Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong has endured quite the tumultuous September, to say the least, but the events of last few days may have been a bit too much drama for the 40-year-old pop-punk star. The month began with a hospital stint that forced the cancellation of a show in Bologna, Italy and culminated in a viral sensation at the iHeartRadio festival that ultimately prompted the singer to check himself into rehab just a few days before Green Day’s ¡uno! hits the shelves. While these events hopefully result in Armstrong getting his personal life together, certain circumstances surrounding this event has raised an eyebrow.
To set the scene for those who have not yet witnessed the moment on YouTube, Armstrong and co. were fulfilling the roll of the “token rock band” at Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio festival last week when a screen flashed the words “one minutes [sic]” just a few songs into the band’s set. The rock vet than smashed his guitar to bits, memorably cursed out Justin Bieber, bid the attendees good riddance and walked off the stage. Original claims from Green Day indicated that the band’s set was cut short to make room for other pop stars of the festival’s lineup before the group issued a statement stating that the set was not cut short. Since the video went viral, Clear Channel has also stated that they did not condense Green Day’s slot.
While it is clear that Armstrong does have substance problems, Long After Dark has to wonder if there was not something else to the origin of his rant. Even though the first question that came to mind was, “When it did become news that a rock star dropped the f-bomb and smashed a guitar?” there may be a shred of truth to the set being cut short. It is no surprise to anyone that whenever more corporate music events like the Grammys or iHeartRadio have occurred over the last decade, rock bands have typically taken a backseat to pop stars like Rihanna, Usher, or Lady Gaga. In the instance of Green Day’s rant, the video of the event clearly shows a screen displaying “one minutes” for a brief moment before the words disappear Maybe it was a technical malfunction, or maybe I am reading too much into this, but it would not shock me if the iHeartRadio festival’s desire for more time for Deadmau5 actually happened and that was a contributing factor to what set Armstrong off.
I can’t believe that there isn’t something more to this.