Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong proved punk isn’t totally dead when he threw an epic tantrum onstage at not just any festival, but Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio festival, the music industry’s dog-and-pony show where some of the biggest artists get paraded out in front of what’s left of the the industry’s powerful to remind them of why their three songs should be played endlessly on the radio while the entire sea of other great music should be dutifully ignored.
Noticing that their band was getting signaled to end their set so the festival could make more room for Usher, Armstrong ended the set mid-song so he could spend their last minute railing against the festival. And this was no regular tantrum, this was a personal “fuck you” so effective we should all take note.
Of course yesterday after the tantrum Billie Joe announced he would head to rehab. Just days before the band releases their trio of albums, “Uno,” Due,” and “Tre.” Convenient timing, yes? As Billie Joe said on stage, he’s been in the game since “nineteen eighty fucking eight.” Does anyone else find the timing a little strange? Does anyone else think that Clear Channel, the Godfather of the music industry, demanded Billie Joe pay penance—that his tantrum be made to look like “crazy” or “drugged” rather than hilarious and awesome?
“I’m not fucking Justin Bieber,” Armstrong tells the crowd. Damn skippy. Rehab, Billie Joe—riiiight—wink, wink, we got you.