Name: Thomas Matthew “Tom” DeLonge Jr.
Born: December 13, 1975
Occupation: Guitarist, Songwriter, Record Producer, Children’s Author, Fashion Designer
Blink 182 may have started with skater musicians wanting to make it big, but the band members held a lot of different interests. Lead singer and guitarist Thomas “Tom” DeLonge, Jr. is no exception. From beginning the band while still in high school to publishing a children’s book in 2013, DeLonge is more than just a vocalist and musician.
DeLonge grew up in Poway, California, where his mother was a mortgage broker and his father, an oil company executive. Obviously, making money was in his genes, so his parents might have been a bit surprised that his first venture was a band. DeLonge’s parents tried to introduce him to music with a trumpet as a gift for Christmas when he was 11, but it was the beat-up guitar he received as a gift from friends. He had learned to play guitar on a loaner at church camp.
Already a skater, DeLonge was introduced to punk in seventh grade, dyed his hair purple and forced his brother and sister to listen to his original songs. His first band, Big Oily Men, was mostly a solo project with friends occasionally sitting in. He began Blink 182 in high school with friend Scott Raynor after competing against Raynor’s band at the San Bernadino Battle of the Bands. Another friend’s girlfriend was Anne Hoppus, leading the two to connect with Mark Hoppus. The band was first signed to MCA Records in 1996.
DeLonge and Blink hit the big time in 1999 after dropping Raynor and adding drummer Travis Barker, but the band would fall apart in 2005 due to unresolved conflicts over side projects. During the Blink hiatus, DeLonge formed Angels & Airwaves with several other star musicians. The project has released five studio albums and produced a movie with a live action movie schedule for release in 2015. In 2009, after Barker’s plane crash, DeLonge and the other members of Blink reunited and began putting out music together again.
In 2013, DeLonge also released a children’s book, The Lonely Astronaut on Christmas Eve.
DeLonge is married with two children. Reading to his children when they were younger led to DeLonge’s decision to write a children’s book. The book led to his partnership with San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation to help provide health care for children with little or no private insurance.
DeLonge has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
How much is $60 million?
For a skater punk, a better board is often the dream. Today, the most high end board on the market costs about $15,000. With $60 million, DeLonge can buy a new one every day for the 11 years.