In an episode of the 1999 cult series Freaks and Geeks, the Neil Peart-loving burnout Nick Andopolis (portrayed by a teenage Jason Segel) shared what I have always assumed to be a truism applicable to drummers everywhere: no other type of pants can provide the full range of mobility—nay, freedom—that drumming requires like a pair of shorts.
Whether or not this is true for the generational drummer Travis Barker when he’s behind the kit, he certainly has a knack for the sort of gnarly-cool garments that look like they’ve probably survived many nights on a tour bus idling in an Indiana parking lot. For example: while out and about on a recent 90-degree day in Los Angeles, Barker sported a pair of ultra-baggy, low-slung black jean shorts hacked off somewhere around the knee area, entering into the record one of the wilder pairs of cut-offs we’ve seen in a while. (He paired them with a slouchy Motörhead hoodie and, because Calabasas is never too far away, a pair of Balenciaga hotel slippers.)
It’s not summer without a little inseam discourse, but between Barker’s monstrous jorts and Robert Pattinson’s 2000s-mall-skater knee-length cargos, we may be on the verge of something new. Then again, a baggy shorts revival is nothing we can’t handle; as GQ’s own Yang-Yi Goh wrote back in June, “Make ’em either an inch or two shorter than you’re comfortable with (think prime ’80s Magic Johnson)…or three to four inches longer and flowier than anything you’ve worn since your Warped Tour days (think prime ’00s Allen Iverson).” As Barker—who, to be fair, was probably at that Warped Tour—proves, shorts are an art, not a science.