It’s Been Three Years Since Tom DeLonge Was The Least Bit Tolerable

blink.jpegThree years ago today Blink 182 officially announced their indefinite hiatus, thus ending a golden era of genuinely fun pop music. Commercial rock has been tragically devoid of dick jokes and scatological humor since their departure, and the new wave of punky pop bands (aka emo aka Those Dudes) just doesn’t have the same kind of sarcastic swagger that Blink 182 possessed in such abundance. They were by no means great musicians, but if you were 13 years old in 2000 and too misanthropic for boy bands, yet still immature enough to enjoy sodomy jokes, they were pitch perfect. Let’s examine some of their finer moments.

This song was on their 1994 EP Cheshire Cat . It’s not a bad little song, and was always one of those “this is for the people who knew us before Enema of the State” moments at concerts.

In my early teen days I always thought this song was really romantic. I still kind of think so! And Tom DeLonge’s ratty voice in the chorus is a brilliant addition to the song.

Probably the best single they ever put out, if not their best song ever. You better believe it was exciting at concerts when the drums kicked in after the opening guitar riff. Right at that moment in the song on their live album Tom DeLonge screams “Take your pants off!” My best friend and I still say it every time we listen to the song.

People talk a big game about Nickelback’s alleged “sense of humor” with that “Rockstar” song, but it’s just not good enough for me. I want nudity and black dress socks. Now that’s commitment.

What on earth can compete with this song? It’s like Cheap Trick and The Monkees had a baby and it fell in a barrel of nuclear waste to become the ultimate mutant-powerful pop song.

And then they started taking themselves too seriously and things went steadily downhill…

I hear shades of Angels and Airwaves in the leaden chorus.

And then they started hanging out with Robert Smith and writing lyrics like “Hello there the angel from my nightmare, the shadow in the background of the morgue.”

And since you can’t sink any further than that, they had to call it quits. But where are they now? We all know what horror Tom DeLonge moved on to. Travis Barker now plays drums in his closet. And Mark Hoppus has a blog. I would say that it’s sad they’re not together anymore, but considering that they reached their peak in about 1999 with three chords and a handful of fart jokes, it’s probably best to just leave the past behind us in this case.

  • futurehorse

    I’m not too sure which was first, but this is clearly the best naked men running video:

  • futurehorse

    @futurehorse: Wait, I thought you could embed YouTube videos now? I must have misread the memo. I guess you should just go here to see naked men running.

  • Maura Johnston

    @futurehorse: if you post the youtube url with no code it should work:


  • Maura Johnston

    or rather:

    (the ‘related’ coming first in the url messed up my first attempt)

  • futurehorse

    @Maura Johnston: Thanks!

  • How do I say this … THROWDINI!

    I’m probably in the minority here, but I really liked their last album. Robert Smith is always an improvement over masturbation jokes. I’d call it a step toward maturity/adulthood. Not as big a step as say Green Day took with their world-conquering American Idiot, but still not a bad record.

  • catdirt

    poway 4 eva. lucy’s fur coat is getting back together, maybe you could do a post on that.

  • Al Shipley

    @How do I say this … THROWDINI!: Agreed, I still think that last overly serious/pretentious/eclectic “mature” self-titled album they did was by far their best work.

  • Tenno

    I actually sorta liked that last video of theirs, but most likely because i like arty, silly videos with disturbing marilyn mansonesque crap going on.

    speaking of which, those two bands would make a great lineup =) in a horrible way.

    oh well, most bands peak hard when they try and get political (green day) even if people argue its ‘their strongest work ever’, sometimes you just want the dick jokes to go on.

  • SuperUnison

    Damn, now you have me craving “What’s My Age Again?” and it’ll be at least 3 1/2 hours before I can get home and steal it.

    Also, exhilirating, hilarious, addictive punk didn’t die with these guys. If anything, it got caustic and mutated a little more brains with Mclusky/Future of the Left.

  • Shenanigans

    Adam’s song was good too. I’d lump that into the pre-downhill phase

  • Jasonbob7

    For a good sense of Blink 182 at their prime on the road, dig up the movie “Riding In Vans with Boys”. It’s a tour film starring Blink, Green Day (well before their American Idiot revival), and a shitty but hilarious crew called Kut U Up, friends of Tom’s from back in the day. Tons of great punk-band-on-tour highjinks. Worth seeing.

  • Captain Wrong

    “They were by no means great musicians”

    Don’t tell that to the kids who think Travis Barker is the greatest drummer evar!!!!

  • Anonymous

    @How do I say this … THROWDINI!:

    You know, I actually think Blink-182′s self-titled album is better than “American Idiot”, and more mature too. Green Day’s album is more ambitious and definitely had more of an impact, but I think Blink’s holds up to repeated listening much better.

  • Anonymous


  • How do I say this … THROWDINI!

    @solanine: You know, I might be able to be convinced that the Blink album is more mature than American Idiot. The reason I said that Green Day’s album was more mature is that Blink-182′s album covered the same topics they always sang about — girls and alienation — while American Idiot at least tackled a relatively new topic for Green Day — politics. Granted, it approached politics with the idealism of a 19-year-old, instead of the realism that I think most 30+ years olds approach politics, but hey, nothing wrong with idealism. (See Obama v Hillary.)

    That said, I definitely agree that the Blink album holds up better, as a peak at my itunes play count totals would reveal.

  • Halfwit

    I have no shame in saying that 16 year old me would get a little misty at the “true… so true” sentiment in the chorus of “Dammit.”

    Okay… I have a lot of shame in saying that. Dammit (no pun intended)

  • Kate Richardson

    @Jasonbob7: Seen it. Good stuff. But have you read their book, “Tales From Beneath Your Mom”?

  • extracrispy

    Angels & Airwaves is one of my favorite bands making music right now. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they get so much scorn around here. But it wouldn’t be an Idolator post without a throw-away line like “We all know what horror Tom DeLonge moved on to” that you don’t bother backing up. Not to mention the childish assertion of a statement that begins “We all know…” As if everyone is expected to like and dislike the same music. I thought we stopped doing that after high school.

    Sometimes I wonder if you people actually like music or this blog exists solely to hurl snark at your latest targets.

  • Feh Am Legend

    @Captain Wrong: Well, I don’t know about the greatest drummer ever, but the guy’s no slouch. I think he’s a great example of a drummer elevating a band. A lot of competent drummers would just ride the 4/4 on these types of songs, but Travis just delivers a great sense of dynamics and rhythmic interest. Adam’s Song being a perfect example.

    And I’m old.

  • Kate Richardson

    @extracrispy: To be fair I went back over a couple of their songs that are up on YouTube just to see if I really do hate them or if I’m just being flippant. It’s kind of both. It seems like musically they’re pretty solid. I don’t really enjoy the songs at all, but they definitely have some things going on. The thing I genuinely do despise is Tom DeLonge’s vaguely new agey lyrics/presence. I can’t put my finger on it, but it rubs me in all the wrong ways.

    That being said, when I was younger I loved Tom in Bink 182 because he was a fun jokester who didn’t appear to take himself seriously, and any more serious incarnation of his personality is immediately going to be met with my scorn. No matter what. So in that way, yes, I’m just spouting uninformed hate.

  • Cos

    1) Holy shit, I forgot the video for “Josie” was shot at my high school. Crazy.

    2) Someone else said it, but I’ll reiterate it: Scott Raynor should round up 2 ringers and reform Blink 182. They could be the new Christian Death.

  • Anonymous

    @Shenanigans: took the words from my mouth.

    watching these videos makes me feel like im in high school all over again and a crush gave me a mix tape with ‘all the small things’ on it.

  • Anonymous

    i like robert smith, and come on “i miss you” was still a big hit even though it was a little darker than their usual stuff

  • tigerpop

    “the girl at the rock show” was a lot of fun. but angels and airwaves makes me want to stop listening to music.

  • Kate Richardson

    Oh, nothing against Robert Smith. And I actually think the instrumentation on “I Miss You” is really beautiful and interesting. But some of those lyrics and the vaguely misogynistic/cartoonishly gothic video…oof. Makes my skin crawl.

  • Luke13

    dude, thuis review sucks. they matured so they got worse? no, the only reasin they started playing music in '92 was to play music they like, so who are you to say they suck? and angels and airwaves wasnt even in the littlest bit possible like stay together for the kids. your the biggest dumbass in the world. blink got better and better as they went on, and they broke up to spend time with there growing families. Tom is in AvA which is an amazing band. and mark and travis were both in +44, until they got back together with tom. fuck you.