The Story Begins
Blink 182 started way back in 1992 with its first member Thomas Matthew DeLonge. Tom was a skater punk growing up in Ridgecrest, California where he was known to skateboard all day and piss people off. Tom discovered alcohol at an early age and was expelled from High School for drinking at a basketball game. Luckily, that gave him more time to play guitar and help jumpstart his band. While singing "Who's Gonna Shave Your Back Tonight" at the Rancho Bernardo High Battle of the Bands, Tom met a kid named Scott Raynor. 14-year-old Scott was a heavy-metal dude with long hair who loved Metallica, and as Tom could see knew how to play drums well enough. So Tom recruited him and the last member of the band was introduced to Tom by Anne Hoppus. Anne had a brother named Markus Allan Hoppus who had just moved to Ridgecrest and brought his bass guitar along with him. Mark loved punk music and sick jokes as well as Tom did, so when the two met up in Tom's garage it was, simply put, 'love at first sight.'
After messing around with Duck Tape for a while, the trio decided on the name Blink instead. The guys started practicing in Scott's bedroom and recorded a four-track tape dubbed Flyswatter. Blink started handing out copies of Flyswatter, and as crappy as it was, it got them their first shows. Although they weren't spectacular or anything, their first shows were good practice, and surprisingly Blink's fan base was growing. It wasn't too easy for a no-name band to land shows at clubs, but with Tom pushing Blink forward, the band was becoming more recognized in San Diego. The band continued playing through 1993, and in 1994 with a little bit of money they produced the original demo tape Buddha. With Buddha's sales rising in local stores and more fans than before, Blink received a record deal from Cargo Records. Blink along with Cargo released their first album Cheshire Cat, which caught the attention of a different Blink. An Irish techno band also named Blink threatened to sue if Mark, Tom, and Scott didn't change to something other than Blink. The guys agreed, and Blink 182 was born.
On The Road
Cheshire Cat was re-released in 1994 with Blink 182 on the cover, and the group began touring to promote their new album in their van the Millenium Falcon. The guys were in awe of the awesome bands they got to tour with including NOFX, Pennywise, and Unwritten Law. While touring was fun and they had a new, very cool manager, Rick DeVoe, Blink 182 became aware that Cheshire Cat was not reaching all their fans. Most of Cargo Records' employees did not take the band seriously so they chose not to work with them or not to help them out much. They didn't realize that Blink 182 did take their music careers seriously and wanted a record label that would treat them as an actual band. MCA wanted Blink 182 badly and said they understood Blink's requests and guaranteed them complete artistic control. So Blink decided they were the right label for them and released Dude Ranch in 1996. Their second album went gold in January 1998 with 500,000 copies sold in the U.S.
At about the same time Dude Ranch went gold, Blink 182 was having problems between the members. From touring together for so long, the guys were sick of each other. Scott's mood darkened and he started separating himself from Mark and Tom. The tension kept building until the SnoCore tour, where Blink was playing alongside Primus and the Aquabats. Scott kept pushing his bandmates away and often disappeared between shows. Halfway during the tour Scott announced that he was going to be leaving to go home for a while. Mark and Tom were shocked - they had shows to play, but no drummer. Luckily, Travis Landon Barker, drummer for the Aquabats, offered to fill in for Scott. He only had 45 minutes to learn Blink's songs, yet he somehow pulled it off. Scott returned, but feelings between him and the other band members weren't right; the original Blink 182 line-up split for good. Mark and Tom turned to Travis and asked if he would like to be their new drummer. He took the offer, and the new Blink 182 was ready to move forward.
Blink Hits It Big
Two years had passed since the band had recorded an album, and now it was time to go back to the studio. In January of 1999, Mark, Tom, and Travis released Enema of the State, the album that launched Blink 182 to the top by attracting a new wave of fans and helping them to become one of the most well know punk rock bands. Their hit singles off of Enema: "What's My Age Again?," "Adam's Song," and "All The Small Things" inspired videos that received continuous play on MTV. To satisfy the new legions of fans Blink 182 embarked on two new arena tours - the Loserkids Tour in 1999 followed by The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show tour in 2000. Afterwards the band released a limited edition live album called The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) featuring performances off the Mark, Tom, and Travis Show tour. The band's popularity had skyrocketed and they were even included in the movies American Pie, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, and Tom in Idle Hands. Blink 182 has acquired numerous rewards for Enema of the State, and a year after The Enema Strikes Back! came out the band has released yet another album with MCA - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.