstrong had a complete breakdown. After smashing his guitar, Armstrong yelled, "I'm not [explicative] Justin Bieber" before finally leaving the stage. The incident, however, was nothing more than a blip in Armstrong's memory.
"I remember tiny things. The next morning, I woke up. I asked my wife Adrienne, 'How bad was it?' She said, 'It's bad.'"
Armstrong left for rehab that very day and spent several months out of the public spotlight in order to get clean and receive the help he needed.
Armstrong and the rest of Green Day are preparing to go back out on tour. The band has been extremely successful, selling over 65 million records, and winning five Grammys. Their album "American Idiot" was turned into a Broadway musical that won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
The show is no longer on Broadway but is touring throughout the nation and has even been run in Scotland, London, and Canada. "American Idiot" received praise from critics including Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune.
"When you add the narrative throughline of Green Day's inarguably operatic masterpiece, 'American Idiot,' to that crucial duality of feeling, you have material ideal for the musical theater. That's not to say 'American Idiot,' which was far and away the best Broadway musical of 2010 … is a traditional kind of show," Jones wrote in Feb. 2012.
Green Day is expected to return to the public in Chicago on March 28.