19 Take-Aways From blink-182's Documentary, The Urethra Chronicles

We rewatch blink-182's 1999 doc The Urethra Chronicles and rediscover a band simply living their best lives, in the most naked way possible

19 Take-Aways From blink-182's Documentary, The Urethra Chronicles
Kieron Passaway

Before we get stuck in, here's some some necessary recall: a) Urethra Chronicles was blink-182’s first documentary b) it came out 20 years today and c) watching it back is a distinctly weird (but funny, yet also very weird, let’s not forget that) experience.

And here’s some unnecessary but more fun recall, considering just how hilariously glib this documentary is: a) blink had just released Enema Of The State, a platinum album which had an everlasting impact on not only pop-punk, but the worldwide sphere of popular music b) they had also just featured in American Pie both musically and physically, elevating them from music sensation to genuine cornerstone of early-'00s pop culture.

In short, they were in a moment and thus released a documentary. The video is very funny, very crude and very inappropriate through the lens of 2019. And it is 20 years old. Let’s watch together and laugh at it, but also enjoy it. Here we go.

1. It Opens With Mark Hoppus Running Naked Through Barren Land Like An Animal During Mating Season (0:15)
This is a good sign of what’s to come, baby!

2. It, Regrettably, Is Followed With An Inappropriate Gag (0:32)
Look, it was a different time. Way, way different. Not gonna dive into this one.

3. It Instantly Demonstrates Just How Often blink-182 Were Nude During This Time (1:40)
We’re 100 seconds in and blink have already been completely nude five times. This was their brand in the '90s: perpetual nudity. And they fucking owned it.

4. Mark Picks His Nose and Flicks It Into Someone's Hair (1:43)
On paper, this isn’t funny is it? Flicking a bogey into someone’s hair? Not at all. Would we - you - do this? No. We’ve considered it. Of course we considered it! But we viewed it from a grown-up perspective and thought, 'No, this is not funny. It's actually quite mean.' But now, here, seeing it again, are you laughing? Of course you are.

5. Blink’s Stage Presence Is Off The Scale (throughout)
Other than Travis Barker, blink famously weren’t the most accomplished musicians back then, but you can’t knock their stage presence! It’s hard to not smile while watching them play.

6. Tom DeLonge’s Stagediving Form: Let’s Rate It (2:46)
The perfect stagedive, in our humble opinion, would be a clear, five-row jump with an elegant 180º corkscrew, landing with your back facing the hands that elevate you. Clean. Is this the stuff of fantasy? Probably. Still, Tom couldn’t be further from it. He jumps, knee cocked, doing it all wrong. Amateur. 3/10.

7. Fact: Mark Hoppus Is A Comedic Genius (4:20)
This is just a great joke.

8. And So Is Tom (5:00)
This is also a great joke.

9. But His Favourite Joke Is Imitating Masturbating (6:15 and throughout)
Which isn’t actually that funny. Swings and roundabouts!

10. blink-182 Never Wanted To Be Naked (7:40)
This is a tremendous fact. This is the best thing that comes from the documentary. It brings humility, and understanding, and you should appreciate it.

11. Tom Gives Some Important Life Advice (8:10)
“Let’s just accept the fact we’re never gonna be funny… And once we came at peace in our hearts with that, all the stress got taken off.” A statement we should all live by.

12. Question: Is Mark Hoppus A Good Dancer? (9:20)
On first sight you have to say, 'No, that is not good dancing. He looks horrifically uncool and I do not enjoy it. Stop.' But let's consider this for a bit: good dancing isn’t simply looking good. It’s an energy, one that strikes your very core, with or without compliance. It's an energy that makes your limbs flail and your core jiggle. We'd argue Mark’s dancing does this.

13. Pulling Your Trousers All The Way Down At A Urinal Is Very Funny (9:47)
This whole documentary has a r/contagiouslaughter feel to it, doesn’t it?

14. Mark Spanks Himself Too Hard (11:32)
See above.

15. At One Point When Mark Is Dancing Naked, You Overhear Someone Say, 'How Does Mark Do That, Man?' (13:28)
Asking the questions we’re all thinking, this dude. blink, although lacking the talent of their rivals, were unparalleled when it came to sheer, er, ballsiness (sorry).

16. Travis Is Clearly Not Into The Crudeness Of It All (14:09 and throughout)
Travis offers the same energy as that of an over-eager, younger cousin at a family party. He’s aware he must do these things, to fit in, to make sense, but he truly and wholeheartedly doesn’t want to. We don't blame him.

17. But He Is Very Into Cars And Bikes (15:03)
The pure mirth in his voice, man. That’s joy. That’s pure joy.

18. It’s Hilarious How Low Spec This Documentary Is (throughout)
Other than the interview snippets – which are no longer than three minutes – it’s just a camera rolling, capturing Mark and Tom be ridiculous weirdos. Which is great! And fair play, it’s acceptable entertainment, especially now for blink fans watching this on YouTube. But, and let's not shout this too loud: We fucking paid for this! We paid, like, £10 for this DVD! £10!

19. It’s Hard To Not Miss This Version of Blink (throughout)
They clearly couldn’t be like this today; they’re middle-aged men. But we'd be lying if we said watching this didn’t induce a low hum of melancholic nostalgia in the pits of our being. This blink, when you were young, were great. They were hard to not adore. They defined the adolescence of countless men and women around the world. So, dear reader, we stan this hard-to-not-watch and ultimately annoying, immature blink. We stan loudly and vehemently.

Bonus Cool Moment: The Enema Of The State Title Being Conceived (29:25)

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