In an exclusive interview in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, Billie Joe Armstrong opens up about his years of alcohol and prescription drug abuse and his road back from his onstage meltdown at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas last September.
“I couldn’t predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night,” he tells Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke. “I’d wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn’t remember how. It was a complete blackout.” He finally confronted his problem after the Vegas radio festival, where the frontman smashed his guitar onstage and shouted, “I’m not fucking Justin Bieber, you motherfuckers.” Armstrong’s recovery sidetracked promotion of Green Day’s album trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, and the group was forced to postpone tour dates.
“I remember tiny things,” Armstrong says of the Vegas incident. “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.'”
Read the full story in the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands this Friday.