It’s 2001, you come home from school and throw some pizza rolls in the microwave. Homework? Nah. Shut the door to your room and throw Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in the PS2. Are you going with Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, or Chad Muska? Doesn’t matter, all three of them shred so hard.
As great as the THPS soundtrack is, sometimes you have to switch it up a bit. So you grab that trapper keeper that held all of your CDs, and find Blink 182’s classic album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. You meander through the first few songs, until you get to the third track, “First Date.”
All is good in the world.
There is so much going on in this music video and I absolutely love the chaos. A totally random and unexplained anecdote of Tom DeLonge kissing his brother starts the video off right before Travis Barker begins the musical proceedings.
If the costumes and grainy footage didn’t give it away, we quickly learn the setting for the video is El Segundo, California in 1974. Shaggy hair, handlebar mustaches, and short shorts all around. We see the band start to roll around town in their Volkswagen van, exiting accompanied by a plume of smoke, and driving with an “Ass, Gas, of Grass” bumper sticker on the back fender.
Around the 1:45 mark, we get to, in my humble option, the climax of the video…the wiffle ball scene. Both hilarious and sad, the wiffle ball bat gets launched, and caught in the poor girl with the headgear’s bike spokes. She takes a mighty tumble over the handlebars and rolls away crying and ashamed. Sad indeed.
The hilarious part is that this moment produced what is one of the most popular GIFs used today:
At their peak, the guys from Blink 182 were such visionaries they were creating visual art that would become one of the best GIFs we have, 15 years before the medium even became a popular form of communication. Truly forward-thinking stuff.
The remainder of the video is a trip to the water park and go-kart track, where we get some awkward ass slapping, shrinkage jokes, and peeing on the side of the go-kart track. We finish off by getting an update on where the guys are know; Travis drives go-karts full time, Spaulding (Mark) still lives in his van, and Boomer (Tom) is currently in prison for undisclosed reasons. A fitting end to this group of dimwits we’re introduced to in this video.
I dread the thought of our very first kiss
A target that I’m probably gonna miss
Not only are these great lyrics, they’re totally savvy. Blink knew exactly what they were doing here. They had the early aughts, punk rock, teen angst crowd wrapped around their finger. You just know there were millions of 13-17 year olds who felt these lines in their bones.
Another thing that I love about Blink 182 and bands of the like, is the punk rock accent they threw out there when singing, have you ever noticed that? A lot of elongated A’s and ending words with an “auuuugghhh” sound. You can read the lyrics above in what would be considered a normal voice, but they actually sound like:
I draaad the thoight auhv our vaary feeurst keeis
A taurgut thaaat owime praubly geeonna meeis
You know I’m right.
Is it cool if I hold your hand?
Is it wrong if I think it’s lame to dance?
A few pros and cons here. Asking permission to hold someone’s hand, definite pro. Thinking it’s lame to dance, definite con. Starting the song off with a shaky lyric; con. Having the song only get better after said start, pro.
Just because I love it so much, let’s get phonetic and read how these lyrics actually sound coming from Tom DeLonge:
Ees eiut kewl eif I hold yer haaaund?
Ees eiut wraung eif I theenk eiut’s lame tuh daaaunce?
You know I’m right.
It’s a shame that Blink 182 has gone through their fair share of break ups, reunions, and re-break ups. The band currently still consists of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Tom DeLonge has gone his separate way, and has gotten really into aliens, which I’m all for. But I think we would all be glad to see the three members that made up the band at their peak get back together at some point. A great band, and one of their top songs.