BAM Magazine - January 24, 1997
The loss of Sublime front man Brad Nowell to an accidental overdose of heroin last May was indeed a tragedy. But if anything positive can be gleaned from this sad loss, it's that Brad's death signals an end to the cynicism many musicians and fans harbor toward drug casualties who live the so-called rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Without much help from record companies, this benefit show held on January 11th at the Palladium - which was dubbed Enough Already - was put together by the bands themselves. Just the fact that a top-selling band such as No Doubt took time from their hurried schedule to headline this show is a touching reminder that band solidarity is not just wishful thinking, but a fact.
With fewer than 10 acts tearing up the stage, the highlights of the evenings including Epitaph stalwarts Pennywise and Voodoo Glow Skulls, old school punks the Vandals, the Long Beach Dub All Stars, and of course, No Doubt. But the centerpiece of this event was the Sublime Mini Movie - a compilation of the band's videos and unreleased footage, including interviews with Nowell and the rest of the band.
Half of the proceeds from Enough Already will go to Brad's one-year-old son, Jacob, for the purpose of a college fund, while the other half will go to the Musicians Assistance Program (M.A.P.), on organization set up to help artists struggling with addiction. "Obviously, our job is to help musicians who are strung out," explains M.A.P. founder Buddy Arnold. "But above and beyond that, we need to educate people - to de-glamorize the use of drugs and say, 'Don't buy the lie, it ain't hip to die.' "
One of the greater insights regarding the issue of drug abuse within the music industry came from the reigning ska queen herself, Gwen Stefani: "Part of the temptation with drugs on tour is that they're always there. People want to party with you every night. But with our band the main thing is our music. There's no way we could do [drugs] every night or even drink every night." That's not hard to believe, considering No Doubt's amazingly energetic show.
Hopefully, the Enough Already benefit will also help to dispel other myths about drugs. "Brad always thought [heroin] was something that would help creativity," said Jim Nowell, Brad's father. "But he later told me there was so much more he could have without it."