How did Blink-182 get its name?

Rarely do legends receive full honors in their lifetime. Yet few music lovers are surprised to hear Blink-182 called a revolutionary pop-punk band. They helped make rock what it is today through the music they created in the 90s and 2000s. Many bands credit Blink-182 with influencing the writing and production of their songs.

In the three decades since the band has been active, do you already feel old? – a question that has always bothered fans. What’s the name of the group? Why 182? Read on to unravel the mystery of “Blink-182”.

(LR) Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 in 1998 | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Formed in August 1992, Blink-182’s origin story begins in Poway, California. As Last FM reports, budding guitarist Tom DeLonge met drummer Scott Raynor in Rancho Bernardo High School’s Battle of the Bands. Through friend Kerry Key, DeLonge met Anne Hoppus, the sister of bassist Mark Hoppus.

The tracks began to fit together and the original line-up of Mark Hoppus (vocalist/bassist), DeLonge (vocalist/guitarist) and Raynor (drummer) materialized. Yet only two-thirds of the trio would achieve local and international success with Blink-182.

Their 1995 project, cheshire cat, launched them into the spotlight along with fan favorites like “M+M’s” and “Carousel.” With growing popularity, they realized that their label’s ambivalence was stifling their ambition and so sought a different direction. Raynor wanted to partner with Epitaph Records. Hoppus and DeLonge had other ideas and called it off, signing with MCA. Under the new label, they made their second album, Ranch Guyin 1997.

In the middle of a tour in 1998, Raynor was fired from the band. There has been a lot of speculation as to why this happened. A rumor claims he went to college; another cites alcohol abuse, as Grunge reports. They asked Aquabat stickman Travis Barker to fill in for the late Raynor for the rest of the tour.

Barker then mastered the 20-song setlist in less than an hour. Needless to say, he impressed Hoppus and DeLonge. In July of the same year, Barker became the final piece in the trifecta. As they say, the rest is history.

First off, we won’t blame Blink-182 for the weird tendency of bands in the late 90s/early 2000s to add meaningless numbers to the end of seemingly meaningless words. (We’re certainly not talking about Matchbox 20 and Sum 41 here.)

Prior to the creation of Blink-182, the group was simply called “Blink”. Before that they were called “Figure 8” and “Duck Tape”. They were Blink for a while, using that moniker at early garage sessions, late-night songwriting hangouts, performances at small SoCal clubs, and a few San Diego-area tours. January 1994 Buddhatheir first notable project, was produced under the name Blink.

After signing with the punk label Cargo Music, the group released their first album in February 1995, cheshire cat. The group made waves – but not in the way everyone expected. It turns out that an Irish band called “Blink” already existed. After getting wind of the famous San Diego punk rockers, they threatened to sue. Not wanting to fight a legal battle, Cargo Music told the band to rethink the name. The trio did, and Blink-182 was born.

As you’d expect, the “-182” has been the subject of much discussion over the years. Some common reasons they gave for adding “182” include:

  • It’s related to the number of times Tony Montana says the F-word in scarface.
  • It pays homage to Timothy Hutton’s 1985 film, Turkish 182.
  • This is the ideal weight of Hoppus, among others.

However, DeLonge’s recent tweet about the band’s pronunciation sheds new light on the matter. According to Turn, after DeLonge was expelled from Poway High School for attending a basketball game while intoxicated, he attended Rancho Bernardo in a nearby town. Since Rancho Bernardo may be initialized with “RB”, some people think 182 represents R and B. (R is the 18th letter of the alphabet; B is the second.)

The title of “laid-back geniuses” fits this group like a glove. While they helped define pop and punk rock, Blink-182 was also known for their PG-rated onstage banter and crude bathroom humor. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that the only things the band cared about were jokes about teenage angst and farting (although they later evolved into mature themes). They have also faced their fair share of adult experiences.

After the release in 1999 of their third album, State enemathey gained national notorietyand. Their star was still rising in 2002. Unsurprisingly, they co-led a tour with Green Day. They maintained the work ethic and in 2003 released their fifth album, Blink-182and co-led a 2004 tour with No Doubt.

Unfortunately, 2005 was a dark time for the band. DeLonge left the band. The band dropped plans for any future projects and announced an indefinite hiatus. Hoppus and Barker reunited to form the +44 group. DeLonge disappeared from the rock scene for a few months but then declared a comeback with alternative rock band Angels & Airwaves in 2005.

Misfortune followed the band when Jerry Finn, a producer and friend of Blink-182, died of a brain hemorrhage in 2008. Not even a month later, Barker survived the tragic crash of the South Caroline Learjet 60 and spent weeks to recover in the hospital. Hoppus and DeLonge visited the recovering Barker frequently, and the talk of a reunion was soon on the table.

The trio reunited at the 2009 Grammy Awards. They then released their sixth album, Neighborhoods, in 2011. Tensions within the band as well as Barker’s aerophobia affected Blink-182’s touring logistics, delaying the release of the seventh album.

DeLonge left the band again in 2015. This time Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio replaced him. The band have released their long-awaited seventh studio album, California, in 2016 with great success.

Blink-182 was scheduled to perform at the 2017 scam of the year, the Fyre Festival. However, a combination of suspicion from frontman Mark Hoppus, air travel constraints from Travis Barker, and stupid luck motivated the band to pull out of the debacle. In an effort to ease his worsening depression, Hoppus teamed up with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth to form Simple Creatures in 2019.

In June 2021, the world received some utterly disheartening and unwelcome news: Mark Hoppus revealed that he had been fighting for his life with breast cancer for three months. Barker, DeLonge and the rest of the world showed their support. Then, in September 2021, Hoppus announced that he was cured of cancer thanks to chemotherapy.

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