“I said, “Oh my god, that was the most punk rock dude I’ve ever met in my life’”: Tom DeLonge on the time Liam Gallagher invaded Blink-182's dressing room

Tom DeLonge and Liam Gallagher
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Nigel Crane/Redferns)

In August, Blink-182 and Liam Gallagher will share headline status at Reading and Leeds, the pop-punk trio returning to the festival for the first time in 10 years and the former Oasis man making his second headline appearance after topping the bill in 2021. You might assume that given the disparate musical worlds the two parties inhabit, they would never have previously crossed paths. But by doing that, you would be underestimating Liam Gallagher’s ability to cockily swagger into the orbit of other people and make his mark.

In an old interview that resurfaced this week, Blink-182's Tom DeLonge recalled an encounter with Gallagher when Oasis and Blink-182 were both appearing on the bill for a radio show in Detroit. “I remember sitting backstage and I’ve got my sideways hat on and nose piercings and crazy shit,” DeLonge recalled. “I hear the door open and here come all these guys in trench coats and Beatles haircuts and my first reaction is, ‘Oh, they look pretty cool’, but they’re not punk-rockers.”

It was this point that DeLonge said he remembered some advice Clash icon Joe Strummer had given him a few days prior about broadening his horizons. “We go up,” he continued, “play our show, we weren’t that big of a band yet so we were really fucking rude in the funniest way, we would take those moments because 17,000 people are watching us that didn’t know who we were and we were playing with other bands so we’d just say really bad shit.”

“So we get offstage, I’m covered in sweat, the door flies open and here comes the singer of Oasis, Liam. He goes, ‘Are you guys Blink-182?’. I say, ‘Yeah’. He pauses and he goes, ‘You’re the best I’ve seen in America.’ I’m all, ‘You like us!’. He goes, ‘I didn’t say that but you’re the best I’ve seen in America’ and he slammed the door. I looked at everyone else and go, ‘Oh my god, that was the most punk rock dude I’ve ever met in my life.’ I became the biggest Oasis fan after that where from that day forward, I stopped listening to punk rock music and I started listening to everything.”

In that case, DeLonge should do his best to try and catch one of Liam’s sets if the schedule allows – Gallagher is currently playing setlists leaning heavily on Oasis’s early days to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their classic debut Definitely Maybe.

Watch the interview below:

Ernie Ball: The Pursuit of Tone - Tom DeLonge "The Definition of Punk" - YouTube Ernie Ball: The Pursuit of Tone - Tom DeLonge
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Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.