You've undoubtedly seen the video by now, but just in case you haven't, take a look at Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong losing his mind at a recent show in Las Vegas:.
To the untrained eye, that might look like the greatest act of rock and roll rebellion since Kurt Cobain wore a dress on Headbanger's Ball. But the truth is, it's the exact opposite. What you're seeing is one of the saddest, least punk rock moments in rock history. Here's why ...
#3. "I've Been Around Since 1988!"
The problems started when Usher, who was on the bill that night, because of course he was, reportedly played a set that went 25 minutes over his previously agreed upon time. This led to Green Day's set being shortened by 25 minutes, which then triggered the ensuing chaos. And why wouldn't it? Like Billie Joe says in his tirade, he's been around since the late 1980s. A relative newcomer like Usher hasn't put in the man hours necessary to push a rock legend like Billie Joe Armstrong off the stage, right?
Wrong. In fact, Usher started making music in 1987, just like Green Day. He released his first album independently in 1991.
"Technically, that's three decades ago, kids."
That's a mere one year after Green Day's debut album was released. When Green Day was taking over the world in 1994, Usher was still getting by on the strength of accomplishments like being the youngest performer on the Poetic Justice soundtrack. You might remember that as a movie that starred Janet Jackson and Tupac. Read that again slowly. It had Tupac in it. He died in 1996. That was 16 years ago.
It's fine to feel disrespected because your time gets cut short, but don't be a disrespectful dick in the process by implying that the rest of the people on the bill somehow deserve it less just because you're the old man in the room.
#2. "I'm Not Fucking Justin Bieber, You Motherfuckers!"
That's what Billie Joe screams at one point as he's railing against the massive slap in the face that is being told you only have one minute left to play. Also, let's give style points where they're due for his ability to weave the word "fuck" into the same sentence twice. But he's wrong about all of that "I'm not Justin Bieber" talk, because unless we're seeing something in this video that the rest of the world is not ...
... it seems as if his band was just introduced by Demi Lovato and fucking A.C. Slater to the delight of an audience full of tweens. You might not be Justin Bieber, per se, but agreeing to play the IHeartRadio Festival in between Usher and Rihanna at the very least qualifies as "Essence of Bieber" or something. The band has basically agreed to play in a glorified smartphone app commercial. For the record, that app is owned by Clear Channel, which you should recognize as the premier name in music business awfulness.
So that's who Billie Joe and team were playing for. Clear Channel. You don't take a gig like that unless you're shooting for a certain level of pop stardom. Using a guitar to get there instead of dance moves does not make you some kind of rebel. You're just a Top 40 artist like any other.
#1. "I Have a Problem!"
And now, the Green Day camp has gone on record to apologize for the incident while also absolving Clear Channel of any alleged set-cut-short-ing. Furthermore, Billie Joe Armstrong is going to rehab.
Guyliner dependency hasn't been ruled out.
It's the same pathetic ploy every A-list celebrity trots out when they've finally gone and done something unspeakably stupid like this. And now, Billie Joe Armstrong has joined those ranks. Was he really drunk onstage? If this performance from earlier in the show is any indication, then he sure as shit was ...
... but so what? People drink before going onstage and while onstage every single night, and it's been that way for as long as anyone can remember. Billie Joe Armstrong didn't make an ass of himself because he was drunk. He made an ass of himself because he doesn't realize that he is the exact thing that he spent his 15 minutes or so on stage crying about ... a rich, entitled pop singer who wouldn't be where he is today without the help of a bunch of music industry suits.