All The Small Things – Blink 182

Blink-182 is an American pop punk band from San Diego, California, formed in 1992.  The band formed as “Blink” with vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor.  In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, current drummer Travis Barker replaced Scott Raynor. Blink-182 is recognized as a key pioneer of contemporary pop punk music, influencing various acts over their career.

After being expelled from Poway High School, DeLonge attended Rancho Bernardo High School where he became friends with Anne Hoppus. DeLonge often expressed wanting to be in a band, so in August 1992 Anne introduced him to her brother Mark Hoppus, who also wanted to be in a band. The two played for hours in DeLonge’s garage, showing each other songs they had previously written, and writing new songs together. One of these songs would eventually become what is now “Carousel”.  That night the two decided they needed to officially start a band, so DeLonge recruited friend Scott Raynor, who he had met at his school’s Battle of the Bands competition. The three began playing together and called themselves Duck Tape, until DeLonge thought of the name Blink.

The band practiced constantly, which angered Hoppus’s girlfriend. She told him he had to choose between the band and her, so he left the band just as it was starting. DeLonge then informed Hoppus that he borrowed a 4-track from a friend and he and Raynor were using it to make a demo tape. Upon hearing this, Hoppus decided he would leave his girlfriend and return to the band.

Between 1994 the band was threatened with legal action by an Irish pop band of the same name and to avoid legal action, they appended “182″ to the end of their name.  Midway through a U.S. tour in 1998, drummer Scott Raynor left the band. Raynor had a serious drinking problem and was asked to go into rehab. Raynor claims he agreed to go to rehab, but DeLonge and Hoppus were doubtful of his sincerity and subsequently fired him over the phone. Hoppus and DeLonge asked drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182′s support band The Aquabats to fill in for Raynor for the remainder of the tour. After the set, Hoppus and DeLonge sat down and discussed Barker joining the band. The next day he was offered the position and consequently left The Aquabats.

A North American tour, in support of Blink-182 and the recent single release “Always”, was planned for spring 2005. Tensions, however, arose between the band members as DeLonge expressed his desire to cancel the tour and enter a half-year respite from touring. According to Mark Hoppus, the band’s manager Rick DeVoe, who had previously encouraged the forthcoming tour, sided with DeLonge in the decision to cancel the shows: “I was at an airport in Singapore, on my way to Nepal, and [DeVoe] called to tell me that he now thought we shouldn’t tour. This is a good indication of the relationship between our old manager and blink-182 at that time. By that point, he was basically managing Tom. Tom changed his mind on touring, and then our manager changed his too.”

At a band meeting which coincided with the beginning of Blink-182′s final European tour, DeLonge expressed his desire to spend more time with his family. In an interview published in 2006, Hoppus stated that, at this meeting, Delonge stated that he was: “‘over playing music’ and wanted to be with his family. The spring tour was going to be canceled. Travis and I were in shock. [...] [We] said ‘okay, if you don’t want to tour, how about let’s stay home and start the next record?’ We had a lot of ideas and were ready to start laying them down, and Tom could be with his family. He didn’t want to do that either. He was burned out and just wanted to stop. We asked him how long he needed, and he said he didn’t know. The conversation got heated and lasted for two or three hours. It went around in circles, and the end result was the canceled tour, with no idea when we would be doing anything with blink-182 again.”

During the band’s six-month break, Hoppus expressed his desire for the band to perform at Music for Relief’s Concert for South Asia, a benifit show to aid victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. DeLonge agreed to perform, and the band subsequently began rehearsing for the event. Further tensions, however, arose between the band members during rehearsals, and they began arguing about the band’s “forced break, the greatest hits record, and the possibility of recording the next album.”

DeLonge stated that he would only record his contributions to the band’s next studio album at his home in San Diego, and that Hoppus and Barker could send him ProTools files to work on. Regarding the band’s final moments together as a band, Hoppus states that: “Tom was deciding when we would tour, how we would tour, when we would have time off, when we would record, and how we could record. One person was dictating everything. We told Tom this. Things got hot. [...] We said, ‘You are trying to control everything, and it’s wrong.’ He said he couldn’t be a part of anything he couldn’t control, and he left the rehearsal space.” DeVoe phoned Hoppus and Barker the following day to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band, stating: “As of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of blink-182.”  DeLonge subsequently changed his telephone number to avoid discussing the matter with Hoppus and Barker. In 2010, whilst reflecting upon the band’s break-up, Tom Delonge stated that: “My biggest failure was the breakup of Blink. That was a failure of friendships, businesses and communications. In our hearts, we thought that was forever and gone. What’s funny is, at the time, I looked at it as a triumph.”

On August 21, 2008, the band’s frequent producer Jerry Finn died of a cerebral hemorrhage. This event would become one of the catalysts for DeLonge to begin communicating with both Hoppus and Barker again in September 2008.

On September 19, 2008, Travis Barker barely survived a plane crash, after performing an event with Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell. Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM) and Barker were the sole survivors. Barker sustained second and third degree burns on his lower body and torso and expected to recover within a year. While in the hospital, Mark Hoppus and former bandmate Tom DeLonge visited, allowing the band to reconcile and patch up their differences. Regarding Barker’s incident in 2010, Tom DeLonge stated that “if that accident hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be a band. Plain and simple. That was fate.”

All The Small Things

Tom DeLonge wrote the song about his then girlfriend (later wife) Jennifer Jenkins. According to DeLonge, it wasn’t just about Jenkins: “I wanted to write a song with na-nas in it, ’cause I love the Ramones. So I thought, I’ll write this song about my chick, and it’ll be an ode to the Ramones, too.” The line in the song about “roses on the stairs” was inspired by a real-life night where DeLonge came home from recording and found roses laying at the top of the stairs. DeLonge would marry Jenkins on May 26, 2001.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/blink-182-all-the-small-things.flv[/flv]

All the, small things
True care, truth brings
I’ll take, one lift
Your ride, best trip

Always, I know
You’ll be at my show
Watching, waiting
Commiserating

Say it ain’t so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home

Na, na, na

Late night, come home
Work sucks, I know
She left me roses by the stairs
Surprises let me know she cares

Say it ain’t so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home

Na, na, na

Say it ain’t so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home

Keep your head still
I’ll be your thrill
The night will go on
My little windmill

Say it ain’t so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home

Keep your head still
I’ll be your thrill
The night will go on
My little windmill

  • Audio from the 1999 album, Enema of the State

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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