Somebody* once** told us that Steve Harwell, lead singer of power-pop nostalgia act and A+ Twitter presence Smash Mouth, is retiring from the group, citing health issues. Harwell issued a statement saying, “Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream. To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
Harwell’s announcement comes after the band’s Saturday performance at the Big Sip beer festival in Bethel, New York, clips of which went viral on TikTok when Harwell seemed to become violent toward the audience. In the video, from user @doesthisfeelgood, Harwell appears to call someone in the crowd a “fucking nutbag,” gives the audience the middle finger while yelling “Fuck you, bitches,” says “I’ll fucking kill your whole family, I swear to God” to no one in particular, and at one point appears to give a Nazi salute.
TMZ reports that Harwell suffers from Wernicke’s encephalopathy, “a condition that impacts his motor functions, including speech and memory.” A source says that Harwell was suffering an episode during Saturday’s performance. Harwell’s statement continues, “To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues, and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to.” Don’t cry because Smash Mouth as we know it is breaking up. We can all use a little …