Blink 182 Drummer Travis Barker Accused of Extorting £1.1m

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By Hannah Osborne | February 22, 2013 8:07 PM EST

Travis Barker(centre) accused of extortion (Reuters)

Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker was accused of extortion by a music promoter in Australia in a misunderstanding over performance fees.

Barker said that he could not play at the Soundwave Festival in Melbourne because of his fear of flying.

In 2008, the 37-year-old was hurt when an aircraft he had boarded en route to California crashed on takeoff and veered into an embankment. Four people died and Barker spent 11 weeks in hospitals and burn centres for his injuries.

He said that because of the accident, he could not fly from the US to Australia to perform in the festival.

Apologising to his Australian fans on Facebook, Barker said: "I'm sorry to announce I won't be joining Blink 182 on this Australian tour. I still haven't gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time I flew when my plane crashed and four people were killed, two being my best friends.

"I gave the band my blessing to take another drummer if they still wanted to do the tour without me. I hope to come to Australia again someday - perhaps by ship if need be."

However, festival promoter AJ Maddah said Barker was still demanding a third of the band's $5m (£3.3m) fee and accused him of extortion.

Bandmates Mark Hoppus and Tom De Longe will play the festival with a fill-in drummer and when the promoter was asked by festival-goers about refunds, he launched an attack on the musician.

He thinks he's a gangster

Maddah said on Twitter: "I'm told we can't refund and there will be no discount on the $5m fee because @travisbarker insisted on being paid in full.

"What he has done to Tom and [Mark] is extortion. He thinks he's a f*****g gangster.

"I don't blame him for not flying, but demanding one-and-a-half million dollars from your bandmates to allow them to play is low."

Barker responded: "Where u getting your information from, man? None of this you're writing on your timeline is true. This is all b******t.

"Stop talking s**t. Your spreading lies/stories & disrespecting me. You're not speaking to my management, your just fabricating s**t."

Maddah wrote back: "I have been super nice and supportive up to this point, but that stops now!

"Really dude? You didn't insist on being paid 1/3 even though you're not coming?"

Maddah eventually backtracked, blaming misinofmration for the row.

"We had both been fed a bunch of horses**t by other people," he claimed.

"He is a really good guy. It was a flare-up orchestrated by other people."

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