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California Questionnaire: Tom DeLonge

The award-winning musician, producer, director, and author muses on SoCal slang, the value of Mexican food, and his favorite Golden State getaways

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Tom DeLonge is a Southern Californian through and through. The Poway native grew up skateboarding, surfing, and skiing, and while still in high school, formed Blink-182, the platinum-selling rock band, which he fronted until departing in 2015. In addition to churning out hit songs with Blink, like “All the Small Things,” the lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter formed a second band, Angels & Airwaves, and later, an entertainment company called To the Stars. His interest in science led to another creative turn, writing the children’s book The Lonely Astronaut on Christmas Eve, and partnering with other authors to inspire a newfound appreciation of the unsolved mysteries of the universe. DeLonge shares what he loves most about his home state.

Where do you live? Near the beach in San Diego. I love the energy.

Why there? My company, To the Stars, is there, my kids’ schools are there, and the sunset is there too.

Who or what is your greatest California love? My greatest love for California is the diversity of climate and topography: trees on one end, deserts on the other, and a beach that stretches along both.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That we all use [words like] “rad” and “gnarly”… that is Southern California only. It’s ours. No one else can have it.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That anything is possible, from the arts to technology. Building a new way of expressing yourself and your mind…a better life is possible here.

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? Mexican food. 100%.

Time for a road trip. Where are you going? Usually the desert, like Joshua Tree National Park, to see the stars at night. It’s so close and so vastly different [from] most other views.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? Again, Mexican food. It has all [the] essential vitamins. I love the street tacos from The Taco Stand, in Encinitas on Highway 101.

Best California song? "California Girls" by The Beach Boys. It speaks volumes about our most popular asset, the beach and the youthful energy that is present when you grow up here.

How would your California dream day unfold? Wake up in the mountains and get a warm coffee, drive two hours down to the desert and take a hike, then drive two more hours to the coast, and the beaches in San Diego’s North County, to watch the sunset ignite into a flurry of colors—and with a Mexican beer in hand.

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