Tom DeLonge: Aliens: Origins

May 1983

“Hey, Mom…?”

Tommy’s voice echoed through the hallway and was met with only silence. The soft electric droning and flashing lights persisted. To Tommy, they were both entirely new, yet somehow unmistakable.

“Mom?” He repeated, “There’s something in the back room!”

And I hope it’s not those creatures from above, thought Tommy.

His mother used to read him stories of Martians and Moon Men, coming down from the sky to visit Earth. But they were just that, stories. Tommy kept repeating this mantra to himself as he investigated the backroom carefully.

Stories… just stories…

After all, Tommy remembered, aliens DON’T exist.

And then…he was gone.

November 1998

“So, like, you don’t actually believe in all this, right Tom?”

The question was innocent enough, and one Tom had been expecting since he first pitched the song.

“Don’t be dumb, Mark, of course not! It’s just a song. Anyway, singing about aliens is totally rock and roll, just look at Bowie.”

“Really? Are we suddenly a glam-rock band?” snapped Mark.

“Whatever,” replied Tom, “It’s like I say in the song!  We all know conspiracies are dumb.”

“Can we quit arguing and play, already?” Added Travis, who had been quietly sitting at his drum kit until now. “It’s just one song.  We have a dozen other ready to go, it’ll be fine.”

This seemed to do the trick. Mark let out a heavy sigh.

“Fine…but just this ONE song. Then we never sing about aliens again!”

It wasn’t the first time Tom had tried to breach the subject of aliens. In fact, sometimes it was all he could think about. While he wasn’t quite brave enough to go public with his story, he figured that a song would be a good start. Maybe he could plant just a single seed of doubt into the pop-punk community.

When he first made contact all those years ago, everything was so overwhelming he could barely remember what happened.

Bright lights.

Strange noises.

An unintelligible language being spoken...

Yet despite it all, he woke up knowing exactly what had happened. He was conscious again in his bed, and knew with overwhelming certainty that something was very, very wrong.

Just thinking about it made him shiver. That wasn’t the end of it, either. The visits…they never stopped.

Tom didn’t know why he was chosen. What was so special about some kid from the California ‘burbs? Whatever it was, Tom was certain of three things.

  1. Aliens are real.
  2. They do not come in peace.
  3. He was the only one who could stop them.

But he couldn’t act…not yet. How could one man stand up against those things? Especially when he couldn’t even talk about it for fear of public humiliation…or worse. He couldn’t let harm come to those he loved most, no matter what…

“DUDE! Are we recording this ridiculous song, or what?” snapped Mark.

As usual, one quip from his best bro was all it took to snap him back to reality.

“Sorry guys, I was just day dreaming.”

“Whatever…you ready to go?”

“Yeah, but one more thing… I love you guys.”

Travis blushed from behind his drums, and Mark looked down, not sure what to say. They all knew that the bond they had was special, but they so rarely vocalized it.

September 2005

The visits had started again.

Night after night they came for him.

He never did figure out exactly what they wanted from him.  Why him…

But every single time, it went down the same way.

A soft buzzing sound…

Flashing lights…

Then….nothing.

He couldn’t be sure how long he was out for. Days turned to weeks turned to months, all gone in a fuzzy haze.

Band hiatuses came and went, friendships and relationships weakened, and seemingly, so did Tom’s tenuous grasp on reality.

Until, finally, just as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

He was free, and he knew what had to be done.

But he needed more time, time to recover, time to rebuild burnt bridges, and time to figure out exactly how to go about proving to the world that aliens exist.

January 2015

Things returned to a certain equilibrium for Tom, Mark and Travis. New music, old friends, a new album, and years of touring. Things were finally back to the way they were meant to be. And most importantly, to Tom at least, the visits had finally stopped. He was left to sleep, to eat and to live in peace for the time being. He was finally able to start over.

The guys were all set to enter the studio and begin a new recording session for an upcoming album. Songs were being written, instruments tuned, and a general excitement coursed through the air. Tom went to bed that night, excited to wake up after a restful sleep, meet up with the guys, and officially begin working in earnest on the new material.

Instead, he awoke to that all too familiar soft buzz and flashing lights. They were back.

“Not again,” cried Tom, mostly to himself, “Just let me BE!”

---

When Tom woke up that morning, back in his bed, he knew this was a breaking point. He’d been gone all night long, and there was something very wrong. Though Tom never did learn to understand the creature’s language, he did often awaken with some new understandings, more felt than known, about their intentions with the Earth.

Something big was coming, and he was reminded once again that only he could stop it.

But what about Mark? Travis? The creatures knew, as they always had, that these relationships meant more to Tom than anything in the world. If he went after them, surely, they would go after his band in retaliation. As long as their safety was at risk, Tom was powerless to act.

It was with this thought in mind and a new conviction that Tom decided to finally act. He knew what had to be done…and he picked up the phone…

---

“Are you kidding me right now?!” Mark was furious. “We’ve been through all this before! This time you swore it would be different, man!”

Tom could hear Travis shouting from the background, “Why the hell did we even get back together?”

Tom stood in the middle of his room and clutched his phone as tears welled up in his eyes.

“This time, it IS different, dude. It’s not just creative differences, this isn’t like that Angels and Airwaves thing. It’s not the scene, it’s not the music…it’s YOU. You and Travis! I just can’t work with you guys anymore! I…I can’t even be friends with you. It’s over.”

“You…you don’t mean that. You can’t mean that! After everything?” Mark could feel tears coming too, as his anger softened into sadness.

“I do mean it, dude,” said Tom, “Blink is over for real this time, and so are we!” he hesitated for a moment, then added “I hate you, you and Travis!” and hung up the phone before he could change his mind, before he could take it all back, before he could apologize.

In the studio, Mark stood there, red faced and teary eyed.

“Forget him, man,” said Travis, wiping away a tear, “let’s call Skiba up and see if he can fill in.”

“Yeah,” replied Mark, “Who needs Tom anyway…”

Everyone involved knew it wouldn’t be that easy to move on.

Everyone involved was crushed.

Tom stood there, still clutching the phone with all his strength, and he knew it was over. Those creatures could come after him all they wanted! But he now knew for sure that Mark and Travis were safe, and that was all that mattered to him.

He set the phone down, and grabbed a seat in front of his computer. It was time to act.

Epilogue

Anthony PaparoComment