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Blink-182: The Story Behind 'Cheshire Cat'

Looking back on their debut album, 20 years on...

On February 17, 1995, three skater kids from the suburbs of San Diego released an album - on cassette only at first - which made waves on their local scene but barely registered elsewhere. At first. Within five years, they were one of the biggest punk bands in the world - renowned for their world tours, fart gags and infectious riffs. Recorded in just three days, 'Cheshire Cat' was the album that started Blink 182 on the path to stardom...

Poway, San Diego County, sometime in the early ‘90s. Forty square miles of Californian suburb half an hour outside of the main city. High schools, malls and a massive aeroplane parts factory that employed most of the town.

If you had hung out there for a while at the time, chances are you’d have seen a small gaggle of skaters at some point. Baggy trousered, potty mouthed, bleached-haired and bored out their minds, they’d come rolling down the street. Skating from one end of town to the other, then back again for good measure. They had nothing to do and were intent on keeping it that way. They would buzz past shoppers, skid into department stores, skate down the aisles and pull stuff from the shelves. They would rattle across intersections, laughing and cursing in equal measure, bouncing private jokes between each other and drawing raised eyebrows as they went. 

They were, in short, no different from a million other kids in a million other towns: bored teenagers in a boring town, waiting for life to begin, waiting to get the hell out. The difference was that two of those bored teenagers would, in just a few years, be a part of one of the biggest-selling punk bands of all time. And, 20 years ago today, they made their first tentative steps to making those dreams come true.

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