The Rock Show

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"The Rock Show"
Blink-182 - The Rock Show cover.jpg
Single by Blink-182
from the album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
ReleasedMay 7, 2001 (2001-05-07)
RecordedJanuary–March 2001[1]
GenrePop punk[2]
Producer(s)Jerry Finn
Blink-182 singles chronology
"Man Overboard"
"The Rock Show"
"First Date"
Music video
"The Rock Show" on YouTube
"The Rock Show" on YouTube

"The Rock Show" is a song by American rock band Blink-182 for the group's fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001). It was released as the lead single from the album on May 7, 2001. The track was composed primarily by bassist Mark Hoppus about meeting a girl at a rock concert. It was inspired by the band's early days touring punk rock clubs, mainly Soma in their hometown of San Diego.

The song's creation stems from Blink-182 manager Rick DeVoe's opinion that the album lacked a catchy, "feel-good" song. Hoppus composed "The Rock Show" in response, while guitarist Tom DeLonge composed the album's second single, "First Date". The song was influenced by bands such as the Ramones, Screeching Weasel, and the Descendents.

The song peaked at number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, making it the most successful single from the album. It also reached number 14 in the United Kingdom. The song's music video finds the band given an unusually large budget for the video, and spending frivolously on random things. In promotion of the single, Blink-182 performed the song live on late-night talk show Late Show with David Letterman.


Prior to recording the group's fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Blink-182 recorded demos at DML Studios, a small practice studio in Escondido, California, where the band had written Dude Ranch and Enema of the State.[1] The group had written a dozen songs after three weeks and invited the band's manager, Rick DeVoe, to be the first person outside Blink-182 to hear the new material, which the band found "catchy [but with] a definitive edge".[1][3][4] DeVoe sat in the control room and quietly listened to the recordings, and pressed the band at the end on why there was no "Blink-182 good-time summer anthem [thing]". DeLonge and Hoppus were furious, remarking, "You want a fucking single? I'll write you the cheesiest, catchiest, throwaway fucking summertime single you've ever heard!"[1][5] Hoppus went home and wrote "The Rock Show" in ten minutes, and DeLonge similarly wrote "First Date", which became the most successful singles from the record and future live staples.[4]

Hoppus wrote the song based on his memories of the San Diego club Soma. In their early days, Blink-182 performed dozens of concerts at the venue, mainly at the 5305 Metro Street location.[6] "It was covered with graffiti, it stunk, it was made of concrete and metal so the sound sucked and the toilets were always over-flowing. It was the best, we loved it," he recalled.[7] Barker remembered that the song's arrangement was worked in the Famous Stars and Straps warehouse in San Diego.[8] The band felt the song captured "the spirit of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel," and "[it was] definitely influenced by bands like the Descendents."[9] The band members expanded upon this in a 2001 interview with BBC Music:

I think it's actually as if we built a punk rock time capsule and went back to five years ago when we were writing songs. We wrote that song as a mid-tempo punk-pop song about a girl, and it ended up being one of the better ones on the record.[9]

Although it only peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 33 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, it reached number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.[10]


Eric Aiese of Billboard examined the song through the lens of its airplay competition: "As the face of rock radio has yielded toward the emerging hard sounds on "nu metal," Blink continues to provide a contrasting voice […] "The Rock Show" clearly shows the band's talent for writing—and performing—hooks."[11]

Music video[edit]

The band filmed a music video that included them trashing televisions, trains, taking the homeless for a spa makeover, handing out cash to strangers and paying dancers to mow people's lawns.[10] The relatively large budget for the video, reportedly $500,000, was the basis of the joke and frivolously spent.[10][12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Blink-182.

CD single 1
1."The Rock Show" (radio edit)2:51
2."Time to Break Up"3:05
3."Man Overboard" (radio edit)2:46
4."Man Overboard" (video)3:12
CD single 2
1."The Rock Show" (album version)2:51
2."Aliens Exist" (live from The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show)3:43
3."Adam's Song" (enhanced video)4:22
DVD single
1."The Rock Show" (album version)2:51
2."All the Small Things" (Video)2:53
3."Clips from 'The Urethra Chronicles'" (video, four 30-seconds clips) 

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States May 7, 2001 Alternative radio MCA [32]
May 8, 2001 [33]
Australia June 25, 2001 CD [34]
United States June 26, 2001 Contemporary hit radio [35]
United Kingdom July 2, 2001
  • CD
  • DVD

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2013 Vinyl Reissue) (liner notes). Blink-182. United States: Geffen / Universal Music Special Markets. 2013. SRC025/SRC026/SRC027/SRC028. This reference primarily cites the Mark Hoppus foreword.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ "THE TOP 10 BLINK-182 SONGS OF ALL TIME". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Roger Coletti (2001). "Blink-182: No Jacket Required". MTV News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Nichola Browne (November 20, 2005). "Punk Rock! Nudity! Filthy Sex! Tom DeLonge Looks Back On Blink-182's Greatest Moments". Kerrang!. London: Bauer Media Group (1083). ISSN 0262-6624.
  5. ^ Kyle Ryan (October 8, 2013). "Blink-182 took punk to No. 1 for the first time with a masturbation pun". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Hoppus 2001, p. 70.
  7. ^ Blink-182: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket Tour 2001 Official Program. MCA Records. 2001. p. 2.
  8. ^ Barker, Travis; Edwards, Gavin (2015). Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums. William Morrow. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-062-31942-5.
  9. ^ a b Danny O'Connor (May 16, 2001). "Blink 182 Interview". BBC Music. Archived from the original on June 8, 2001. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Shooman, 2010. p. 87
  11. ^ Eric Aiese (June 16, 2001). "Reviews & Previews: Singles". Billboard. 113 (24): 24. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  12. ^ Jon Wiederhorn (May 17, 2001). "Blink-182 Wreck Stuff For 'Rock Show'". MTV News. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 19, no. 30. July 21, 2001. p. 11. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 19, no. 22. August 11, 2001. p. 9. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "blink-182 Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "The Year in Music: 2000 – Hot Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. Vol. 113, no. 52. December 29, 2001. p. 72. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  18. ^ "Alternative: Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1400. May 4, 2001. p. 153. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  19. ^ "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1400. May 4, 2001. pp. 140, 144. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "The ARIA Report: New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 25th June 2001" (PDF). ARIA. June 25, 2001. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2002. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  21. ^ "CHR/Pop: Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1407. June 22, 2001. p. 49. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  22. ^ "New Releases – For Week Starting July 2, 2001: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. June 30, 2001. p. 23. Retrieved August 14, 2021.