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Green Day's Armstrong comes clean on drink, prescription drugs

Green Day lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong performs during the 2012 iHeart Radio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Aren
Green Day lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong performs during the 2012 iHeart Radio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Aren

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said alcohol and prescription drug abuse forced him into rehab last year after sessions when he would black out and have no memory of what he had done.

"I couldn't predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night," Armstrong, 41, the lead vocalist and songwriter for the California punk rock band told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview.

"I'd wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn't remember how. It was a complete blackout," he said, opening up about years of addiction to drink and prescription drugs.

Green Day canceled their fall tour last year and postponed other dates after Armstrong entered treatment for what was described at the time only as "substance abuse."

Armstrong said he decided finally to seek help after an onstage rant at the IHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas in September 2012, where he angrily smashed his guitar after being told the band needed to wrap up their time on stage.

Referring to the Las Vegas incident, Armstrong said "I remember tiny things."

"The next morning, I woke up. I asked (my wife) Adrienne, "How bad was it?" She said, "It's bad." I called my manager. He said, "You're getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately," the singer told the magazine in an advance excerpt released on Tuesday.

The band said in December that it would return to the road in March and Armstrong thanked fans for their support.

Green Day, formed in the late 1980s, has sold more than 65 million records worldwide, won five Grammys and produced hit albums such as 1994's "Dookie," and 2004's "American Idiot."

They are due to kick off their tour in Chicago on March 28.

Armstrong's full interview with Rolling Stone will be available on U.S. newsstands on Friday.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Walsh)

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