In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, punk rocker Billie Joe Armstrong talked candidly about hitting rock bottom after years of alcohol and drug abuse.
The 41-year-old lead vocalist for Green Day was shipped off to rehab the day after he melted down onstage during an iHeartRadio festival gig in Las Vegas last September.
Things started to deteriorate while he was touring in Europe during the fall of 2012. Armstrong admits, “I couldn’t predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night. I’d wake up in a strange house on a couch. I couldn’t remember how. It was a complete blackout.”
He continued, “I was at my pill-taking height at that time, medicating the s**t out of myself because I couldn’t sleep.”
Billie Joe recalls an attempted intervention by his manager the week before the iHeartRadio gig, “He called me down to the lobby to talk about the Vegas festival. I went down there, he was sitting there, and he goes, ‘We’re getting on a plane. We’re canceling the rest of this tour, and you’re going into rehab.’ I was like, ‘What? WTF are you talking about? I’m not going to do that.”
In the end he promised to get help after the Vegas show. The musician claims he has only a vague recollection of his tirade during the Sin City event.
He recalls, “I remember tiny things, I woke up the next morning. I asked my wife Adrienne, ‘How bad was it?’ She said, ‘It’s bad.’ I called my manager. He said, ‘You’re getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately.” This time Armstrong listened.
Green Day is ready to begin again with a handful of club dates next week in preparation for an arena tour that will launch at the end of March.