Blink-182’s new CD, out September 27, has the harmless title Neighborhoods. But the potty-mouthed pop-punk band from Poway is known for releasing albums referencing enemas and masturbation. The title Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, their 2001 CD that sold 14 million copies worldwide, was created by blink’s ex-guitar tech Larry Palm.
“They were stressing for a name,” says Palm. “They were still recording and [guitarist] Tom [DeLonge] asked me for suggestions.”
Palm joined the band’s road crew in 1999. “That was just when Enema of the State was taking off, and they went from a club band to an arena act.”
Everyone knew the blink boys liked dick jokes.
“I was at Big Bear snowboarding. It was a rainy day and we were hanging out at the Bear Bottom Lodge. This kid came in completely drenched. His mom said, ‘Take off your pants and jacket.’ Me and my friends started busting up. It just lodged in my head. I later told Tom that I had a name for his record. After I told him, he said, ‘Let me talk to [blink cofounder] Mark [Hoppus] and get back to you. But I think it’s gonna stick. If we use it we’ll totally hook you up.’”
Blink took the name. “In a couple of months the record comes out. In the first week it sold a million copies. By the third week it sold two million.”
But Palm didn’t get any liner notes crediting him with creating the album title.
“Then I get this letter from [blink manager] Rick DeVoe. It says, ‘Thanks very much for your contributions for coming up with the name.’ It said they would cut me a check for $500. I got a pretty good laugh out of that one. They just sold two million copies and they wanted to give me $500? They just made a major chunk of change.”
Palm says the letter proved he came up with the name. “Plus, it was written up in Rolling Stone that I came up with it.... Management called me up and asked if I got the letter. I said, ‘Yeah, I got it.’ They asked me if I was going to sign it [and agree to the $500 payout]. I told the guy, ‘$500, you have got to be kidding me. Last night [on the road] they offered this videographer guy named Chino $1000 to get naked in the catering room.’ They would also spend, like, a couple grand for someone to get fireworks for a show....”
Palm says he found an intellectual property attorney named Ralph Loeb who filed suit in 2003 against blink alleging breach of contract and fraud.
“He took it from there. I was expecting to get $20,000. He told me they would settle for $10,000.”
Local intellectual property attorney David Lizerbram says he is surprised that Palm got $10,000. “Generally speaking, a song or album title is not subject to copyright or trademark protection.... That’s why you can have a song ‘One’ by U2 and ‘One’ by Metallica. The Replacements had an album called Let It Be and no one cared. Consumers can make the distinction that the Replacements are not the Beatles.” Lizerbram says that although he is not familiar with this particular case, it is possible that Palm won the $10,000 settlement because there was a contractual agreement between the band and Palm that said he would get something for his creation.
A request for comment to Rick DeVoe’s Carlsbad office was not returned.
Blink-182 will play at the Cricket Amphitheatre in Chula Vista on October 6.