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Published: Tuesday, 9/25/2012

Armstrong to enter rehab after onstage meltdown

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs at the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs at the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival.
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NEW YORK — Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is headed to treatment for substance abuse.

Sunday’s announcement by the band’s rep comes after the 40- year-old frontman had a meltdown onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Friday. As Green Day was wrapping up its performance during the all-star, two-day concert, Armstrong profanely complained that the band’s time was being cut short. “One minute left, one minute (expletive) left. You’re gonna give me (expletive) one minute? ... I’m not (expletive) Justin Bieber, you (expletives)!” he yelled (although Bieber was not part of the night’s festivities).

Armstrong smashed his guitar before leaving the stage.

Green Day apologized “to those they offended at the iHeartRadio Festival” and said its set was not cut short by Clear Channel, the host of the two-day festival.

The Grammy winning band also is canceling some of its promotional appearances. It is due to release the album “Uno” today, the follow-up to “21st Century Breakdown,” released three years ago. “Uno” is the first in a trilogy of albums; the second is to be out in November, and the last in January. The band is due to kick off a nationwide tour on Nov. 26.

Armstrong was hospitalized in early September in Bologna, Italy, for an undisclosed ailment, but recovered well enough to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 6. Since then, the band has made a series of performances, including a Good Morning America performance and a New York City concert for the launch of Nokia Music on Sept. 15. No interviews of the band were allowed that evening, but the band chatted with fans and Nokia and AT&T executives before performing for about two hours.

It’s unclear what Armstrong is receiving treatment for; in 2003, he was arrested for DUI, and has acknowledged in the past taking various drugs but has said he now eschews them.

Green Day is one of rock’s top acts and had huge success with its 2004 politically charged album” American Idiot,” which went on to become a Broadway musical. Armstrong performed for a stretch in the musical.

Most recently, he was a mentor on the NBC talent competition The Voice.

Birthday boy

Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 63rd birthday onstage until nearly 2 a.m. Sunday, joined at the end by his hearty mom.

Adele Springsteen danced and sang background to “Twist and Shout,” walking offstage with her son and his band at nearly 2. Her only concession to age was a pair of hastily made earplugs.

She watched as her son cut a giant cake in the shape of a guitar, passing out pieces to some audience members.

His show in the open-air MetLife Stadium was delayed three hours Saturday by authorities because of a downpour and worries about lightning. Thousands of fans clustered on indoor ramps waiting for the rain to stop.

When it did, Springsteen and his E Street Band took the stage at 10:30 p.m. to the strains of Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour,” a song they performed when the clock hit that mark. They also covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” and it worked.

“Thank you for your patience,” Springsteen told the audience. He said it had been a long time since he had performed on his birthday.

It was the third of a three-night stand at his home state arena.

Musical message

Longtime Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart came to New Orleans with a message for thousands of attendees at the AARP’s national convention: Music has therapeutic powers.

Hart spoke about the importance of music and playing instruments. He led a drum circle with hundreds of drummers at the convention, which ended Saturday.

Hart and neurologist Adam Gazzaley, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco, spoke about research showing music has a positive effect on the brain and how playing music can help offset the mental declines of aging.

Throughout the convention attendees could stop into a musicmaking pavilion.



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