It’s a scene that could be straight out of secret agent thriller: A military general and a regular citizen meet in the back booth of an airport restaurant to discuss top secret information. In reality, this actually happened to musician and UFO aficionado Tom DeLonge, who recalls his first meeting with a government official in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “The First Time.”
“The general looked me in the eyes and said, ‘It was the Cold War and everything we did at the time was because nuclear war could break out at any given day,’” DeLonge remembers. “‘And somewhere in there we stumbled upon the UFO phenomenon.’ And I remember right when he said that, my heart just started beating like crazy in my chest, I got all the chills. The next conversation that happened for an hour at that booth was extraordinary, life changing and scary.”
While DeLonge has devoted much of his time in recent years to studying and illuminating the UFO phenomenon, he also spoke at length about his punk rock past. He remembers eliciting his mother’s ire when she walked in on him listening to the first album he ever bought, D.I.’s Horse Bites Dog Cries, which featured a song called “No Moms.” And also recalls the first thing he did when he heard his music on the radio for the first time: “I picked up my phone and I called a girl just to make sure that a girl, somewhere out there, knew that I was on the radio.”
DeLonge also shared some old Blink-182 stories, including the first time he and Mark Hoppus wrote a song together, and his favorite memory from the era when the band had a penchant for getting naked. During a European tour with Lagwagon, DeLonge and Hoppus watched from the side of the stage as a really drunk guy wandered up and sat on the drum riser in the middle of Lagwagon’s set.
“There’s no security guards to go and grab him off the stage, so right when this guy sits on the drum riser, I looked at Mark and I said, ‘Naked bouncer,’” DeLonge says. “I don’t know why I said that, but Mark knew exactly what to do: He dropped off all of his clothes, completely naked, and he walks right onto the stage, grabs the guy by the arm, clenches his jaw and goes, ‘You’re coming with me!’”