Everybody in the punk scene knows who Bradley Nowell was. Whether you’ve been a huge fan of Sublime, or the ska punk scene, you probably know a bit about this deceased singer and guitarist. To test the extent of your knowledge, we thought it would be fun to put together a list of 10 things most people probably don’t know about the dude who brought us “Santeria”, “What I Got”, and “Date Rape”.
1. After his parents divorced Bradley was such trouble maker his mom gave up custody and sent him to live with his father at the age of 12.
2. He was introduced to reggae and dancehall music after his father took him on a trip to the Virgin Islands.
3. Nowell dropped out one semester short of earning a degree in Finance from California State University, Long Beach.
4. After having a hard time booking gigs due to the band’s eclectic style, Nowell formed Skunk Records so he could tell Southern California venues he was a “Skunk Records” recording artist in hopes they’d be more open to letting them play. The label put out Sublime’s first few recordings.
5. His pet dalmatian Lou Dog became known as Sublime’s mascot and was named after his grandfather. He was known to roam the stage during live shows (the dog, not the grandfather).
6. Nowell and his band recorded their debut album “40oz. To Freedom” for free by sneaking into the California State University, Dominguez Hills after it closed, hiding from patrolling security guards, and sneaking out before it opened.
7. Brad was a fan of old-school rap singer Just-Ice and cited the rapper’s 1989 album “The Desolate One” as one of his favorite albums.
8. Brad was clean for over a month before his death from a heroin overdose on May 25th, 1996; he had tried to quit cold turkey the night before the band’s show in Boston on April 10, 1996.
9. He died a week after marrying his longtime girlfriend Troy Dendekker.
10. Bradley never saw the success of Sublime’s final album, which was originally going to be called “Killin’ It”. He died two months before its release and it seemed more appropriate to give it an eponymous title.