The Week (US)

A drummer’s brush with death


Travis Barker knows he’s lucky to be alive, said Emma Carmichael in Men’s Health. In 2008, the drummer with pop-punk band Blink182 was about to fly out of South Carolina following a show when the private plane he was on skidded off the runway and burst into flames. The two pilots and two of Barker’s friends died in the crash; the drummer suffered third-degree burns over much of his body and spent months in the hospital undergoing surgeries and skin grafts. Cheating death, says Barker, was a “wake-up call.” He quit smoking marijuana and using prescripti­on opioids. “People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?’ And I [say], ‘No, I was in a plane crash.’” Told by doctors he’d probably never run or play drums again, Barker, now 45, took it as a challenge. “As soon as I could walk, I could run. As soon as my hands healed, I was playing drums.” Dealing with PTSD and survivor’s guilt has been a long road, involving therapy and breath work. “I couldn’t walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash.” He no longer wakes up thinking about the accident—and vows to conquer his fear and fly again. “All I can do is carry on. I’m 100 percent supposed to be here.”

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