Frisbees and sombreros weren’t the only things flying through the air at the sixth annual KROQ Weenie Roast and Fiesta this Saturday — fists and bottles flew as well. When all was said and done, Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt had been hospitalized overnight with a skull fracture after being hit with a bottle.
Reports varied as to who actually clocked Dirnt with the bottle — Green Day’s official web site reported that it was hurled by “someone thought to be associated with Third Eye Blind,” while a statement from 3EB’s management implicated a fan — but the events that transpired left 3EB bassist Arion Salazar apologizing for setting off a chain of events that culminated in the injury.
“I am sorry that my attempt at doing something I thought would be funny escalated into Mike getting hurt. That was never my intention. I simply had too much to drink and made a very bad decision,” Salazar said in a statement Monday. “I am sorry, Mike.”
The failed attempt at humor was Salazar’s mid-show rush at Dirnt during Green Day’s set, a stunt the 3EB statement called “an inter-band prank.” When security smothered Salazar, Dirnt stopped playing his bass mid-song and gave Salazar a swift kick to the body.
While details on what happened next are sketchy, the scuffle apparently continued off stage. “I saw Mike Dirnt come backstage looking really intense,” said a fan who was there when Green Day finished their set. “He walked back to the trailers and I saw him shove somebody and say, ‘Hey, you want a piece of me? Come on!’ He backed up and there was some shoving going on and then the next thing I know I heard a bottle break ….”
According to the 3EB release, it was an autograph-seeking fan who actually hit Dirnt with the bottle, not anyone from 3EB: “Mike was angry with Arion and the two tussled out of the lighted area of the compound into the dark area of the outside roadway until Arion fell, at which point a fan who followed them out, apparently thinking Arion was being attacked, struck Mike Dirnt with a bottle.”
Dirnt was rushed to a nearby Irvine Medical Center, where witnesses said he wasn’t naming names as to who hit him with the bottle.
Green Day’s publicity firm, Mitch Schneider Organization, issued the following statement: “On the advice of their attorneys, Green Day are unable to comment at this time. Stay tuned.”