Green Day singer Billy Joe Armstrong is seeking treatment for substance abuse, the group says, two days after the rocker went off on a curse-filled rant during a performance at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas.
On Thursday, the band began playing their 1994 hit "Basket Case," when a one-minute warning began flashing at the back of the venue, which prompted Armstrong to yell: "I'm going to play a [expletive] new song. [expletive] this [expletive]. Gimme a [expletive] break. One minute left. One minute [expletive] left. You're going to give me one minute? Look at that sign right there! Let me tell you something, I've been around since 19 [expletive] 88. And you're going to give me one [expletive] minute? You've got to be kidding me!"
After being prompted to wrap things up, the band began smashing their instruments and Armstrong ranted: "I'm not [expletive] Justin Bieber, you [expletive]. You've got to be [expletive] joking. I got one minute. One minute left. Now I got nothing left." The rant and subsequent instrument smashing can be watched here (Warning: video contains explicit language).
"Billie Joe is seeking treatment for substance abuse," Green Day said in a statement on its website on Sunday, September 23, without offering further details. "We would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short by Clear Channel and to apologize to those we offended at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. We regretfully must postpone some of our upcoming promotional appearances."
Some reports had said that Armstrong, 40, apparently became angry that festival organizers had promised Green Day a 45-minute set but had reduced the time and gave them a one-minute warning about this.
Earlier this month, Armstrong was hospitalized in Italy for an undisclosed illness, prompting Green Day to cancel a concert in Bologna. The group later performed at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on September 6 (see photos).
Armstrong was once arrested for DUI in 2003. In addition to his work with the band, the singer also played drug pusher St. Jimmy in the Broadway musical "American Idiot," which incorporates Green Day songs.
News about Armstrong's turmoil comes just before the release of the first of Green Day's highly-anticipated new trilogy of albums, called "?Uno!," which is slated for release on September 25. The following two albums, "?Dos!" and "?Tre!" are due out on November 13, 2012, and January 15, 2013, respectively.