PHOTOS: Travis Barker Through the Years
Born to Randy and Gloria Barker in Fontana, Calif., Travis is the youngest of three kids, and the only boy. His mom gave young Travis his first drum kit at 4-years-old and he started lessons at 5. He had that same kit until he was 15. Sadly, Gloria Barker died as Travis was beginning high school. Before she passed, she told him to keep playing music and follow his dreams. Obviously, he took her advice.
Barker's first band was the ska-punk Aquabats which he joined in 1994. The Aquabats toured with San Diego-based Blink-182 in '97. Blink's Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge were impressed by Barker and when Blink's drummer at-the-time, Scott Raynor, said he was going to leave the band, they enlisted Barker to fill in. As legend has it, Barker learned 20 songs in 45 minutes and played perfectly.
Barker's first album with the band was Enema of the State (hello nurse!), and it shot Blink-182 to stardom, cementing them as pop-punk icons. Eventually, they would sell over 13 million albums in the United States, and 50 million worldwide.
Success has allowed Barker to pursue a lot of projects. He started a clothing company, a music label and bought a fish-taco franchise too. The drummer also delved into other musical projects. He's played with DeLonge's Box Car Racer, the Transplants with Rancid's Tim Armstrong, and +44 with Hoppus, as well as many other drumming stints and guest turns with other bands, singers and rappers.
Tragedy struck in 2008. Barker and DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) formed a live partnership where AM would mix songs and Barker would play live drums. On their way back from a gig, the private plane crashed on take-off and Barker suffered extensive burns. He spent more than 11 weeks in hospitals, totaling 16 surgeries including blood transfusions and skin grafts.
Barker has made many changes since the accident. He's gone completely vegan, ended his dependency on painkillers, and runs and swims daily. All the while remaining prolific as a superstar drummer. And in 2021, the drummer flew for the first time since his plane crash, crediting Kourtney Kardashian with being able to take that step.
Let's take a look at Travis' life through the years as we wish him a happy birthday.
Blink-182's Travis Barker Through The Years