To know the history of Sublime, you must know some of the band’s very memorable and significant milestones: Early career, recording hits, peak and downfall, and reformation.
The Sublime band is a popular music band formed in 1988 from California that focused on reggae fusion. They swept away millions of fans throughout the US and quickly gained popularity throughout the world. The band was originally composed of 3 very talented musicians – the late Bradley Nowell on guitar and vocals, Bug Gaugh on drums and percussion, and Eric Wilson on bass guitar. The band also had a mascot named Lou Dog which was Bradley’s Dalmatian.
If you are just one of the adoring fans with matching Sublime t-shirts and merchandise, you’ll be very interested in knowing their history.
The band came from the neighborhood of Long Beach California. During their high school years, childhood friends, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, together with Michael Happoldt, their future band manager, formed a punk band named “The Juice Bros”. Billy Wilson, Eric’s father, has also made a big contribution to the band. He was Gaugh’s mentor for playing the drums and reading music. Bradley Nowell later showed up in the scene and joined the band shortly after dropping out of the University of California, Santa Cruz. They had their first gig in a small club on July 4th, 1988. Later on they played for clubs or parties throughout Southern California. They also started recording a few songs and demos which were present along with their hit albums.
After the hard work and countless performances, Sublime finally got a huge break. They released their first album entitled “40 Oz. to Freedom” in 1992 under the Skunk Records label. The record is basically a blend showcasing the band’s love for reggae, hip hop, surf rock, and punk music, also helped to build and strengthen the group and its growing popularity. They even gathered numerous fans when the rock radio station KROQ played their song “Date Rape”. The band then signed under MCA records in June 1994 and toured around the country in 1994-1995.
Peak and downfall
Sublime made the headlines on their 1st SnoCore Tour in early 1996. By February, they started recording their third record and major label debut album named after the band itself, “Sublime.” On May 25, 1996, shortly after the album’s completion and two months before its release, vocalist Nowell died of a heroin overdose at the Oceanview Motel in San Francisco. Still, the album was successful, and was ranked #1 at the Modern Rock Chart and went five-times platinum. But the band died when the remaining members of the band expressed their disinterest in continuing to perform and record after Brad’s demise.
It took a few years for the band to reform under a new name, “Long Beach Dub Allstars”, and finally release new songs with the contributions of Michael Happoldt, Todd Forman, and Marshall Goodman. The new band didn’t last long, though, and was disbanded in 2002. At early February 2009, another attempt of reforming the group was made with a new singer named Rome Ramirez. They have also changed the band’s name to Sublime with Rome after confronting many legal issues.
Sublime is a great band with an interesting history. For them, it never hurt to aim high, pursue dreams, and continue developing a passion for music.