Basic Background Info
Although Travis Barker started taking jazz drum lessons when he was ten years old, his true desire was to be a professional skateboarder. Travis Barker's mother was an avid Elvis and Beatles fan and wanted Travis to be a rock & roll drummer. Every day after school, Travis Barker's mother ensured that he attended to his homework and drum practice before he was allowed to go out and skateboard. Travis accomplished a degree of skill as a skateboarder, but it came at a price: he was breaking bones at an alarming pace. When the doctors told Travis Barker that he eventually would lose the use of his legs at the rate he was going, he finally admitted that he was a better drummer than skater and refocused his attention accordingly. Tragically, Travis Barker's mother passed away just before he started high school. Before she died, she again encouraged her son to be a drummer at any cost.
Looking for practice and experience, Travis Barker started playing in his high school drum line and jazz band. Travis Barker also sang in the men's and women's choir. Travis was 'super serious about practicing and rudiments, and still [is].' His early influences were Mikki Dee (Kind Diamond, Dokken, Motorhead), Dennis Chambers, Steve Gadd, and Stewart Copeland. Travis Barker joined up with local acoustic outfit Feeble and continued on with them after graduation. Travis Barker also offered drum lessons for extra cash and played with Laguna Beach Latin group Flash in the Pan. While Travis Barker was with Flash, he developed the fast-paced punk take on Latin rhythms that would become his trademark.
In 1996, Travis Barker joined his first real live touring band, The Aquabats, while working as a trash man. The Aquabats recorded one album together, Fury of the Aquabats, and toured with blink-182 in 1998. When blink-182 parted with their drummer Scott Raynor, they quickly asked Travis Barker to take his place. Travis Barker learned more than twenty songs in the course of a few hours and performed with both The Aquabats and blink-182 on the same night. Travis Barker's admirable work ethic and ability to quickly pick up songs won Travis the invitation to join Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus in blink-182.
blink-182 released their first album in 1999, Enema of the State, which became their best-selling record. Their sound mixed 'fast, melodic punk with brutally honest, from-the-heart lyrics.' After seven years of recording and touring together, blink-182 went on a hiatus in February 2005. This free time gave Travis Barker an opportunity to explore side projects such as Box Car Racer, Transplants, Expensive Taste, and +44. Travis and Tom created Box Car Racer in 2002. Transplants was a hip hop/punk supergroup with Tim Armstrong and Rob Aston of Rancid that recorded and toured until dismantling in 2006.
Outside of blink-182, Travis Barker works with an array of artists, taking on the roles of both drummer and producer. Travis's remixes (Soulja Boy’s Crank That, Rihanna’s Umbrella, and FloRida’s Low) are also very popular.
Travis has been married twice. First to long-time girlfriend Melissa Kennedy and then in 2004 to Miss U.S.A., Shanna Moakley. Travis and Shanna starred in a reality TV series (Meet the Barkers) with their two children, Landon Asher and Alabama Luella. In 2006, the couple filed for divorce. Although reports surfaced that they were trying to work things out in 2007, their divorce was finalized in 2008.
In addition to his musical endeavors, Travis Barker created the clothing company Famous Stars and Straps, the record company LaSalle Records, a shoe line for DC Shoe Company, and he owns a Wahoo's Fish Taco restaurant in Norco, CA.
Travis Barker was critically injured in a Learjet 60 accident that took place on September 19, 2008 in South Carolina. He had performed the previous night with Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, DJ AM, and Gavin DeGraw. The plane was on its way from Columbia, South Carolina, to Van Nuys, California. As the Learjet 60 was taking off, sparks were seen flying from the plane. Shortly thereafter, the small jet left the runway, slammed through a fence, skidded across a road, crashed into an embankment, and caught fire. Travis Barker’s security guard and personal assistant were both killed in the crash, along with the two crew members. Travis Barker and DJ AM were taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta and were initially listed in critical condition. Then, on September 21, 2008, Dr. Fred Mullins announced that Travis would likely experience a full recovery within a year, despite second and third degree burns on his torso and lower body. He was released from the hospital on September 29, 2008. DJ AM was released the previous week.
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