A Loving Tribute To Mark Hoppus, The Most Decent Man In Rock
It would be nice to be pals with Mark Hoppus, wouldn’t it? Depending on how old you are (he’s 46 now, twice the age he was when singing about nobody liking you for not being grown-up enough at the ripe old age of 23), he seems like he’d be either a great bessie mate, a great bessie mate’s dad or a great, er, son? He seems like a good dude, is what we’re saying. He’d be endlessly entertaining company, but also seems like he’d have your back if anything in your life went pear-shaped.
He always seemed like the nicest one in blink-182. Tom DeLonge was the charmingly obnoxious one, Travis Barker was the enigmatic, ludicrously talented one, and Mark was the nice, thoughtful one (who was also charmingly obnoxious, because that was their thing). For now at least, Matt Skiba is still the new one.
So join us as we run through a few of the many things that make Mark Hoppus, the pop-punk world’s cheerful dad, seem like the most decent man in the whole world of rock.
HE JUST SEEMS LIKE A SOLID DUDE, YOU KNOW?
There’s a nice moment in the version of Going Away To College from the ever-so-fun live album The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!), where Mark changes the line ‘But you’re so beautiful to me’ to ‘But you’re so beautiful, Skye Leigh’. That’s his wife’s first and middle names. Awwwwww. It would be awkward as hell if they hadn’t worked out (but not as awkward as if you look up former drummer Scott Raynor on the IMDb, where you are met with a picture of Travis Barker – ooooooof), but they’ve been married for 18 years and seem to be going strong. Based on Instagram, anyway – both their feeds are filled with endless adorable family portraits of them, like, visiting dinosaur exhibitions and stuff.
HE’S KING OF THE DADS
Mark shows up in the excellent 2011 documentary The Other F Word, a look at punk rock dads (which, at at least one point, will make you cry like a tiny baby) and just comes across as a lovely chap, gleefully recounting his son Jack spewing forth an impressive stream of unparliamentary language.
He’s still at it – Mark can be seen in the Home Is Such A Lonely Place video giving Jack guitar lessons. In fact, he embraces his paternal status so much that his name on Twitter was “dad” for about a year.
HE’S GOT THE COMMON TOUCH
A lot of the rest of the points on this list might be about his Twitter presence, because it’s so goddamn good. A 46-year-old millionaire simply shouldn’t be able to tap into the mind of the common internet user in as consistently funny a way as this dude does. Whether it’s bleak tweets about the futility of existence or pitch-perfect observations the minutiae of pop culture, he thinks exactly how we do.
In fact, two tracks on California (which mark the return of joke songs to blink’s output) are so short they might as well be tweets. Built This Pool simply states, ‘I wanna see some naked dudes. That’s why I built this pool’ while Brohemian Rhapsody offers up the enigmatic message, ‘There’s something about you that I can’t quite put my finger in.’
HE’S BLINK-182’S BIGGEST FAN
There’s something nice about someone unashamedly being in their own favourite band. As the only remaining founding member of blink-182, and the only person to have played at every one of their gigs ever, who can blame him for being a fan of his own music? In that The Other F Word clip above, Mark talks about listening to his own records in the car. He’s frequently seen wearing his own merch (including his own branded socks) and produces the best blink-182-based material of anyone on the internet, whether putting a decades-old mystery to rest…
See also: a now-deleted tweet rewriting All The Small Things to go ‘And that’s about the time she walked AWAY FROM ME / Nobody like when you shoot HARAMBE’ or just making goofy, 21st-century references to his own work.
Girl at the rock show: What?— merry christmark and hoppus new year (@markhoppus) February 14, 2015
HE DOES WEIRD TWITTER INCREDIBLY WELL
Weird Twitter is that subsection of the social network that specialises in compellingly strange, beautifully odd in-jokes, proto-memes, multiple layers of irony and deliberately challenging joke formats. As the world has got stranger, the lines between Weird Twitter and Regular Twitter have become increasingly blurred, but there are a few core personalities, accounts like @leyawn, @buckyisotope and @pixelatedboat, that Mark is internet buds with and basically a colleague of. He’s as good at being weird as the people that just do Weird Twitter and aren’t rock stars in their day jobs.
HE CHAMPIONS THE HELL OUT OF OTHER BANDS
When not claiming “Brendon Urie was my idea” on Twitter or changing his display name to Gerard Way, Mark not only does a lot of gags for the rock crowd, he puts his money where his mouth is in terms of bringing new talent forward. Whether producing, co-writing or making cameos in videos, it’s hard not to read it as just kinda nice, paying it forward, using his fame to either endorse or lend a bit of publicity to newer acts.
HE’S SERIOUS WHEN HE NEEDS TO BE
The era Mark came up in was quite problematic, but he’s grown up and woke now, using his position for good, whether by having the LGBT flag after his name on his Twitter profile or putting his money where his mouth is. After the Japanese tsunami of 2011, he dug through the blink archives, auctioning off things like the (horrible) orange jumper he wore in the Dammit video to raise money for aid. He’s come out for gun control, boycotting FedEx over their continued NRA endorsement, and supported his son on school-based demos after the Parkland massacre.
HE’S GENUINELY NICE
“I interviewed Mark Hoppus once, right after he moved to London,” says an unnamed source who might also be writing this piece. “He was, as expected, a complete delight. Organising the interview had involved a few emails back and forth, so I was in his address book, and a few weeks later, after a big Friday night, I awoke to find an email in my inbox that he’d obviously sent to lots of important people in his life and erroneously included me on. I think it was about his new address or something. Having no plans for the rest of the day, and – and this is important – still quite drunk, I emailed him asking if he fancied going for a pint that afternoon. That was really silly, and probably pretty unprofessional, and the last thing he wanted or needed to receive. I got a really nice reply – obviously a no, but a really nice one. And then he let me add him on Facebook, and commented on my profile picture. He didn’t need to indulge my pathetic/stupid overexcited fanboy actions at all, but did so. What a nice dude.”
In conclusion, Mark Hoppus, nobody might have liked you when you were 23, but it’s hard not to love you now.
Words: Mike Rampton
blink-182’s new album will be arriving soon.
Sumac mastermind and ex-Isis frontman Aaron Turner discusses what his recent improv collaboration means for the band.