Green Day management and Irvine, Calif., police are actively investigating
a backstage fight between Green Day's Mike Dirnt and Third Eye Blind's
Arion Salazar that left Dirnt with a fractured skull.
Dirnt, the 26-year-old bassist from the multi-platinum-selling punk-pop
trio, suffered the head injury and was hospitalized after being struck over
the head with a beer bottle during L.A. radio station KROQ's annual Weenie
Roast at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on Saturday, according to Green Day publicist Amanda Cagan.
While Third Eye Blind's management acknowledges that Salazar was involved in
a scuffle with Dirnt, they deny fan reports that he caused the injury.
Explaining that the matter is currently being investigated, Cagan said the
primary concern at this time is finding the culprit who struck Dirnt,
a.k.a. Mike Pritchard. "All we want to know is who hit Mike," she said,
adding that Green Day recently postponed the opening of their Canadian tour
due to what she said were scheduling conflicts. "There has been no legal
action taken at this point. It's still under investigation."
Meanwhile, Irvine Police investigator Lori Teves confirmed that the police
have begun looking into the incident after receiving a complaint from the
hospital where Dirnt was taken following his injury. "We haven't identified
anyone by name, but the case is still under investigation," Teves said.
The fight between Salazar and Dirnt began after Green Day's set as part of
the Weenie Roast, said Russell Bloom of Eric Godtland Management, the
company that represents hit-making pop-rockers Third Eye Blind. When
Salazar ran onstage and bear-hugged Dirnt, the Green Day bassist was
apparently surprised by Salazar. Dirnt allegedly kicked and hit Salazar,
leading to an altercation during the show and backstage afterward.
Although he acknowledged in a press release Monday that there had been a
fight between Dirnt and Salazar, Godtland spokesman Bloom maintained in the
same release that an overzealous fan, rather than Salazar, rushed up and
struck Dirnt over the head.
When contacted on Thursday, Bloom said that there were no developments in
the case and would not comment further.
Curtis L. Garrett, general manager of Staff Pro, the contracted security
company for events at Irvine Meadows, worked Saturday's event. He said he
was walking Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong and drummer Tre Cool
backstage when he saw a crowd of people running toward the VIP tent
adjacent to Green Day's trailer.
"All three bandmembers were yelling at someone else, and I was pushing
[Green Day] away," Garrett said. "I called for the rest of staff to
come backstage to help me out. Dirnt was standing on top of a table ...
with blood running down the back of his neck, yelling, 'Some fucker hit me
with a bottle.' "
The injury appeared to be to the back right of Dirnt's head, Garrett said,
adding that he escorted the injured bassist to an emergency medical
services tent to receive first aid.
Dirnt has been resting at home this week in Berkeley, Calif., with the rest
band, according to Cagan. In the meantime, the start of the
Canadian leg of Green Day's current tour was postponed from Wednesday to
this Saturday, due to prior scheduling conflicts, she added.
Cagan denied that Dirnt's injury had anything to do with the cancellations,
adding that the tour will still begin in St. John's, Newfoundland, at Bow
In the statement released Monday by Godtland, Salazar said,
"I am sorry that my attempt at doing something I thought would be funny
escalated into Mike getting hurt. That was never my intention. I simply had
too much to drink and made a very bad decision.
"If I had been in Mike's place, I'm sure I would have acted similarly,"
Salazar added. "My heart goes out to him, and I hope he recovers quickly.
We have many friends in common, and I just hope that he can accept my
sincerest apology. I am sorry, Mike."