Hope you’re all ready to “Smoke Two Joints,” because for this edition of Throwback Thursday, we’re honoring the kings of the 80’s and 90’s ska punk scene, Sublime! Formed in 1988, Sublime was Bradly Nowell (vocals, guitar) Eric Wilson (bass) and Bud Gaugh (drums), and were known for their insane stage antics and ability to mix multiple genres, such as punk, surf rock, ska, hip-hop, and reggae to create any entirely original sound that the world had not seen before.
Sublime played their first ever show at a small California club on July 4th, 1988, which, to reenforce their party band image, ended in an actual riot, leading to seven arrests. After the performance, in order to be taken more seriously, the band formed their own label and signed themselves as “Skunk Records.” For the next few years, Sublime steadily built up a California fanbase by playing in more parties and clubs, and also took an official mascot: Louie, an abused Dalmatian puppy that Brad adopted. Named after Nowell’s grandfather, Louie, AKA “Lou Dog,” quickly became a staple and favorite of the crowds, wandering around onstage during performances, never too far from Brad’s side. Bud Gaugh recalled, “Lou Dog just loved Brad because it was the first time he had ever actually been shown love.”
Throughout the next few years, Sublime released “Jah Won’t Pay The Bills,” “40oz. To Freedom,” and “Robbin’ Da Hood,” and toured extensively, ultimately earning the chance to headline the legendary Vans Warped Tour, but did not last long, as internal conflicts, drug possession arrests, and one instance of Lou Dog “biting some skaters.” After the disaster that was Warped Tour, Sublime headlined the first ever SnoCore Tour in 1996, right after the completion of their first major label self-titled album. Two months before the record was set to be released, tragedy struck, with Bradly Nowell dying of a heroin overdose at a California hotel on May 25, 1996, just a day after their last show. He left behind his wife, dog, son, and countless devastated fans.
After Brad’s death, Sublime released multiple post-humous albums, but many wondered what the future held as far as the bands live shows would go. The remaining members briefly formed the Long Beach Dub All Stars, which broke up in 2002, and Gaugh was a part of the short-lived supergroup Eyes Adrift. In 2009, after many legal disputes, Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson teamed up with guitarist Rome Ramirez to form “Sublime With Rome,” and still tour to this day. Although Sublime may have a new singer, no one will soon forget the legacy and influence that they had on the music world as a whole. RIP Bradly Nowell, thanks to you, lovin’ is always, “what we got.”