Friday, July 25, 2008

How Blink-182 changed my life

If you were born in the decade between 1983 and 1993, you have likely been influenced by Blink-182. Composed of three dudes from California, pre-teens and teens around the nation were obsessed with the musical styling of Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker. I was among these teens. But since they broke up in 2005, I haven't really listened to them all that much. Sure, every now and then they'll come up in my iTunes shuffle, but I'm not usually paying much attention to it. But last night I realized how much this band has influenced my life so far, and that they are essentially the reason I am myself today. Here is a record of my former obsession with this band.

Becoming obsessed
I remember, way back in the day, seeing the cover for Enema of the State among my stepdad's many CD's. I had always wanted to listen to it because of the cover, and because it had the word "enema" in the title. I finally got my chance to listen to it around the year 2000, when I was ten years old. I didn't really like it all that much, I'll be honest. I was more into Queen and Nirvana, if anything.Then I started hanging out with a different group of friends around '02, and they were all obsessed fans. So naturally, I became one too. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was released around this time, and it became my favorite CD. I'd put it in my Walkman and let the tracks repeat over and over again, until I had memorized everything in every song. I walked, talked, and breathed Blink. They were the love(s) of my life at this point, and I wasn't afraid to show it.

Blink-182 (self-titled) By the time the band's fifth and final album came out in 2003, I had hair like Tom, played air drums along with Travis, and talked shit like Mark. I was a walking amalgamation of the entire band, in one teenager. They were all I loved. After buying and listening to their self-titled album, I felt myself growing up, much like the band did. This album was so radically different from anything the band had previously released. It was no longer all about fart jokes and fucking dogs, it was about breakups, long relationships, and loving someone so much that it hurt. Blink-182 was by far the most influential album in my life at that time. It was this album, above anything else (even pubic hair!) that made me realize that I should grow up. And I did.

Music videos
From Feeling This to I Miss You to Down to Always, their videos released during this period were just as influential on my maturity level as well. Like I said, it was no longer about being juvenile and vulgar, it was now about maturing and growing up. Whether it was the anti-authority tone and sexual freedom in Feeling This, or the "competing for a girl" motif of Always, we now had visual proof (to go along with the auditory) that Blink had grown up. But we didn't know that this was the beginning of the end for them. You can almost sense some tension between them in the video for Down, but otherwise we weren't really aware. No way could a band that had been through so much break up, right?

Seeing Blink live On May 3, 2004, my life was forever changed when I got the opportunity to see this band live. Sure, I was far back. Sure, I went with an annoying douchebag and his mother. But it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Taking Back Sunday was the first opening band, way back before they were huge. I remember being fascinated by Adam's mic tricks. Then Cypress Hill played, and the air was filled with weed smoke and sweat. After that, Blink came on. I'll never forget that they opened with Feeling This, with the "Get ready for action!" quote playing as they walked onstage. The rest of the night is pretty much a blur. I had fun, though. Oh, and I met TBS.

Remembering Blink
They were the first band I ever loved, and are definitely the reason I listen to most of the music I do today. They may be broken up and in different bands, but I still remember every lyric, every band member, and every album. They will always hold a large music note-shaped place in my heart.
Watch the video for Not Now, and remember the good times.


Tatum said...

I really liked this because I relate to it. Me and my friend Emily were in LOVE with them in 7th grade. We'd walk to school listening to their music on my piece of shit mp3 that held 10 songs. But the point is, me and emily practically lived our lives around Blink and when they broke up it was probably the worst experience we'd been through since our lives started. Me and Emily grew up in the ghetto part of town where 90% of our school were mexicans and the rest just werent into the music we listened to so we were like the only ones in our school that liked them. They were good times, probably one of the best I've ever had. I glad you posted this :)

Devin said...

my friends and i on the day they broke up we promised that if they were to ever get back together that we would be there no matter what was holding us back... leave work, ditch school... fuck even miss weddings. when i found out they were back together my heart stopped and we made these plans come true. i just recently came back from their concert last sunday in shoreline and it changed my life. my favorite song is stay together for the kids and when they were getting ready to play it they said this song is based upon us cause we are staying together for the kids. the night is such a blur and i wish it never would have ended just like their lyrics. my life is complete. we paid good money to be close and we were so very close. the greatest time of my life and will never forget them or what childhood i had with them. thank you for writing this. it really brought me back

Eduardo said...

I was preparing a presentation for work and I stumbled upon this photo. Wow, it brought me so many memories. I was at the same concert you went to and got my ticket signed by Mark when he came out through the back. It's funny to stumble upon such things. Cypress Hill and Taking Back Sunday also played an amazing gig that day.

T. Walters said...

Small world! Despite the fact that I've been to what feels like hundreds of concerts/shows since, that one sticks out in my memory pretty distinctly.