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Billie Joe Armstrong Talks Substance Abuse, Vegas Meltdown With Rolling Stone

Billie Joe Armstrong Rolling Stone Cover
Rolling Stone

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong went to rehab smack dab in the middle of the band’s release schedule for its trio of albums ‘¡Uno!,’ ‘¡Dos!’ and ‘¡Tré!’ You know it must have been bad for him to have pulled out of promoting and supporting the trilogy. Turns it was bad. Really bad.

Actually, it was worse than you might think. Not having your frontman for critical promotional efforts can sink an album, and Green Day had three records on the horizon. But Armstrong needed to seek help to save his life.

The singer, who melted down onstage at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas in September at the apex of his addiction and abuse, spoke recently to Rolling Stone in his first and only interview about his rehab. He revealed that he has little memory of his actions on a day-to-day basis during the abuse period.

“I couldn’t predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night,” Armstrong said. “I’d wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn’t remember how. It was a complete blackout.”

He doesn’t remember what happened onstage in Vegas, either. He may be the only one, as he famously trashed teen pop star Justin Bieber and smashed his guitar.

“I remember tiny things,” the singer admitted. “The next morning, I woke up. 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.’”

And that was that. Green Day were also forced to cancel tour plans, but again, the singer was on a downward spiral that seemed unlikely to end well. The RS issue lands this Friday, March 1, and promises more details about the singer’s recovery.

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