Watch Blink-182 fumble their way through What's My Age Again? as if they've only just met

(Image credit: The Howard Stern Show)

Part of the appeal of punk rock is the knowledge that anyone can do it: ever since the January 1977 issue of punk fanzine Sideburns featured editor Tony Moon's illustration of three guitar chord shapes (A, E and G) and the classic caption 'This Is a chord. This is another. This is a third. Now form a band', millions of rookie musicians have enjoyed the thrill of plugging an electric guitar into an overly-distorted amplifier and making noise that annoys.

But, with that said, when a band reaches a certain level and has a certain profile, there's a fine line between performances which are 'charmingly ramshackle' and 'fucking embarrassing', a line which the youthful Blink-182 might have paid closer attention to before signing up to perform their 1999 hit single What's My Age Again? on Howard Stern's nationally-syndicated radio show in January 2000.

What's My Age Again? was the San Diego band's first single with Travis Barker, but we're pretty, pretty sure that their January 7, 2000  performance of the track wasn't the very first time the trio had ever played the song together. It just sounds that way.

To be clear, Travis Barker, pro that he is, plays a blinder. His bandmates Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge... not so much. DeLonge plays the song's chiming riff as he's wearing boxing gloves and squinting at a guitar tablature book on the studio floor, while Hoppus adopts what we must presume is a Captain Beefheart-style tribute to the song's instantly hummable melody lines.

If we're being generous, we might suggest that the trio were trolling Stern's traditional 'Butt Rock' demographic here, but the occasional panic-stricken look exchanged by Hoppus and Barker would suggest that the young punks are more than just a touch nervous, and therefore all over the fucking shop, technically speaking.

Watch the lads weave their off-kilter 'magic' below:


Still, we understand that the trio have gone on to do rather well for themselves, so who's laughing now?

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.