Tom DeLonge plays guitar and shares vocal and songwriting duties with bassist Mark Hoppus in Blink-182, the pop-punk trio from San Diego who are lyrically preoccupied with masturbation and rectal exams.
Thomas DeLonge was born Dec. 13, 1975, in Southern California. He attended Poway High School in Poway, a suburb of San Diego. There he met drummer and future bandmate Scott Raynor.
DeLonge grew up loving late-'70s and early-'80s punk-rock groups like the Descendents. He and fellow punk-music lover Raynor wanted to form a rock band and recruited bassist/singer Hoppus, who had moved to the San Diego area from Ridgecrest, Calif.
The three formed Blink in 1993. DeLonge has said he chose the name simply because he likes short verbs. Their first recording was that year's independently distributed cassette EP Fly Swatter.
In 1994 Blink released the demo tape Buddha. The band then signed with Cargo Records and issued 1995's Cheshire Cat on the label's Grilled Cheese imprint. It included such songs as "Cacophony," "Ben Wah Balls," "Does My Breath Smell?" and "M+M's," which received radio airplay in Southern California.
After an Irish group named Blink threatened legal action against the trio, they added the meaningless numbers 182 to their name to distinguish themselves.
Blink-182 joined the Vans Warped Tour in 1996 and again in 1997. The gigs increased the exposure of Blink-182's mosh-friendly, frantic pop throughout the U.S. and Europe.
In 1997 the band issued its major-label debut, the gold-certified Dude Ranch, on MCA Records. The album included tracks such as "Pathetic" and "Apple Shampoo," and the singles "Josie" and "Dammit" (RealAudio excerpt).
In 1998 Blink-182 and Raynor parted ways. He was replaced by former Aquabats drummer Travis Barker, who had played with the band a few times before when Raynor couldn't make it to gigs.
This spring the band released Enema of the State, which, despite its title, had fewer references to sex and bodily functions than its predecessors. The album's cover, though, featured porn star Janine donning a latex glove.
The platinum LP includes the hit "What's My Age Again" (the video of which featured the trio naked), "Dumpweed," "Going Away to College," "Dysentery Gary" and "All the Small Things" (RealAudio excerpt). The latter's video was a spoof of heartthrob teen-pop bands.
"If we tried to write about politics, you'd realize that we're all a bunch of idiots," DeLonge said of the band's lyrics. "So we write about relationships, and just growing up through high school, that kind of stuff. That's what we relate to, because even though we're in our early twenties, we're really immature."
Hoppus said, "I think that the songs have matured, and we've become better songwriters. But we haven't matured as people."
In June the group contributed "Mutt" to the soundtrack of the film "American Pie." In the summer they headlined the Vans Warped Tour, and in November the trio toured with Silverchair and Fenix*TX.
Blink-182 have scheduled 34 amphitheater shows for spring and summer 2000. They also are slated to play MTV's New Year's Eve Millennium Bash in New York's Times Square with Bush, Christina Aguilera, Goo Goo Dolls and 98 Degrees.
Other birthdays on Monday: Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan), 51; Tony Gomez (Foundations), 51; Ted Nugent, 51; David O'List (Nice, Roxy Music), 51; Randy Owen (Alabama), 50; Tom Verlaine (ex-Television), 50; Berton Averre (Knack), 45; and Pat Torpey (Mr. Big), 40.