Blink-182 Signature Study: Mark Hoppus, Tom Delonge, Travis Barker

2.8.2018 Update: I am moving this discussion to a Blink-182 fan site, and will be updating it more often there. Any comments/questions/posts please put them in this new location: 

Blink-182 Signature Study

Thanks! 

-Ryan

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Blink-182 is my favorite band of all time, and recently I have noticed far too many forgeries on eBay. I figured it's time to write a signature study, which I will use to help educate others (and myself).

Over the past few years I have been compiling authentic exemplars, and working hard to put them within a specific date range. This gives us a nice way of seeing how the band's signatures have looked/evolved over time. It's also incredibly interesting to me, which is why I enjoy putting these things together.

If you have anything signed by anyone in the band, please post it, along with the date if possible. If you got it signed personally, a description of the scene is beneficial. (i.e. VIP experience, rushed crowd, sitting a table signing, etc.)

My primary focus for now is going to be Mark, Tom, and Travis. (Most people know Blink's original drummer was Scott Raynor, and it seems as Tom has been replaced by Matt Skiba currently).

Let's start with Tom. (For each of the members of the band I have put together a giant compilation of authentic signatures, accompanied by the year.) Tom has gone through several different signature styles. For most of the earlier years he would sign "Tom Blink", Usually you can just make out the "T" and the "B" as it is quite sloppy, but he consistently signed this way from 1997-2002ish. Here is a nicer example of this:

Around 2002-2003 we start seeing different signature styles from Tom. Some that resemble "TD" (which will eventually become his main signature), some as crazy as drawing "tom" out of dicks:

Around 2006, when "Angels & Airwaves" was formed, Tom decided to shorten his sig. The result was a "t". What a great autograph! LOL. Here is an example of a 2006 Tom autograph, on a "We Don't Need To Whisper" pre-ordered CD:

Thankfully this didn't last too long, and shortly after we started seeing his "TD" signature. There are a few variations of this "TD", including "TD AVA", "TD 182". Here are some nice 2011 autographs:

It stays this way, until 2013 when we see a new variation appear. This one I simply call the "Tom doodle", in which case he writes TOM, and then creates a little stick figure in the middle, it's very cool:

Currently, Tom signs with the "TD" as well as the "Tom doodle". He is very aware of the item being signed, if it is a Blink cd, he often will write "TD 182", sometimes he will date items "TD 2015". His new company is "To The Stars", sometimes he will add that as a line to his signature. He recently released a novel (Poet Anderson), and has had quite a few book signings. At the signings people get the simple "TD" autograph, but if you order a personalized copy from the website, you might get the full out "Tom doodle":

Here is the full compilation I created for Tom, the dates are below the pictures. Once again, if you have any signed items I would love to see them:

Next let's talk about Mark Hoppus. Mark's autograph has been fairly consisent throughout the years, although he did go through a very odd signature faze around 2001. From the early days of Blink all the way through 2001-ish, Mark would simply write "Mark", or "Mark 182". Here is a prime example of a nice early Mark signature from 1999:

Suddenly around 2001 we start seeing this super weird signature from Mark that looks nothing like his previous (or current) signature. It pretty much looks like "ttH" and a star, often with "182' underneath it. Here is an example of it:

I would love to ask him why the sudden change! Regardless, it didn't last long. By the end of 2003 he was back to his old signature style, this time adding "Hoppus" to the end regularly (instead of "Mark 182").  Ever since the revert back to his "normal" signature, it has stayed pretty consisent from 2003 to present times. Here is a 2006 signature of Mark's:

And here is a current 2015 Signature:

Sometimes Mark will add "blink 182" to his signature as seen above, other times he will write the year, but most of the time it's just "Mark Hoppus".

Here is the compilation of Mark's signatures I put together:

Last we have my favorite member of the band: Travis Barker. Travis joined Blink-182 towards the end of 1998, and in 1999 became their full-time drummer. Travis has a few variations of his autograph, but for the most part he has always just written: "travis". Here is an awesome signature from 1999:

Eventually he made it slightly cooler, it flowed much more quickly, there were capital letters added, and the "S" at the end became a "$" sign, here's a nice sig later in 1999:

From 2000-2001, (likely due to having to sign so much IMO), Travis developed a "short sig", which esentially is "t-----". Here are a few examples from 2000-2001:

In 2002 he resorts back to his "tRAVi$" sig as seen here:

Around 2003, he starts putting the "R" backwards, (his signature is basically the same as this today):

Around 2011-2012 he went back to the "short sig" for some reason, here are a few examples:

BUT, from 2013 to currently, he's back to normal long "travi$" signature. He recently released a book, and has been doing several signings. If there was anytime to go back to the "short sig" it would be for that, but he's signing them all with the longer sig which is awesome. Here's a 2015 signature:

Here is the timeline I put together for Travis:

Now that we've gone through Tom, Mark, and Travis's autographs, I want to mention a few important things as well as exhibit some forgeries:

*Fully signed Blink CDs/vinyls/photos are pretty rare--photos especially. Most of the authentic photos you will see signed are specific promo photos that were handed out, or for contest winners,etc.

*The band hardly ever "hung out" publicly, so it's not like you were going to walk into a restaraunt and see all 3 sitting there and have them sign something. Backstage passes at a show, or some sort of promo were about your only shot at getting all 3 at once. (Travis says in his book that after his plane crash/recovery him and Tom went to lunch and Tom said "This is the first time we've done this...")

*Out of the 3, Travis signs the most. 

*Until recently, Tom was a very hard signature to obtain, other than through specific promotions via Blink 182/Angels & Airwaves/MacBeth website. Tom has done several book signings recently, and has allowed people to get 1 additional item signed. So some newer authentic stuff has been popping up online for sale.

*Mark signs a few here and there, but overall is a fairly rare signature.  

*All 3 have their own companies (Famous Stars & Straps, To The Stars, HMNIM), occasionally you can get signed stuff directly from these places.

*Travis DOES NOT FLY, he does take the Queen Elizabeth to the UK occasionally for a tour, but if you see "signed" stuff for sale from Switzerland/Australia/etc. be incredibly skeptical.

Now onto the FORGERIES. As well all know, there are thousands of forgeries sold on eBay every single day. Some basic rules of thumb for buying autographs online in general:

* If it seems too good to be true, it is

*ANYONE can create a bogus "COA"

*"Proof Pix" usually don't prove ANYTHING

*Always pay attention to the SIGNATURES, not the paperwork that comes with them

Now, I have seen all types of Blink fakes, ranging from flatout laughable, to halfway decent attempts. One of the ways scammers like to make a quick buck, is to grab all their old CDs, scribble on them, and list them as being "signed", so be incredibly weary of signed cheap CDs.

Here is an example of someone who scribbled on their "Enema of The State" cd and sold it on ebay:

 With forgeries in general, you can tell when something is "unnatural" for the forger. Typically it results in a very slow (and thick as a result) signature, often shaky, and just malformed. Here is an example of a Tom Delonge Forgery that is just awful and malformed. You can see how "shaky" it is (because it is not a natural motion for the forger):

There are several eBay sellers out of Australia who routinely list these "music sheet' forgeries that are just 100% laughable crap:

You also need to be extremely careful with "signatures" certified by Global Authentics. Most people here on AML I don't even have to mention this to, but these are 100% junk forgeries certified by Global Authentics:

Be incredibly cautious of guitars/instruments signed by "the band". Folks it's very hard to run into these people, much less all 3, oh and you just *happen* to be carrying around a giant brand new guitar. These are awful forgeries, of course "certified" by Global Authentics:

Here is another forgery:

My hope is that you find this post beneficial, or at least somewhat interesting. If anyone has any examples to share, I would love to see them. If anyone has any questions please let me know. Thanks for taking the time to read, and hopefully this will be a good reference point for future Blink collectors! 

-Ryan

Tags: +44, 182, autographs, ava, barker, blink, boxcar, delonge, hoppus, mark, More…racer, tom, travis

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Dalton, this is not authentic IMO. I've seen some stuff around 2004 that this is attempting to mimic, but I would not buy that guitar.

Also if you are going to buy a guitar signed by Blink, IMO it is way cooler to have one of their signature guitars signed, as opposed to just some random guitar. For example Tom's signature strat, or Epiphone ES-333, or Mark's signature bass. 

It looks like Izea posted his below which is super rad, and 100% authentic. Maybe you guys can work something out for his. Good luck!

Right on. Thank you Ryan and Izea!
Hey Ryan
Really good of you to provide advice like this - much appreciated.
Can you offer an opinion on the authenticity of these SIG's - the Travis and Tom ones don't look right to me, but maybe they were just being rushed/sloppy?
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It's authentic IMO, these 2011 meet and greet posters seemed to be signed extremely quick/sloppy. Here's some other examples:

Thanks very much Ryan - much appreciated

Here are most of my Blink autographs. I am 100% sure on most of these. Only ones I question is the EOS cd and Marks photo because my dad bought those for me on ebay at least 15 yrs ago. The Dude Ranch I'm not sure of either but looked legit to me. But the rest were in person or from their website specials. 

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I also have a guitar and shirt signed by them but they're at my parents house in NJ so don't have them on hand. Like i said i believe 75% are real. Would love some confirmation. Thanks!

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Thanks for sharing! That 2000 Mark Tom & Travis poster is so awesome!!! Love that Travis practice pad as well! 

I agree with your concerns on Dude Ranch/Mark Photo/EOTS. The Dude Ranch one is pretty hard for me to see so it's hard to tell, although I don't think I've ever seen Scott sign that big, and just sign "Scott" (and leave out Raynor)...

The photo looks super sketchy IMO.

EOTS looks a bit sketchy, but it is also a signature style of Trav's that I have been trying to find 100% authentic exemplars of for quite some time. I've seen similar items to this, but never 100% verified authentic ones. Tom's squiggly lines under his signature is something I've never really seen in 100% verified examples either.

From my research, they *might* have signed similar to this around 2004 very briefly, I even have a piece in my own collection that I have never been comfortable with that is similar to this style of signatures.

Thanks for the pix man! Blink-182 life for life!

Yeah man thanks! I stumbled upon this site and figured hey I better look at my stuff and make sure. The Mark photo and EOTS don't bother me since it wasn't my purchase lol. That Dude Ranch I am sitting uncomfortable with now lol. I think that one buyer you mentioned Dizzywhatever also has another seller account I believe where I purchased the Dude Ranch. The thing is he has a lot of autograph stuff and I study autographs too and they seem really legit. i've personally exchanged emails with him and he seemed to be to just be a big collector trying to unload his old stuff.

Yeah that 2000 one was a program i got at the their show. Bad religion and Fenix TX opened up for them. The next year they did a cd signing in NJ for TOYPAJ and thats where i got it signed. Once I get the shirt and guitar back in my possession I will post them. Blink 4 life!

Hello ryan, since you are a great blink expert 182 you could give me information - it's hard to find the original "autographed" enema of the state "I think it's a big disc with a big cover !!thanks

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