Mark Hoppus: ‘I have cancer.’

Locals join those across the world in supporting Blink-182 frontman after cancer diagnosis

Mark Hoppus: ‘I have cancer.’By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Fans of the seminal pop-punk band Blink-182 were in for a worrisome surprise last week when front man and bass player Mark Hoppus, a Ridgecrest native, updated his Instagram Story with a picture of himself surrounded by medical equipment captioned “Yes hello. One cancer treatment, please.”

While the short-lived post was deleted, later that day the 49-year-old Hoppus followed up on Twitter with a slightly more-detailed announcement:

“For the past three months, I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. I have cancer. It sucks and I’m scared, and at the same time I’m blessed with incredible doctors and family and friends to get me through this. I still have months of treatment ahead of me but I’m trying to remain hopeful and positive. Can’t wait to be cancer free and see you all at a concert in the near future. Love to you all.”

Hoppus’s announcement was met by an outpouring of support from fans around the globe, with the #WeHaveHisBack hashtag trending on Twitter. Former band mate Tom DeLonge tweeted that Hoppus “is strong, and a super human who is pushing through this difficult obstacle with a wide-open heart.”

As the topic trended on the world wide web, this reporter (who used to sneak the Blink CDs out of his older brother’s room as a middle schooler) reached out to some locals to hear their response to the announcement.

“Sending all the good vibes to the Hoppus fam,” said Ryan Smith, drummer, “Blink’s self-titled album is one of the [greatest of all time]...very few bands could write as good a hook or as catchy an earworm as them.”

“Blink-182 is what got me into playing music, plain and simple,” said “Love and War” guitarist Zachary Schiavone. “When I was in 7th grade my grandparents got me a squier telecaster and the ‘Enema of the State’ songbook. I learned how to play that entire album. Hope I finally get the chance to see them live once Mark is recovered.”

“Right before ‘Enema of the State’ was released, I was introduced to Blink,” said Brenna Allingham. “I went to their concert, fell in love, and got my eyebrow ring kicked out! 20 years later, as a 40th birthday present, with a new eyebrow ring, my family allowed me to celebrate my love for Blink and my recent freedom from cancer for myself.”

Hoppus addressed his treatment during one of his Twitch streams on Sunday.

“I can’t go anywhere right now,” said Hoppus. “I wanted to go to the Dodgers game last night. I want to go hang out with my friends and go to a restaurant – I can’t. My white blood cell count is way too low for me to go out so I am struck trying to get better. That’s alright, I’ll take it.”

But he also shared that he was seeing signs of improvement since his most recent round of chemotherapy.

“I didn’t just feel like a poisoned electrified zombie leaned up against an electric fence like I did the past couple of rounds,” said Hoppus. “I’ve actually watched movies and walked around and cleaned the house and hung out with my dogs.”

Hoppus is the only remaining founding member of the band, with drummer Travis Barker replacing Scott Raynor early on in their career and Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba replacing DeLonge as guitarist/vocalist in 2015.

Blink-182 was one of the most popular rock bands at the turn of the millennium with hits like “What’s My Age Again?,” “All the Small Things,” “Adam’s Song,” “The Rock Show” and “First Date.” The band was integral in the development of pop-punk and influenced groups like Panic! At the Disco, All Time Low, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Mumford & Sons, A Day To Remember, Owl City and the Chainsmokers.

After a hiatus in the late 2000’s, the band continues to thrive, having sold more than 50 million records world wide. Blink-182 released “Nine” in 2019 with new content scheduled for release this year.

Hoppus’s family, who still reside in Ridgecrest, declined to comment. But if the band’s 1997 hit “Josie” is at all prophetic – then “everything’s going to be fine.”

Story First Published: 2021-07-02