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Four people were killed including two crew members and two passengers, while two people " Barker, and Hollywood disc jockey DJ AM - were seriously injured as the plane departed from a South Carolina airport. Travis - star of MTVs Meet The Barkers - and DJ AM had performed Friday night at the Five Points block party in Columbia alongside Perry Farrell, the former Jane's Addiction singer and Gavin DeGraw. Witness reports suggest sparks were seen coming from the plane on take-off before it went off the runway and crashed through a gate onto a nearby road.
An airport spokesperson confirmed the Lear 60 was headed to Van Nuys, California but was unable to confirm the names of who was on board the plane. Barker and DJ AM " real name Adam Goldstein - have been inseparable since uniting to form the house-band at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards a couple of weeks ago.
Both men remain in a South Carolina burn centre at the time of writing.
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The history of punk rock can be divided into two parts: punk before Travis Barker and punk after Travis Barker. The California born-and-bred drummer has been a stalwart in the game for at least two decades, and is known for, among other things, his technical chops (usually delivered with military precision), and his sadomasochistic approach to beating the shit out of a drum kit. He’s also the backbone, workhorse, heart, soul, and, frankly, the best musician in the venerable pop-punk trio Blink-182 (their latest album, California, claimed Billboard’s top spot in July, putting an end to Drake’s nine-week run).
So it should be no surprise that Barker happens to be one of the industry’s most sought after drummers. (I mean, just look at his resume: The Aquabats, Transplants, Box Car Racer, +44, Yelawolf, Antemasque, not to mention collaborations with Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and Afrojack.) But even to die-hard fans, Barker is something of an enigma.
He’s always been considered the quiet one in Blink, holding down the fort of mysteriousness while his bandmates made dick jokes in front of a giant flaming "FUCK" sign. Now Barker’s life is an open book. He published an autobiography last October called . Barker doesn’t hold back, recounting his early days of debauchery, countless sexual conquests, addiction, ex-wives, and surviving an airplane crash that claimed the lives of two close friends.
The book is one of the out there, but honestly it doesn’t take 400 pages to really understand Travis Barker. All you need to do is look at the guy, namely his skin. Nearly every inch of his body is covered in tattoos, except for a portion of his legs, which sustained third degree burns from the crash and required painful skin grafts. Tattoos are, and will always be, part of his DNA.
“They’re all memories,” he wrote in Can I Say. “They’re all experiences I went through.” When did you decide to get your first tattoo post recovery? I wanted to right away. Once I realized I'd lost two of my friends, I was like, "Can I get a tattoo artist to come in right now?" I missed their funerals, so I guess I was looking for some kind of closure.
A month or two after the grafts, I was ready. My back was a skin donor site, so when I tattooed over my back it was because everything was discolored. They took lots of skin from my back and my thighs to cover my feet and my legs. The back was the first thing I did. I put my family on there. Was there any strategy in placement or did you just go all out? I started when I was 15, and it was like "Okay, let's figure out if this hurts." I was skateboarding every day, so I got a Bones tattoo and a Dag Nasty flame right on top of it.
And then once I figured out it didn't hurt, it was sort of a wrap after that. After that, I think I'd pissed my sister off, and she called me out one day in front of my dad.
She was like, "Hey, dad, did you see Trav has a tattoo?" And he goes, "You better not." He said he'd kick me out of the house if I got another one. I just started testing the waters [ laughs]. He said something that resonated with me: "You'll have no Plan B. You have tattoos like that, and you're fucked. You won't be able to get a job." To me it did the opposite, and a light bulb went off in my head. This is exactly what I want. I don't want a Plan B. I don't want a fall back.
And I didn't have anything to fall back on. We didn't have money for college or anything. It really narrowed things down for me in the best way possible. Play music or die. He eventually came around and got a tattoo himself. Yeah, he got a Famous [Stars & Straps] tattoo.
One day he came home with an F on his arm, and I was like, "Why do you have a sticker on your forearm, Pal?" He goes, "No, I went and saw Franco Vescovi and he gave me a tattoo.” I was tripping! But it was so cool to see pops come full circle.
You let your kids tattoo you, right? I have this portion on my thigh where basically anytime I get tattooed, if they're around and they want to, they can grab the gun and doodle on me. It's like a sketchbook. Those are the memories that are really priceless. It all started because Landon wanted a tattoo. He didn't understand why he couldn't. He was worked up and in tears. I had to explain that I'd go to jail if you get a tattoo.
So I said “Let's make a deal, you tattoo me.” Do you have any go-to artists? I grew up getting tattoos from Jon Sanchez, Mike Dewey, Larry Garcia, Mister Cartoon, Franco Vescovi, Chuey Quintanar, Mike Giant, Mark Mahoney. Those are my guys.
There are a lot of great tattoo artists out there, but those are some of my favorites and they're really close friends. Are there any tattoos that you regret?
I mean there are people who've come and gone, an ex-wife, but it's all memories. It is what it is. You know, you see these kids who get the best tattoos from the best artists and they let them heal properly. I don't care if I have nice, shiny tattoos. Mine all tell a story and make up who I am. Did you get any ink to celebrate finishing up an album? There's The Transplants gas mask on the back of my head.
I'll probably get something from California since D**Face did it. He's a great friend and one of my favorite artists. Ever since the self-titled album I've taken care of all the artwork and quarterbacked it. Me and my buddy Max did the logo for self-titled. I had Mike Giant do Neighborhoods. Franco Vescovi did Dogs Eating Dogs. The albums before were quarterbacked by the record labels, so I wasn't personally attached.
I might get an Antemasque tattoo. How's [new vocalist and guitarist] Matt Skiba? Has he settled in nicely? It's been awesome. Originally there was no talk of ever continuing after the Musink show.
Mark and I were like, we still really want to do this, but how? We weren't expecting anyone in the band to decide they didn't want to play these shows we booked and take a little hiatus. So we thought about it for 24 hours and I said, "There's no one except Matt Skiba." If you really think about it, he was the only one who could really pull it off and do it justice. Any chance of another Box Car Racer album? You know, it's been mentioned [ laughs].
That'd be cool, but it's hard because the last one caused so many problems with Blink. It was weird because at the time I was listening to Stanford Prison Experiment, Pitchfork, Quicksand, Fugazi, all these bands, and Tom [DeLonge] was like, "What the fuck is Quicksand?" He heard it and fell in love and really dived right into that whole post-hardcore genre.
We started writing and had no idea what it was going to be for. I think we were both under the impression in the beginning that it was going to be a Blink album. Then it was like, no let's do this cool little side project, but we won't put an album out. Then the label heard it and wanted to put it out. Then there wasn't going to be a tour, but they were like ah, you can do this tour. It just spiraled out of control. . . But I don't know. [Mark's] not in the band, so would it cause a lot of problems?
Would it not? I have no idea. It's something I can't even wrap my head around just because I'm so proud of this album that we're currently supporting.
But I love Box Car. It was a cool album and cool sound. So did you ever hit the water park with ? No, we're going to though! I have been to water parks with kids a couple times on this tour though. We hit one in Ohio called Kalahari and it was fucking awesome. As an adult, you and I going to a water park together is kinda weird [ laughs]. But when you go with your kids, you get a free pass.
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Travis Barker’s young daughter may have predicted the worst day of his life. In his new memoir, Travis tells the story of how little Alabama sobbed and sobbed before he got on a plane — that then crashed into a furious fireball. Before , 39, was one of the only survivors of a fiery 2008 plane crash that his then-3-year-old daughter, Alabama, might have seen coming.
The , already scared of flying, heard Alabama’s pleas that the roof was going to come off the plane as he walked out the door. Did she know what was going to happen to her dad and his friends?
Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums “[Alabama] just kept saying, ‘The roof’s gonna come off, Dad, the roof’s gonna come off,'” in his upcoming memoir, “Can I Say.” Travis and DJ AM were performing in Columbia, SC, and decided to hop a plane back home to LA right after the show. Travis could sense something was off when they boarded the Learjet 60 — and remembered his daughter’s words. Within minutes of takeoff, the plane’s under-inflated tires burst, and the pilots scrambled to abort the flight.
But it was too late; with their landing gear mangled, they couldn’t land safely. The plane bounced down the runway, burst through a fence and landed on an embankment…and the roof tore right off the top. The two pilots, as well as Travis’ friends Che Miller and Chris Baker, were killed instantly. Travis, covered in jet fuel, was engulfed in flames as he attempted to escape the wreckage and run away.
scrambled out of the plane and was able to put out the fire, but the friends suffered extensive burns and injuries from the near-death experience. DJ AM ultimately succumbed to PTSD and prescription drug abuse (pills needed for his pain from the crash), and .
Travis fought for his life through months of excruciating surgery to graft skin over his 2nd and 3rd degree burns, which covered 65 percent of his body. During this anguish, wherein foot amputation was even considered, Travis was in such a terrible place that he routinely considered suicide. One day, he gathered up the courage to take a look at the picture of the crash, and saw something shocking: the roof of the plane was gone.
What did little Alabama know? HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Travis’s daughter predicted his plane crash? Tell us in the comments! — Samantha Wilson
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