Sublime was a band of the 90’s who played their first gig back in the summer of l988. This performance that started the famous Peninsula Riot of Long Beach, CA during the 4th of July. This band was once the average garage band that every kid wants to be in. But they changed from backyard beer buddies, into a great musicians. Sublime began recording in early 1992 when they joined up with Long Beach’s local studio Skunk Records where they recorded they incredible CD, 40oz to Freedom. The CD has sold 30,000 CD’s without Distributor.
The CD’s were sold out of the back of trunks in the band member’s cars. The bands new release, Robbin The Hood, sold over 2,000 CD’s in less than two weeks. This CD was a great mix of new and different sounds. Both records were made for under 10,000 dollars. Sublime is not just a band, but a perfect example of any beach dumb in CA. Sublime is more of a mood and an attitude that applies to every skater, surfer and snowboarder out there. The instant hit single, Date Rape , blew up huge real quick. But the band once described themselves, “we’re not a one-off, blow-up all at once kind of band.
Our goal is to create a long career of catalog pieces and a loyal and onstantly growing fan base. ” The tragic death of the singer, songwriter and guitarist, Brad Nowell goal got cut short.. But not before sublime which also included Bud Gaugh the drummer and Eric Wilson the bassist, recorded a a great variety of music. The story of Sublime is full of sad, strange twists, but this is the strangest, Since Brad Nowell overdosed before his band became a big hit, before he had a chance to become a big rock star, his death has been oddly forgotten and it feels like he is still there playing and singing.
Bradley Nowell died on May 25, 1996, in a San Francisco hotel room, after hooting up some heroin that was much too potent for his body to handle. His death occurred seven days after his wedding to Troy Denkker, who’d given birth to their son, Jakob, 11 months before the release of Sublime, the album that would make his band famous. By April 1997, a little less than a year after Nowell’s OD, Sublime had entered Billboard’s Top 20, and the album’s first single, the smooth, and grooving song What I Got, went to Number 1 on the Modern Rock chart. And that was only the beginning.
Throughout 1997, Sublime produced hit after hit, and the album has sold more than 2 illion copies to date. The big hit was the reggae sounding song Santeria. Then came the ska, Wrong Way, and finally the dance club favorite, Doin’ time, which Nowell constructed around the same melody another song Summertime. Eighteen months after Nowell’s death, Sublime sold about 40,000 records every week, in November, MCA released Second-Hand Smoke, a collection of early songs. The band that is no longer a band has become perhaps the biggest American rock act of 1997.
At Christmas, the acoustic guitars would come out and Brad would spend hours playing and singing with his father, grandfather and uncle. He devoured sounds, and could pick out a tune on the guitar after hearing it once. By the time he was 13, he’d started his own band, Hogan’s Heroes. Nowell was 10 when his parents split up. He lived with his mom, Nancy, for four years before moving back to his dad’s house in Long Beach, CA, in 1981. Nowell was a master at putting these sounds into something new. From Sublime’s earliest recordings, his combination of ska, dub, punk, funk, rap, reggae and heavy metal seemed liked a great mix for the culture.
Though there were few local clubs to play, house parties could ring a couple hundred bucks every weekend which was enough to buy all the things the band needed. Nowell battled with his addiction for most of the time Troy knew him, starting when his record deal with MCA was in the business, in 1994, and again when Troy got pregnant a year later. But friends say he could never be comfortable without the drug. Troy blames the Ritalin he was given as a child for having created his craving for drugs, but she blames something else too, how much he wanted to be a rock star. He said it was a very rock and roll thing to do.
Perry Farrell and Kurt Cobain and all those guys did drugs, and Brad wanted to see what it was like. Then they honestly begin to think that they write better music! I mean, Robbin’ the Hood, Sublime’s second album, was written when Brad was at his worst of being strung out. It’s a great album, but it’s all about his heroin abuse. Sublime were a party band, they played house parties, beach parties, frat parties; and if there wasn’t a party, they brought one with them. They were, people will tell you, lovable, but they were also, the same people will attest, out of control.