"Dammit" is a song by Blink-182. It was the first single released from the band's second album Dude Ranch. The song was written by bassist Mark Hoppus concerning a fictional breakup with his girlfriend. Sung entirely by Hoppus in the studio recording, guitarist Tom DeLonge usually sings the chorus in live performances.
An alternate version of the song can be found on the Can't Hardly Wait soundtrack, the Hit Machine 20 compilation album, and the band's Greatest Hits album, which features a drumroll right after the opening notes along with louder instrumentals. Sometimes in live performances, Mark Hoppus sings choruses to popular songs from the late 1990s such as TLC's "No Scrubs" or "Forgot About Dre".
The song was co-written by Tom DeLonge and Scott Raynor (with Mark Hoppus writing the lyrics), and was produced by Mark Trombino. It was reportedly written in "five minutes" as Hoppus wondered the consequences of breaking up with his girlfriend.
Chart success and live history
The single was released September 23, 1997, and reached number 11 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. It became the band's first hit single, bringing Blink-182 commercial success for the first time. The only single from Dude Ranch to do so, the success preceded and paved the way for the major popularity of their next album, Enema of the State. The success of the song and growing popularity as a result was part of the reasons for Scott Raynor's controversial departure from the band the following summer.
The song is often the final encore and closing song of the band's live set. When performed live, Tom DeLonge often sings the chorus and opens the song with "Take your pants off!" - this can be heard on many live recording found on later singles released by the band and the version released on The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!). It was very common that during the bridge for Mark Hoppus to sing a popular hit of another artist, such as Ice Ice Baby. "I Wish" by Skee-Lo can be heard sung during the live recording of "Dammit" found on the All the Small Things Australian Single CD.
During concerts in 1997 to late 1999, the band was known for creatively poking fun at audience members who attended their shows only because of the mainstream success of this song:
This one goes out to all our fans - to all the punk rock kids who've been into our band. Do you only know us from this one song? Here's news for you, we've been around for almost six years long...and it hurts...
In popular culture
The song was performed live on Loveline in 1997. The popularity yielded Blink-182's first late night talk show performance, appearing as the musical guest for Late Night with Conan O'Brien on March 18, 1998. The song has been covered by Trivium, Avril Lavigne, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, Hellogoodbye, Math the Band, and Fake Problems. The bands Cute Is What We Aim For, All Time Low, Leftöver Crack, Boys Like Girls, and Hey Monday have performed the song live. At the Warped Tour 2009 15th Anniversary Movie, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith from Panic! at the Disco and Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy with others performed the song for the movie. +44, Mark Hoppus's other band, performed the song regularly during the 2007 Honda Civic Tour.
"Dammit" can also be heard in the films Bubble Boy and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, as well as Can't Hardly Wait. The song was used in television adverts for the film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel. It is part of the soundtrack for the video game Big Air Snowboarding. The song is a playable track in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour, and is considered a difficult song on drums. A 2008 job advertisement for future Guitar Hero playtesters listed four songs potential applicants had to be capable of playing on the highest difficulty level: applicants choosing "Dammit" had to successfully play the song with the drum controller. Beating the song with the drum controller on any difficulty level will unlock Travis Barker as a playable character. The song is available as downloadable content in the Rock Band series, as well.
A rare live recording of "Dammit" in Los Angeles during the 1997 Warped Tour can be found on World Warped III Live (1999). Another rare live recording of "Dammit" can be found on The Solution to Benefit Heal the Bay (2000), a benefit album by the Heal the Bay Foundation, an environmental organization dedicating to cleaning up the San Diego Bay.
The music video (directed by Darren Doane and Ken Daurio) shows the band members going to see a movie, where the singer, Mark Hoppus, sees his ex-girlfriend with another guy. Mark, devastated, throws his popcorn into the air and Tom and Scott stand around acting like nothing happened. When the band enters the theater, Mark's ex-girlfriend sits in front of him, so Mark tries to talk to her. She ignores Mark, and so he starts doing annoying things to distract the couple from the movie. This includes putting his feet up on their seats, getting up and spilling popcorn on them, and falling in between them trying to get candy from Tom. He then tries to put his arm around his ex-girlfriend, and the other guy chases Mark out of the theater, where they start to have a cartoon-like fight as Tom and Scott just stand in the background drinking their soda. At one point, Mark tries to hold onto Tom and pulls his pants down. The video ends with Hoppus and the boyfriend fighting and the girlfriend walking away with a theater employee, played by the band's manager, Rick DeVoe.
The music video was eventually updated with the "alternate" version of the song featuring the drum roll intro among other tweaks.