photo & text by nacrowe
this straightforward, un-adorned memoir co-written by BLINK-182 drummer / FAMOUS STARS & STRAPS founder-owner TRAVIS BARKER delivers on the goods of walking his audience through the ups and downs of his improbably career.
my interest, aside from the fact that he's a sick musician that has been in several killer bands that basically defined my formative adolescent years (i.e. THE AQUABATS! , BLINK-182 and THE TRANSPLANTS), was mainly in how he went about his career. what i learned is that the dude has an addictive personality that basically informed his relationships with weed, women, tattoos and all things material. that drive throughout this self-spun narrative of his life essentially allowed him to pursue and push further without being sidelined by doubt or obstacles.
and man, were there obstacles. namely the death of his mother at 13, but also the horrific experience of being in a lear jet plane crash after a gig in 2008. both events defined him and the later gave him the opportunity to reassess his priorities.
its easy to find many of the things written about here wrote and rife with cliches, but i dont think that was a concern of his when considering pursuing this book. if anything, what i took from his story is the intense level of engagement he has with his instrument and how that singular focus provide him a unique vessel to communicate with an ever growing cadre of musicians and artists. through everything, that core relationship was intact.
you really get the feeling he'd be drumming somewhere in a small club with a no name band happily even if BLINK-182 never took off. its that love of his art that i resonated with. the stories of sex addiction and pursuing of celebrity relationships and material bullshit less so.
this book was easily digestible and straight to the point, much like a good 90s skate punk song. worth it if you are a fan of the POP PUNK genre.