Yesterday's news about Billie Joe getting treatment for substance abuse has definitely hit me in a way I wasn't expecting. As someone said on GDA
This isn't my fucking problem.
But it hurts. It hurts really, really, bad
Billie Joe and Green Day have had their fair share of "substance abuse" dating back to their major label debut. It was known the guys' "drug of choice" was speed back in the day, evidenced in the infamous Tonka Truck version of "She" at Jaded in Chicago. And of course less amusingly, with Billie Joe's arrest and DUI in 2003 for driving drunk.
Still that was old Green Day. Many fans thought that type of irresponsibility phase was set behind them as they put out music that was more matured, they seemed to care about their public image, and started working really really hard. They inspired millions of fans with their music, and these demons have also been present, but less prominent.
I can't for the life of me remember where I read this quote. It was interview of some-sort with a musician where someone asked if they'd write an autobiography. They replied with "I already have, it's in my music." GDC'er Bohemian+Scandal really hit the nail on the head about this:
The people here who are "disappointed" or "shocked" are making me sad. Most of you should have a pretty fair portrait of Billie Joe's issues in your head. He's been painting it "since 19-80-fucking-8". Have any of you actually really listened to Billie's lyrics? He's revealed so much of himself in them, and now it seems like a lot of fans have never really been listening.
His demons and how he channels them so beautifully into music are what make him such a remarkable human being. That's why I respect him so deeply. I would have always put "fucked up" on a list of Billie Joe adjectives. Ha. But so what? Everyone is fucked up in one way or another. What sets this guy apart, is that he has been brave enough to share his raw pain and passion through his music. He makes us all feel slightly less alone and I will always love him for that. And when I see him having to deal with this kind of shit under the ridiculously nosy and judgmental eyes of millions, my love for him grows tenfold. It's why I've been compulsively listening to Green Day all day (not normal for me).
I'm in support of sending good thoughts his way, letting his friends and family help him deal with whatever issues he is having, and NOT pretending like I know real fucking thing about it.
Rage and Love. <3
It has unbelievably annoyed me to see people writing this decision off as PR move to save face from Billie's rant at iHeartRadio festival. I honestly believe that this is not reaction to a single event, but that event really was the public showing of deeper problems. Let's be honest, the whole band has been working incredibly hard. They wrote over 80 songs for a trilogy of albums over the last year and a half, that's after Billie Joe did a show 6 nights a week on Broadway for two months. Which started shortly after they finished touring in support of their last album where they played over 140 shows across the world. That's a lot to deal with. Green Day's work ethic is something to idolize, but at the same time, it seems like Billie Joe was dealing with some demons he hadn't properly dealt with in some time.
Now we have tabloid sites writing about our guy, and it sucks to see. His rant on iHeart was very entertaining, but it was misguided. Their time was not cut short, Billie just wasn't happy that it was over. People loved his rant because it showed that bratty punk side of Green Day that so many of us fucking loved back in the day. Here's a band that truly doesn't give a shit, and while that's fun to see, he ultimately disrespected people that didn't deserve it.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe that this was just the public showing of some deeper problems, ones that I think other members in Green Day along with family and friends, wanted to see him deal with. Who gives a fuck if it took a rant in front of thousands to push it to the top, all that matters is that he's going to get help and get his shit together. Who cares how it looks for them to apologize to Clear Channel? They felt it was the right thing to do, and it was. It wasn't the punk "we don't give a shit" thing to do, but it was the right thing.
Billie Joe will be fine. He's getting help for something that needed to be addressed, just like many others before him have done. We need to support him and stop worrying about what this means for his public image or what this means for business. I was sad when Robin Williams - someone I've idolized from an early age - recently went back to rehab after being sober for 20 years, because it shows you the people you love from a distance aren't perfect. They hurt just like everyone else. But getting help is exactly what Robin needed, he came out the other end much healthier and the same will come for Billie Joe.