‘Rockin To Our Own Beat’ BHS class of 1990 motto

‘Rockin To Our Own Beat’ BHS class of 1990 mottoBruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts from his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review.


From her home overlooking the Rio Bravo golf course (Bakersfield), the late Ann Cierley handed me the history of the Burrough’s legendary debate program during her time at Burroughs and said, “Here’s debate, now you write the rest of the BHS story.” I thought there must already be a BHS history, saving me from countless evenings of research. Not the case. When I Googled BHS history, Wikipedia cited only four Burroughs “notables.” We have identified a multitude more. Mark Hoppus is on that original list of four, as he should be.

I joke with our six grandchildren (ages 7-20), “if you can’t hum the melody or whistle the melody, it’s not a song.” At first, they laughed, but lately it’s been a sideways glance, except for seven-year-old Rylee Ann who smiles (toothless) and nods yes. I am a 73-year-old baby bomber, “dispensed” at China Lake in 1948. My Sirius radio music presets are 5, 6, and 7. Yet lately, I have been listening to Blink-182 and have come to appreciate Mark’s songwriting genius and stunning stage presence. I especially enjoyed the album California, for which Mark received a long overdue Grammy nomination for album of the year.

I met Mark Hoppus when I was serving as principal of Richmond School in 1983. He came to school as a midyear fifth grader, returning to China Lake after his dad’s studies at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. He was an immediate campus star and now an international rock star sensation and multi-talented celebrity.

After spending his early high school years at Annandale High School in Fairfax, Virginia, Mark returned to Ridgecrest, Johns Pizza and Burroughs. Mark graduated from Burroughs with the Class of 1990. The class motto, “Rockin’ to Our Own Beat,” could not have been more fitting for Mark. Like Nick Brophy (BHS 1983), Mark was voted “Best Hair” by his classmates. Mark’s Classmate Ivy Calvin, was voted by his classmates “Big Mouth.” Ivy stars on Storage Wars. Voted by her 1990 classmates “Best All Around,” Carrie (Porter) Cope is the current Burrough’s principal.

Mark recently announced that he was undergoing treatment for “diffuse large B cell lymphoma stage 4-A cancer. “Today I’m grateful to not being going in for chemotherapy, the punk-pop musician tweeted Wednesday to his 2.7 million followers, noting it had been three weeks since his last treatment. “Normally I’d be going in today,” he wrote, before catching himself: “Normally.’ Damn. Getting pumped full of poison every three weeks is my new normal. On the 29th I get scanned and will know if it worked.” Hoppus’ July scan, which evaluates the cancer cells’ spread in the body, indicated that chemotherapy was working. (Nardine Saad, LA Times, September 17, 2021) We wish Mark and his family the best.

“Enema of the State, launched the rock career of Mark Hoppus and his band Blink-182, catapulting them into the ‘stratosphere of pop music’ and solidifying the band as the biggest pop punk act of the era. In 2000, Blink-182 was dominating the airwaves. (Wikipedia)

And then came the scavenger hunt:

The Prize Was a Hot Band, So the Spelling Bee Rocked

By Susan Carpenter, May 5, 2000 (The Los Angeles Times)


“Blink-182, one of the hottest rock bands around, will play Simi Valley’s Santa Susana High School prom Saturday night. The students proved they were worthy by convincing their principal to sing one of the band’s songs over the public announcement system. They tracked down some of the musician’s old yearbooks and ticket stubs (I recall hearing that a parent flew his daughter to Inyokern and hired a driver to take her to Burrough’s M Wing to purchase a spare 1990 yearbook from the yearbook advisor – maybe myth, maybe legend). …They photographed 182 KROQ -FM Radio bumper stickers on 182 different cars. And they found a junior who could really spell.

More than 300 Southern California high schools competed for the Blink-182 prom concert, with 26 completing the ten zany challenges. So, to pick a final winner, the station staged an unlikely spelling bee. Hundreds of screaming teens packed the Palace nightclub in Hollywood, waving signs that read, ‘Think Blink.” Each school designated one speller. Lauren, the designated speller for Santa Susana, spelled ‘pertinacious’ to win.” Blink-182 played their prom.”

Blink-182 has won three Teen Choice Awards, six San Diego Music Awards, one Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award, two MTV Europe Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Award and one California Music Award, while boasting twenty-nine nominations. (Wikipedia)

In addition to his music career, Mark has made several acting appearances in film and television, the movie American Pie being just one. He has written columns for Risen Magazine. He created HiMyNameIsMark, a podcast showcasing songs by underground bands. A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus, later Hoppus on Music, was a weekly national television broadcast on the Fuse network. Mark generously supported relief efforts following the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Japan. (Wikipedia)

“The band was first named “Duck Tape,” then simply Blink. An Irish band already had the same name and issued a cease-and-desist order. Mark’s band added 18-2 spontaneously in a phone call with their record label. The correct name is “Blink-eighteen-two. (SPIN)

After returning to Ridgecrest from Virginia, Mark was a local celebrity at John’s Pizza in the late 1980s. Owner Glen Covert (BHS 1980) commissioned a menu portrait featuring young Mark. Following Blink-182’s success, the menus instantly disappeared. By Googling “Mark Hoppus High School,” the menu cover can be found in the photo gallery.

Mark met former MTV talent executive Skye Everly in August 1999. They were married on December 2, 2000. Their son, Jack, was born 2002. A longtime resident of San Diego, Mark and his family moved to the Mayfair area of London in 2011, when the band was completing their sixth album, Neighborhoods. The Hoppus family currently makes Beverley Hills their home. (Wikipedia) Skye is the author of Rock Star Momma. She is also the owner of Childish Clothing. (Biography Daily)

The story of Mark Hoppus and Blink-182 is deep, complex and rich. There are numerous books available for readers wanting more than can be provided on “page two” of the News Review.

We wish Mark a speedy recovery. Mark’s dad, Tex Hoppus, resides in Ridgecrest and is the president of the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert.

Courtesy photo: Pop-punk musician Mark Hoppus has had a diverse, highly acclaimed career.

Story First Published: 2021-09-24