So, you really want to be a rockstar?

Learn to play an instrument, join a band, become famous and get a ton of money; that seems to be the dream of many teenagers throughout the world. For the few who actually make it, they’re completely happy, right? In light of recent events, this might not be the case. Lead singer of popular band Green Day, Billy Joe Armstrong, knows all too well the dangers of the so called “rock star” life. In early October Armstrong checked into to rehab for substance abuse, following his melt-down at the iheart radio concert in Las Vegas. The tirade stemmed from the fact that the band had to delay their set. After being delayed for thirty minutes, the band was only allotted around twenty-five minutes to play. Armstrong was furious that a band like Green Day who has been around for twenty five years had to be delayed while Justin Bieber was given a whole hour. Although this is a valid reason to be upset, what followed next was unexpected and uncalled for. Armstrong and the band began smashing their instruments and destroying other expensive equipment. The incident was seen as the fall of the band by some, but others realized that something was seriously wrong. Recently, Armstrong was released from rehab and spoke about what led him to substance abuse the first place. Green Day had just finished recording three albums, and a new four month tour was scheduled to promote these albums. Armstrong talked of the struggles of touring, press signings, and lack of sleep. He was prescribed anxiety pills but eventually began mixing the pills with other over-the-counter medications, not knowing how much he needed to take. This caused him to be emotionally unstable. On top of all these struggles, a beloved aunt of Armstrong passed away. Armstrong was using prescription drugs as an escape from the wild fast paced life he had been thrust into. This led up to his melt down at the iheart radio concert. Armstrong is definitely not the only artist who’s struggled with drugs, and one does not have to look far to realize that drugs are a big problem in the music world. Just about every member of the 27 club (musicians who died at the age of 27) either once did drugs or died because of an overdose. The big question to all of this is why? These talented musicians have the fame, the money, and the adoration; it is hard to realize what they have missing from a common point of view. Junior Chris Steege is a huge fan of Green Day and also a fan of rock music in general. His take on Armstrong’s freak-out is that the fame might have finally caught up with him. Steege says, “We all seem to look up to popular musicians like Armstrong as if they have perfect lives, but fail to realize that they are just like us. I know I wouldn’t want to have attention on me constantly.” Besides just being a fan of rock, Steege is a guitarist himself. “I think everyone who picks up a guitar or other instrument knows in the back of his mind that there is the slimmest chance fame will come his way,” he said. “It is unfortunate that many artists turn to drugs, but at the same time there are plenty of musicians who do not. Those should be the artists that get the most attention.” Fame is a complicated thing for anyone to grasp unless he or she possesses it; any random kid that wants to be the next Slash won’t understand this concept. Armstrong shows that no matter how famous you are, happiness is not guaranteed. The world of rock ‘n roll is truly full of wonderful artists and musicians who have a passion for what they do, but it also contains temptations that one could easily fall into. Rock stars sometimes feel as if their minds and bodies have no time to rest because of constant attention; that’s at least something the common man can be thankful for, peace and quiet.