Before They Were Rock Stars: blink-182

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Lullaby Renditions of blink-182 is FINALLY HERE!

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I’d been campaigning for this release since 2011. It was a long, hard journey but we made it, everyone. We made it!

To celebrate the release, let’s take a trip back in time with the men of blink-182, before they were rock stars.

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Tom Delonge

  • His first musical instrument was actually a trumpet: He used to wake up his parents with it.
  • Tom’s two friends bought him a guitar for Christmas in 6th grade. He described it as “a beat-up, sh*tty acoustic guitar that was worth about $30.”
  • Mark’s sister met Tom before Mark did. Waiting in line to use a payphone, she overheard Tom making a prank call for his own amusement.

Mark Hoppus

  • Mark likes his cereal dry.
  • When Mark first met Tom, he tried to impress him by climbing a lamppost outside of Tom’s house and proceeded to actually break both his ankles on the way down.
  • Mark originally wanted to be a high school English teacher.

Travis Barker

  • Before joining blink-182, Travis played in the band The Aquabats. Before that, he was a garbage man in Laguna Beach.
  • Animal from The Muppets inspired Travis to become a drummer.
  • He started tattooing himself at a young age so that music would be his only option as a career.

Pick up your copy of Lullaby Renditions of blink-182 now!


The Songs That Make Me Cry

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It’s not Joy Division or The Smiths or even Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton; the songs that make me cry right now are on a super limited-edition recording (I know because we burned them all on my computer) of my kids’ preschool class singing along with Rob and Steve, two musician dads who led them in a riotous music session once a week for the last year.

I never guessed my favorite CD would be a compilation of kids singing, but with my oldest daughter making the move into kindergarten, this homemade CD captures this incredible moment of time, when kids scream out the words to “You Are My Sunshine” and “Go Down Moses,” and you feel like maybe someday everything really will be right with the world.

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One of my favorite recordings ever is the Langley Schools Music Project — which I loved long before I ever had kids. And now I have a personalized version of it — except instead of elementary kids in the 1970s, this is my kid and her friends singing classics like “Peace Like a River” and “With My Own Two Hands” with so much emotion and knowing, it’s like a punch in the gut.

Listening to it, I’m reminded not only of the power of song, but that kids are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. They may be little, but their emotional lives aren’t — whether they are yucking it up on a song called “Diaper Rash,” or going deep (and singing in Hebrew and Arabic) on “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinv.”

 

I’m in love with this record, not just because it features a kid I love, but because it’s not cute, it’s moving, with sadness and loneliness as well as laughter and joy. Hans Fenger, who was the music teacher behind the brilliant Langley Schools Music Project, apparently had no idea about what “children’s music” was, so he taught the kids popular songs they liked, such as Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and the Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda,” Fenger later said of the recording: “Whether the results were good, bad, in tune, or out was no big deal—they had élan . . .”

What a great description and an amazing appreciation for what kids can do and be—neither good nor bad nor happy or sad, but something bigger than those dichotomies, tiny people with soul (with élan!) that can belt out the best of Bowie and old spirituals as well as a song about being a pizza. Now that’s range, and I’m totally rocking to it right now, even as it breaks my heart.

For Rockabye Baby’s interpretation of rock classics, give these a listen:

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