HOW BLINK 182 SCREWED MY FRIEND OUT OF OVER $500,000

This is the true story of my friend and ex-roommate Pat Secor and how Blink 182 made millions off of their first full-length recording that he paid for….without a contract.  High school friends didn’t “get it in writing” in 1994.  Totally within their rights and totally uncool. Before you read what I wrote, check out the 2001 article about it from the Bay Area newspaper East Bay Express with honest quotes from Pat and interesting half-truths from the other side which the paper points out are lies. If you don’t believe me, believe that article. No one’s trying to get any money from anyone. Yes, it’s old news.  I wrote this 15 years ago but until I hear about someone doing the right thing about it, it’ll stay right here.

I hated seeing this happen to one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and since I’m not that nice, I spread the story around whenever I can.  Back in 2000, the San Diego Reader refused to write about a charity record I did that was featured in the other three main local newspapers.  So, I approached them with this true story under the pseudonym “Max Somers”, a combination of the name my Dad wanted to give me and the girl the record was dedicated to.  The Reader‘s music editors never missed a chance to make big name San Diego musicians look bad and happily printed it.  I insisted that they make my writer’s fee check out directly to Free Arts For Abused Children, the charity the record was benefiting.

Here’s the Reader article from 2000, with a couple of “-editor” notes added later…..

Blink-182’s first full-length album, commonly referred to as “the Buddha tape”, was put out in 1994 by Filter Records, a one-man record company/bandfriend, Patrick Secor. The tape’s liner notes say “Thanks to Pat, who paid for everything” (***Mark Hoppus is quoted in a Blink bio saying that they both put money in but this is the very first thank you on the tape -ed.). Since they were all just high school friends, there was never any legal agreement between them, they simply split the profits. They sold hundreds of copies of the tape at shows before getting signed to Cargo Records, who quickly released an album of mostly re-recorded “Buddha” songs. Shortly after relocating to the Bay Area in 1994 (long before the band went multi-platinum), Secor suggested that they put it on cd, but the band stalled, saying that they didn’t know where the masters were. Years went by and fans kept finding Filter Records’ website, asking for copies even though the tape had been sold out for years. Original tapes are sold on e-bay for more than $100. Secor had sold a handful of copies of the tape for fans who found him online but was eventually served a cease-and-desist order stopping him from doing it ever again.blink insert thank yous

There is currently no mention of the Buddha album on Blink-182’s official website (****It was later added but the name “Filter Records” wasn’t on it). Here is how the site had previously described the album’s release: “Meanwhile, Hoppus and DeLonge befriended the Orange County punk rock group the Vandals, whose tiny label, Kung Fu, released Blink’s cassette-only debut recording (titled Buddha) in 1994.” The album was actually released on cd in 1999 by Kung Fu. Neither Secor or Filter Records is mentioned anywhere on the cd. Kung Fu’s website says the Vandals let Blink open shows for them when they were just starting and so Blink “rewarded” the Vandals’ label by giving them Buddha. The Blink-182/MCA legal teams have successfully stalled long enough for the statutes of limitations to run out, so Secor will never see money from the release. It has sold over 200,000 copies (****and has reportedly sold more copies than Cargo’s Cheshire Cat -ed.)

Secor eventually stopped using the name Filter Records but has continued as an online label & music store at 11345.com .
——-
Not my best writing but, hey, my name wasn’t on it and it felt good to see it in print.

So, why am I doing this? Well, Pat and I worked at the Wherehouse Records in Poway together.  He was sharp and impressive enough as a teenager to have been made a manager there and we became instant friends. He’d attended Poway High School with Tom DeLonge and Scott Raynor and was paying to put the band they had with Mark Hoppus in the studio.  I’d met Mark with Pat at a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin show at SOMA the year before (he was a huge fan, just listen to those basses!) and saw him at work sometimes since he worked at the nearby Rancho Bernardo Wherehouse.  One night, Pat called me at the store to invite me over to his parents’ house. They had just finished recording Buddha at Doubletime Studios in Santee and I sat with Pat and Mark and was the first person to ever hear it.  It was fast and silly and really not my cup of tea but they were so excited, it was hard not to be stoked for them.blink buddhatape w liner

That month, I moved to the Bay Area with Pat and my friend Sam, a fellow SDSU/KCR alum. The untitled Blink cassette came out on Pat’s made-up label, Filter Records, shortly thereafter. For his next release, we made a simple logo for the label on my work’s computer from a diagram of someone installing an automobile air filter. The three of us used to assemble Buddha cassettes and send them down to San Diego, where they were selling slowly but surely in stores.  There’s a cute story of the whole Hoppus family watching tv and assembling cassettes like we did in the band’s biography.  After awhile, they were selling so many that it must’ve made sense to just handle it all down there and Pat trusted them to pay what they owed. Mark and Tom were nothin’ but nice when they would call. They came up and played Berkeley Square with Unwritten Law and it was pretty exciting to hear how great they were doing.

It only made sense to put the album out on cd, but, 500 miles away, the band dodged the issue, saying they needed to talk to their manager or their label or they weren’t sure where the masters were. Mostly, they’d just avoid his calls. They kept getting more and more popular and he just gave up trying to get them to agree to it.  When the internet came along, he didn’t even mention them anywhere on his site.  Meanwhile, Blink put the keywords “Filter Records” in the HTML of their homepage and even created a dummy page for search engines that redirected to Blink182.com.

Pat got tired of the association and started over, using the name 11345 Records, named after our street address in El Cerrito.  People still tracked him down, asking about Blink and he slowly sold off a few cassettes he still had.  When the band found out, one of them emailed him to buy a copy but he recognized the address.  When the band’s lawyer friend, Joe Escalante, tried to order one, Pat sent him a copy and they put a cease-and-desist on further sales.  There was no way to go up against a big-money major-label lawyer but he’d call Pat occasionally just to remind him not to try anything. Then they let Escalante’s label, Kung Fu Records, release Buddha on cd.  Then it sold over 300,000 copies.  I made up the $500,000 figure.  If it sold that many copies, the label probably made four times that. Pat never saw a dime of it.blink poster

Scott Raynor is quoted in the Blink bio book Tales From Beneath Your Mom saying “Pat was the first person to have faith in us.” GOOD Scott.  Hoppus wrote a little paragraph of his memories about recording Buddha for the Kung Fu reissue cd. There’s no mention of Pat, of course.  I recently noticed this sticker on my old guitar case. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous for him to get these printed with his name on it.  He was the exact opposite of an egomaniac. He just wanted to be part of it all. Strange to see it now.BLINK STICKER

In 2006, my band Rookie Card was asked to be part of a charity show with local acts covering other locals.  So, in addition to the Mossy Nissan theme and “On A Rope”, I decided to Weird Al that stupid song about the apple juice.  I had to use the distortionless amp but it was ok for not having done it before or since.  Don’t worry, this isn’t all an excuse to promote my band.  We split up seven years ago. Funny enough, the first time we ever went out of town was to play Pat’s wedding.
(to the tune of Blink 182’s “Adam’s Song”)

I never thought we’d get a break
but then you put out our first tape.
You liked our stuff. You had the cash.
We made a deal with no contract.
We pressed record, put down some tracks.
C’mon buddy, we’ll pay you back.
You paid the bills then we got huge.
Later on, you’d just get screwed.

(sing “Stupid song. Stupid band. Stupid riff” over quiet parts)

We picked our nose, took off our pants.
Music comedy’s never been so advanced.
1-80-2 degrees we turned
& walked away. This bridge is burned.
Nothing could be more wrong.
Take my name off your stupid song.
Here’s hoping that your karma never ends.
It’s so punk rock to screw your friends.

We sold a bunch. We gave you half.
You had an idea that made us laugh.
Let’s put it out on a cd.
That’d be great if it were up to me.
Our lawyers gave us some advice.
I know a thank you would be nice.
A half a mill. We can’t resist.
Serve your ass with a cease & desist.

We got ours. He won’t get his.
That’s what we like to call show biz.
The Buddha said don’t stop to think.
You might just miss it if you blink.
Nothing could be more wrong.
Take my name off your stupid song.
Here’s hoping that your karma never ends.
It’s so punk rock to screw your friends.

(end to the tune of “All The Small Things”, note the JAMC nod)
Sorry old bro. You’ll get no dough.
You were our pimp. Now you’re our ho.
Nyeah nyeah nyeah nyeah……
blink buddha cassette larger

It’s an unreal tale that has probably never happened again.  Kids grow up savvy these days with access to a ton of information that we didn’t have or care about back then.  I can’t ever hear Blink without thinking about it.  I have friends that have designed their album covers, recorded them and played on their albums and have lots of nice things to say about the band.  I don’t care.  They’ll always be assholes to me.  You’d think the same thing if it was one of your good friends.

Bands are forced into all kinds of things when they’re coming up.  Bad advice.  Regretted decisions.  It’s not too late to wrong this right. Maybe someday I’ll take this story down. I’m sure the band would like me to.  Too bad.

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24 thoughts on “HOW BLINK 182 SCREWED MY FRIEND OUT OF OVER $500,000

  1. I loved the Buddha album in high school. Cheshire Cat was o.k. They stopped being relevant to me after that, right around the time I saw them on the cover of Teen People. From what I can tell, they have little to no respect in the punk rock scene…if you would even call them punk after about 1998. No love lost there.

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  3. Dude, they don’t owe Pat or whoever anything if it isn’t in writing. You did a favor for these dudes, that’s it. You wouldn’t be spouting all this nonsense if they had never made it big, would you? YOU are the one who is being greedy.

    • You’re absolutely right. They legally don’t owe him anything. It’s just a really shitty thing to do to someone and no one would ever know if I didn’t say so. So I’ll be that guy. Why? Cos fuck ’em.

      • Uh fuck you dude. There isn’t any legal or moral standing in this. You’re blowing this out of proportion completely.

        You even said it yourself, you aren’t nice enough. Yeah well how about picking on something more worth your time I’m sure there is plenty out there you can bitch about that actually would change something.

        This isn’t really any of your business, anyway. It’s Pat’s

      • As I said, I wrote this 15 years ago and I’ll leave it up until they do something nice enough to deserve me taking it down. If someone screwed your friend, you’d probably say something too, famous or not.

    • Dude that’s stupid… They are loaded… They should break this dude off a piece. Greedy and ungrateful… Hardly Buddha like

    • My only regret is that I didn’t find this sooner, but in the off chance that you will see this, you are completely wrong. You are right there is no legal obligation, but a moral one? Yes. I love Blink 182. They are the reason for everything I ever did musically, and I owe them that respect. It would have been nice if they paid it forward, and said “you believed in us when no one else did, here’s a check”. The combined net worth of everyone in that band is $205 million. That’s right! Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in net worth, and they owe that to the people who helped them out, and from what I have seen, they don’t really believe in returning favors. I haven’t seen them look back once to the people who got them their start. Maybe it’s not public? But it appears that every person whoever helped them was left in the dust, and they did not seem to pay it forward to smaller bands after they got big. Are you aware that Pennywise, literally told Kevin Lyman to put them on Warped Tour, and pay them $1500 a night? Are you aware that Fletcher Dragge fronted another $500 a night out of his pocket, which paid them $2,000 a night for the entire duration of the tour? Are you aware that Pennywise paid for Blink 182’s tickets so they can afford to tour Australia? Did Blink 182 do that for other bands? If they have, I haven’t seen it. I’m just saying there seems to be a history of taking favors, and not returning them. We shouldn’t do favors and expect a return, but it is widely accepted that they rewrite their history books, and don’t even have the slightest inclination to do right by those who helped them.

    • Your a fucking idiot. It’s assholes like you that make this world the way it is. Do us all a favor, ride your dirt bike off a cliff!

  4. so first off adams song isn’t stupid cuz its made for a kid who was suicidal, and thats the only i have to rip on you for but however i do see how frustrating it can be to help out friends and get no credit

  5. Utterly shocked. That’s one of those “that nirvana guitarist” kind-of-things i can’t stop feeling bad for the people involved. Heavy questions spinning in my head, why wouldn’t them let him take the credit for all the crucial help? Who knows where they would be right know? (Maybe pumping gas somewhere in the San Diego area?) Why all those efforts spent trying to erase and rewrite the history?
    If it were me i would make amends with my past in no time, especially from the comfy position of a zillionaire rock star. But probably they have a lawyer keeping them from doing anything to put things right, with the boogeyman story of possible lawsuits or admissions of wrongdoing and the likes. So sad!

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  9. Correct me if I am missing something, but I don’t see Mark & Tom owing Pat anything more, legally or ethically. He did get the money from the original copies, correct? How did they owe him more? As far as not formally thanking him for his help later on, it makes sense that the major labels would veto that since it could imply his involvement, legally. It would have been nice had Mark & Tom remained friends with him. That’s really the only criticism I can come up with, but that doesn’t make them bad people.

    Again I may be missing some details but from just reading this article it seems like more of a broken friendship story than a legal or ethical wrongdoing.

    • The East Bay Express article said he made about $335 on the tapes. Their lawyer friend put it out on cd and sold at least 250,000 copies. You don’t see that as ethically wrong to not give the guy who paid for the entire recording something for that? Nice. I’ll try not to do business with you.

  10. That’s just how Mark and Tom are. They’ve always been about taking the little guy down so they can bring themselves up. Look what happened to me. I thought these guys were my friends but they decided that having a better drummer who would bring them success is much more valuable than helping out a friend who isn’t in the best situation. I fucked up and I realize that but I would of done my best to be a better drummer for that band but I wasn’t given the chance. I only wish they didn’t go and write a song about it and try to paint a bad picture of who I was by telling everyone I was a ‘no-good drunk’. Just look at Mark and Tom today. The two of them aren’t even friends anymore! What can you do…

    – Scott

    • Whoa, are you actually Scott Raynor?
      There is no doubt that their story doesn’t paint a full picture. It’s clear to many fans that blink tried to rewrite the band’s history. Your description of Tom and Mark really speaks to me. It’s unfortunate, but I guess not all friends are genuine.
      Anyway, from one drummer to another, I think you’re great. The early sound is a powerhouse of energy.

    • Scott, I would much love to hear more about this and your overall experience with the band in the later 90s. I’ve been trying to track you down for six years now and I was starting to think you were dead at the very worst. Please PLEASE email me at evanprhodes@live.com. I’d love to chat with you or even just get a quick update.

      -Evan

  11. He didn’t get screwed, he screwed him self. He didn’t have a legit label. He recorded them or paid for it and put some cassets together, he didn’t get them on warped tour,radio or tv. He had no way to do that. Yeah if he was smart he should have made them sign something and get a percentage of sales but eaither way he was never gonna get rich off of them,the big labels have the money to promote you and in that day and age with out YouTube and wide use of internet you needed a big lable. Should they have given him a few grand for helping out?maybe let him sell March at their shows? Yeah that would have been cool and decent as a friend.

    • Do you think the lawyer who put it out on CD on his tiny label after they got famous and sold over 300,000 copies got rich off of it? Guess how much he had to promote it? I heard he retired off of it.

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