Monday, March 4, 2013 at 5:45 a.m.
Andrew Youssef / OC Weekly
Billie Joe Armstrong sat down this month with Rolling Stone
to atone for his infamous mid-set rant at last September's I Heart Radio concert in Las Vegas. You may remember the gig, which featured the puerile Bay Area punkers performing along with the likes of Rihanna, Bon Jovi and Swedish House Mafia.
Baffled at the 15-minute digital clock marking the time allotted for Green Day's set, Armstrong abruptly launched (mid-song) into a don't-you-know-who-I-am tirade that featured several "you gotta be fucking kidding mes," as well as the declaration that he wasn't Justin Bieber (who wasn't on the bill).
Long story short, Armstrong finished his epic tantrum by smashing his guitar and was promptly whisked off to rehab.
In the Rolling Stone interview, conducted over two days by writer David Fricke, a now-sober Armstrong gave the standard mea culpas: "It makes me sick," "I'm a blackout drinker," "It wasn't me, I'm not that person," etc., etc.
He candidly explained his insanity leading up to the event and admitted that the decision to play the pop-heavy show was probably ill-informed. But he added that it was important that punk rock be represented in such venues.
"There are kids out there who need this music and the history lessons we hope come with it," Armstrong explained. "If a kid picks up a Green Day record, there's a good chance he'll pick up a Ramones record."
A heartening sentiment indeed. But one has to wonder what type of kids will benefit from seeing Green Day when the band "represents," at the Fox Pomona for their March 10 show where a ticket will set fans back $50 a head. We're picturing punk rockers with diamond-studded leather jackets. Before you come rushing to Billie Joe's aid with angry comments telling us how rock stars have a right to make money like the rest of us simpletons, bear in mind that a full day of top-shelf bands at the Warped Tour will costs on average $45.
So what gives? Is the value wrought from seeing (in a relatively small venue) this legendary punk band, who's sold millions of albums and had their work featured in a Broadway play, worth the extra price of admission? Or is it possible the band is experiencing money woes thanks to Armstrong's little tirade, which led to months of cancelled and postponed shows?
In the Rolling Stone interview Armstrong avoided answering the question about whether album sales were hurt by the cancellations saying instead that his "rock n roll spirit," comes before anything else.
But if it's true that years of drug abuse coupled with skipped dates have led to fiduciary concerns for Armstrong, it would appear with the hefty price tag for the Fox Theater show that he plans on letting the fans pay for his sins.
The cost of admission for Green Day's upcoming show is baffling to this Feral blogger, but it'll be even more baffling to watch it sell out.