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Tereza Šnajdrová
September 16, 2022, 5:00pm
Reading time: 6:06

Pill Addiction And A Promiscuous Lifestyle. Travis Barker Changed After A Plane Disaster, During Which He Narrowly Escaped Death

The life of Travis Barker, one of the most talented drummers ever, is full of ups and downs. There were days when Travis wouldn't leave the apartment without a handful of pills, but that all changed one fateful day...

Tereza Šnajdrová
September 16, 2022, 5:00pm
Reading time: 6:06
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Pill Addiction And A Promiscuous Lifestyle. Travis Barker Changed After A Plane Disaster, During Which He Narrowly Escaped Death
Zdroj: Flickr/Carl Pocket
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Travis Barker received his first set of drums on his fourth birthday, and his parents soon discovered that their son was growing into an unusually talented drummer. However, the road to the top was thorny, and global recognition came to Travis only when he became a member of the legendary band Blink-182.

But with success came problems, and his case was no different...Travis Barker struggled with addictions to pills, drugs and alcohol throughout his life, and everything changed only after he survived a plane crash in which his loved ones died . This is the life story of one of the world's most talented drummers.

Travis Barker knew he wanted to be a drummer from the age of 4. His family supported him in his decision

Travis Barker was born on November 14, 1975 to a typical American family, he had two older sisters, his father worked as a mechanic and his mother looked after the children. He wanted to be a drummer from an early age, and with his parents supporting him throughout his life, he got his first set of drums on his 4th birthday. However, in order for the young man to know how to properly handle the drums, his mother also signed him up for drumming lessons led by Michael Mai. It was he who taught him several styles of playing. Travis also learned to play the trumpet, the piano, and briefly tried singing when he joined the madrigal choir.

The Barkers were delighted - their son was very talented, not only in the field of music, but also a promising surfer and skateboarder. However, the young man finally decided to give priority to music and he decided well. “I always came back to the drums. That was the only direction in which I felt myself and which I could understand. I could express myself better with drums than with words,” Travis recalls.


When Travis was 13, his mother died. On her deathbed, she still managed to tell him to continue playing the drums and turn it into a career. "Keep at it, no matter what anyone says," were his mother's words of encouragement, which the teenager decided to follow.

At Fontana High School, he joined the jazz ensemble and played snare drum in the marching band, gaining a lot of experience performing at regional competitions and festivals. He could play both military and jazz rhythms with ease, but something was still missing.

Hip-hop and punk-rock rhythms. Barker started drumming in the high school band Necromancy, which he later changed to Snot, Feeble or even The Aquabats! Thanks to the last mentioned band, Travis met Tom DeLonge, who founded the legendary band Blink-182 in 1992.


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90s, tattoos, punk, skateboarding and legendary Blink-182

The 90s were wild, the pop-punk scene was booming and Travis Barker and The Aquabats! released a new record, with which he also went on a national tour in 1997. The band went with Blink-182, who had just finished the album Dude Ranch, and whose drummer announced just before the start of the tour, that he would leave the band after the tour was finished.

But Tom DeLong was proud and before one of the concerts at the last minute asked Travis Barker to fill in for their drummer. Travis had no time to prepare, he had never played with Tom and Mark Hoppus (singer and bassist of Blink-182) before, and he had to learn the tracks for a 20-track playlist in just 45 minutes. He did it. He put on a flawless show.

In May 1998, Blink-182 officially fired their drummer Scott Raynor and replaced him with Travis Barker. The band then released the album Enema Of The State a year later and the whole world went crazy. All The Small Things, Adam's Song or even What's My Age Again?, these are hits that almost all of us know and which have more than 660 million listens on Spotify. Blink-182 toured like crazy, gaining international fame, and young punks took full advantage of it.

Travis Barker founded the clothing brand Famous Stars and Straps, which was inspired by his love of skateboarding, BMX, tattoos, rap, metal and punk. However, as his fame grew, the talented drummer began to face other problems…

The drummer struggled with addiction to drugs, alcohol, pills and inappropriate behavior towards women

"Four years ago I didn't have enough to pay rent. Now I can buy art, old Cadillacs and I can live in comfort," declared Barker after the first successful record. The band subsequently released the album Take Off Your Pants And Jackets, with which they almost immediately scored in the charts all over the world and the money kept pouring in for the young musicians.

However, in 2005, out of the blue, the band announced that they were taking an "indefinite hiatus". But Travis was not idle. He filmed the reality show Meet the Barkers for MTV, he was involved in production, but also in all the vices. He divorced his wife Shanna Moakler, with whom he has two children, and the wild end of the relationship began to fill the headlines of all tabloids. Travis was seen getting intimate with Paris Hilton at a party, and then, visiting famous nightclubs.

“Everything I wanted, I had it in my life, I had it in abundance. When I like something, I'm addicted to it," confided the drummer in his book Can I Say, who, thanks to his wild lifestyle, became addicted to drugs, drinking, smoking and pills.


“My breakfast was four joints, four Vicodins, one Valium and one Oxycodone. That was the only reason I could leave home. My security guard slept during the day and stayed up at night to check that I was breathing,” Barker recalled.

In the book, he also confided that he was very promiscuous and he couldn't even count the women he had an affair with. However, Barker continues to speak very disrespectfully about women, and it is not certain whether he has worked on this behaviour.


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Plane crash changed Travis Barker's life. 4 people died, the talented musician narrowly escaped death

It was 2008, September 19, and Travis Barker's world changed. The drummer went with the band TRV$DJAM to an event in South Carolina, where he invited his ex-wife, but she refused, saying that she "doesn't feel good" about flying on a private plane. Therefore, Travis invited his friend on board instead of her, who told him he was supposed to be psychological support, as the musician hated flying. He was even "fucking scared" of him, as he said.

Then, as the plane took off just before midnight, there was a huge bang, sparks started flying, and it crashed into an embankment near a highway. “When the plane hit the ground, I tried to pull everyone I could out of it,” he recalls of the moment that changed his life. Only he and DJ AM survived the crashed plane. "The plane suddenly exploded, I didn't know if we were alive," the drummer added, saying that four people, including his friends, had died.
Both survivors were subsequently taken to hospital in critical condition, where Barker learned he had third-degree burns over 65% of his body and a spine broken in three places. He spent more than 11 weeks in the hospital, underwent 26 operations and was in danger of having his leg amputated.

"The doctors were considering amputating my leg. There wasn't enough skin intact on my body," said the drummer, who also developed post-traumatic stress disorder and guilt that led him to contemplate suicide countless times. A year later, the second survivor, DJ AM, died of an overdose due to the traumatic experience.

Reunion, supporting young talent and relationship with Kourtney Kardashian

It took months for Travis Barker to recover, but he returned to the drums later that year and took home the 2009 Grammy Award with the reunited Blink-182. The musician also made some major changes in his life - he stopped taking drugs and pills, switched to a vegan diet and started running every day.

Currently, Barker is mainly dedicated to his own projects and supports young talents. He collaborated with Machine Gun Kelly on Tickets to My Downfall, sang transparentsoul with WILLOW and released Survivors Guilt: The Mixtape// with the gifted KennyHoopla.
In 2020, speculation began to spread on the Internet that Travis Barker was dating Kourtney Kardashian. The couple initially denied the relationship, but at the beginning of 2021 they admitted that the rumours were true and began to publicly share their love on social media. As it seems, the partnership is taken seriously by both celebrities, and Travis Barker even dared to get on a plane again after 13 years and go on a dream vacation with her.

At the end of 2021, the news that Travis and Kourtney got engaged spread around the world. “When I'm with her, I'm invincible. It's something I never dreamed of, I never thought I would fly again," said the drummer, adding that he is now very happy.


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