Green Day releases new album amidst onstage outburst and trip to rehab
When Green Day announced this past April it was planning to release an album trilogy, few expected the days preceding the first record ¡Uno!’s release to be clouded by another band-related story.
Though the exact details surrounding lead singer/ guitarist Billie Joe Armstrongs’s “meltdown” during at the conclusion of his group’s appearance at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas on September 21the are unclear, one fact is for certain – Armstrong was not pleased by the abbreviated time limit placed on his band’s set.
Watch video of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong “meltdown” during his band’s set at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas here:
Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. Less than 48 hours after Armstrong smashed his Gibson guitar to bits on stage, it was announced that the Green Day frontman was on his way to rehab. According to the Los Angeles Times, the singer is being treated for substance abuse issues. And the NME reported that he had been “drinking a lot” the night of his rant.
Of course, seen through several prisms the events discussed above, when coupled with the subsequent Monday release of ¡Uno!, an album featuring songs with titles like “Loss of Control,” “Troublemaker” and “Let Yourself Go,” will lead both the press and fans alike to make a variety of conclusions.
Was Armstrong’s blow up at the iHeartRadio festival the “final straw, the moment where he realized he'd truly lost control,” as theorized by MTV? Was it punk rock theater, meant to inject some juice into the headlines mere days before Green Day released its new album? Was it a premeditated PR move, even now being massaged to make the band look dangerous and appeal to young crowds who normally shell out their cash for music by Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift and Rhianna? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions.
I do however have ¡Uno! listen to, and the knowledge that, yes, Green Day has been around since “19-fucking-88.” I remember the band’s appearance at Woodstock ’94, and all the literal mud-slinging that occurred back then. I also have the personal experience of having once waited outside in the rain for over an hour in order to see Billie Joe and company play a small college gymnasium mere weeks before the guys took their tour for the record American Idiot to stadium-sized venues around the world. Just maybe these thoughts and memories are enough.
I could go on about how my generation and the music-loving world in general already lost one elder statesman in Adam “MCA” Yauch earlier this year, and how we must continually accept the fact that our heroes are not just growing up, but in fact, are already grown, growing older, and are human after all. Sometimes we forget that simple truth.
So good luck Billie Joe. I wish you a speedy recovery. I’ve been playing your new record all day, and I’ve even resisted the urge to parse through the lyrics to see if there was any clues regarding the inner turmoil you may have been feeling before the outburst that has now gone viral. I can’t wait for ¡Dos! either, or the forthcoming ¡Tré!. Sometimes the music is all you need.