tue 28/01/2020

'We want you guys to do the video in the nude' | reviews, news & interviews

'We want you guys to do the video in the nude'

'We want you guys to do the video in the nude'

Read an extract from 'Can I Say', the memoir by superstar punk drummer Travis Barker

Travis Barker, drummer with Blink-182 and author of 'Can I Say'Photograph courtesy of Chris Roque

We  had an awesome producer, Jerry Finn, who was just a few years older than us. Jerry was usually wearing a Replacements T-shirt and Vans sneakers. He had worked with Green Day, Jawbreaker, and a bunch of bands on Epitaph Records, including Rancid and Pennywise. Jerry wasn’t some asshole rolling up to the studio in a Bentley - he was one of us. He could be honest with us, and we would listen to him, which is really important.

These days, “producer” means “I’m going to write some songs for you.” He didn’t do that - he was more about giving us ideas and lending an extra set of ears. He’d say: “Hey, that sounds cool - why doesn’t that part at the end go a little longer?” Or “What if this song had an intro?” Jerry hated my snare drum, because it was always tuned too high for him (like a marching snare). But what he hated most of all were vibraslaps: that’s a percussion instrument with a wooden ball attached to a box with pieces of metal inside. It makes a distinctive crashing sound. You hear it in a lot of Latin music, and it’s all over “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. It became a running joke between the two of us: I would keep trying to sneak in a vibraslap, and he would get irate.

We called the album Enema of the State. (At the time, Tom was worried about his diet, so he was experimenting with enemas.) Soon after we handed it in to MCA, our record label, they freaked out and told us it was going to be huge: we would be going platinum and playing arenas around the world. We all laughed it off - that just seemed ludicrous. I told myself it was going to sell horribly - I figured that way, if it did well, I’d be extra stoked. The first thing we had to do after finishing the album was to film a video for “What’s My Age Again?” The directors, Marcos Siega and Brandon PeQueen, had found out that sometimes we stripped down onstage. I would get hot, so I would play in my boxers. Sometimes Mark would take off all his clothes and put his bass over his junk.

So we got the word: we want you guys to do the video in the nude. A week later, we were running down Third Street in Los Angeles naked. People kept staring at us and honking their horns. This went on for about fifteen hours - between shots, we would put some clothes back on, but then we’d have to take them off again. The directors kept shouting, “Derobe!” When there were kids around, they gave us some skin-colored Speedos, but those weren’t much more flattering than just being buck naked.

Overleaf: watch the video of 'What's My Age Again?'




We called the album Enema of the State. (At the time, Tom was worried about his diet, so he was experimenting with enemas)

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