Lint Magazine - May 29, 1996
Brad Nowell, the dynamic lead singer for the punk/ska band Sublime was found dead in a San Francisco motel room Sat. (May 25), apparently of a heroin overdose. According to friends, family members and business associates, Nowell had been clean for months, but "succumbed to his addiction." Sublime co-manager Jason Westfall told the Long Beach, CA daily, the Press Telegram that "this is as much of an accident as this sort of thing can be." Sublime looked to be on the brink of major success. The group's song "Date Rape" (off 40 Oz. to Freedom) had received significant airplay on Modern Rock stations like San Francisco's "Live 105," and the group's new album, Sublime was due out July 30. "It looked like the band was ready to explode," Sublime's other manager, Jon Phillips, told a reporter. "The stage was set for greatness." According to Westfall, the album's release will now be pushed back until at least August, and the surviving band members, Eric Wilson and Floyd "Bud" Gaugh, are not expected to continue using the Sublime band name. Nowell had tried for several years to clean up; he had been in and out of rehabilitation facilities since 1992, and was most recently in rehab in 1994. He was found at 11:30 a.m., after a night of partying, in a motel room at the Ocean View Motel in San Francisco. He married Troy Dendekker on May 18, and is survived by an 11-month-old son, Jakob. Memorial services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster, CA. A private graveside service will be held Monday. Nowell's family request that donations be sent to the: Jakob James Nowell Trust Fund, 275 Redondo Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803. "We will go on in music and do other things," Westfall told the Press Telegram. "But just like Nirvana, Sublime died when Brad died."
Lint Magazine contacted some of the local artists to get their reaction on a band that had a large impact on the Orange County Music scene.
Tom Dumont - No Doubt -Posted on AOL folder
Bradley's death Friday night is shocking and devastating for me. Despite Sublime's reputation for partying, I always felt that his talent for singing and writing songs shined through it all. He was one of those guys whose natural talent was on a higher level than just about anyone I've ever known.
I remember one night a few years ago when Tony's parents threw him a surprise birthday party at home, and I brought some amps and guitars and drums over, and we invited a bunch of our musician friends. Brad and the rest of the Sublime guys came over and the various bands did little improvised sets of thier stuff. So there in the middle of the Kanal families living room Bradley, Eric and Bud played the most amazing, emotionally heart wrenching performance, holding absolutely nothing back, blowing away everyone there.
It's the thing I always thought could happen but I never believed it would. When somebody you know dies its hard to fathom. I'm kind of devastated. Gwen dedicated a song to him today and it was probably a shocking downer for those who knew them. It was a sad set. All the lyrics in Don't Speak seemed to be about Brad. He'll be missed. He knew what he was up against, but heroin will enslave the strongest of men.
The Aquabat Commander - The Aquabats
It sucks and drugs are lame, we played with them once and they were tweaking and it was scary. When I heard he died, it was a shame, but it's like it finally caught up with him.
Mike - My Superhero
I wish I could say it was a shock. I don't condone his lifestyle, he was a great singer and songwriter and an influence on my band. But it was the drugs that made Sublime famous. I can say that I'm not surprised. It's a shame that he had to leave his wife and child.
Wack37- Aol User In A Letter To No Doubt
It is so weird how I found out. I was talking to my girlfriend about how cool it would be to see you(No Doubt) go on tour with Sublime and Slapstick. I just saw you play yesterday in St. Louis at that festival thing and I knew something was up. I could tell something was on your mind, and you didn't want to play but you had to get though the set. It wasn't your normal No Doubt show. Sublime was one of the rattiest fucking bands ever. I wake up and listen to you, and fall asleep to Sublime. It is going to be really weird tonight though. I don't know why I am tripping off someone I didn't even know but I guess that shows what the music does for me. Why do musicians get so hung up on drugs? It's so pointless. I can't say I've never fucked around with shit but I feel that natural beauty is so much cooler than artificial beauty. I don't think there is such a thing as artificial beauty. When you see people dying from drugs it is kind of scary
JEREMY - email@example.com
I'm sad, pissed and whatever else about Bradley's death. It sucks!! I know a few people who have been on hardcore drugs from the time they were teenagers to their 40's and they're fine. Yet Bradley wasn't so lucky. It sucks how "worthless" people make it while someone who said a lot, did a lot, and influenced a lot got the short end of the stick.
It's such a waste and a loss. Sublime's music makes me smile, dance and just puts me in a good mood. don't know what else to say, but this is a good a place to say it as any.
Brad will be missed by all - Lint Magazine