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Brad Nowell

Born: 1968-02-22 - Died: 1996-05-25
Cause of Death:
Drug Overdose


Death Summary: On May 25, 1996, Sublime’s drummer Gaugh found Nowell’s naked body lying on the bed in their hotel room. Nowell had died from an accidental heroin overdose.
Bradley Nowell was cremated and his ashes were spread over the water at his favorite surf spot.

Who was Brad Nowell : Nowell was the lead singer and guitarist for the popular ska punk band Sublime.

Nowell, bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh founded sublime in 1988; they met while attending Cal State Long Beach. They eventually became one of the most famous bands in Southern California, and were the number one band on campus. They often played at parties and bars in exchange for free alcohol.

In 1992, 40 Oz. To Freedom was released, over 60,000 copies were distributed… many of which were sold directly from the trunk of Nowell’s car.

Nowell became frustrated with the rejection of major record companies; he began to experiment with heroin. Nowell claimed that his use of the drug was justified, as it heightened his creativity.

Around a year later, Tazy Phillipz took a copy of the album to L.A. radio station KROQ, requesting that the song “Date Rape” (check out the song on the right-hand side of the page) but added to the recurring playlist. Shortly after adding the song into rotation MCA records picked up the rights to the album and begun to distribute the album nationally.

The newfound attention from a major recording studio didn’t curb Nowell’s addiction. It even got so bad that Nowell was pawning his own guitars to feed his addiction. A friend of his would go behind him and buy his guitars back for him.

In February 1996, while recording Sublimes first major studio release Nowell was spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000 per month on heroin. The producer feared that by putting out the album, it would do nothing more than exploit a junkie.
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74 Signatures in Brad Nowell's guestbook

  1. Michelle Brenton Says:

    I know that Brad and Bob Marley are kickin it in Heaven..Peace

  2. kristy davis Says:

    you are missed and loved.you brought me joy and happiness.love,kristy

  3. Felipe Reiter Says:

    Maybe you don’t realize what you done, you’re a mastergenius

  4. Victor Romero Says:

    your music has made most of who i am today.
    i hope you roll me a fat spliff RIP brad & lou dog

  5. mariah Says:

    i believe you when you say that it was just an experiment that turned to an addiction. and most people arnt mad about that we just hate the fact that someone who was such a fuckin awesome singer died. we all love you and always will brad.
    R.I.P Bradley.

  6. jacky calderon Says:

    You rock Bradley now u live in a nice place with your dog louie

  7. JOSUE APOLINAR Says:

    your music inspired me to be kool with everything and also your a badass your in a better place with your dog lou R.I.P

  8. Ashley Says:

    Addict or not you were the greatest band I have ever heard and I have a 12 yr old step son that LOVES you guys. I had to tell him that to you were no longer with us playing music. He wants to learn how to play like you.

  9. J Clary Says:

    Fuck yea to one of the greats. Smoke a blunt a day for my boy brad.

  10. Lindz,y Says:

    Smoking two joints then smoking two more…just for you my man! You are truly missed.

  11. Adam W. Says:

    Hey brad i love your music and i am very sad you died. Some day i can chill with you and lou dog in heaven. Rest in peace brad and lou dog.

  12. aaron garibay Says:

    i dont know how to put this in little words. you are more than just a person, great artist, good dad, and friend . you were (are) so wonderful i saw you play in lon beach in backyards at parties and drank beer w/you. you are a huge part of my life and will always be missed. cant wait to chill w/you agin in heaven. i love you and miss you. AARON garibay

  13. Doug Says:

    I hope you can see this… I only got into your band about 2 months ago but you are rock. Lets Go Get Stoned

  14. Derek and Lou Dog Says:

    Any man who loved his dog that much is great in my book.

  15. tommy lee bravo Says:

    he was the best despite his addiction the fuck if i care SMOKE WEED and play reggea music

  16. karly Says:

    i love you brad.

  17. Bradley Nowell Says:

    Thank you, I will be with all of you forever.

  18. robert fitzpatrick Says:

    i wonder who wrote that.

    anyways.

    one love for bradley nowell. music would of been a better place today if you were given the chance to show the world your new styleeeeee.

    rip.

  19. eliza randell Says:

    i loved brad…have been catching up
    on all the jenson rhodes music.
    really awesome

  20. ¨¨¨™¤(էհε ցհօรէოﻪռ 〤)¤™¨¨¨ Says:

    ƓƦƛƁ ƬHЄ ƦЄЄƑ ƑƠƦ MЄ ƁƦƠ
    ԼƠƔЄ, ƤЄƛƇЄ ƛƝƊ ƇHƖƇƘЄƝ ƓƦЄƛƧЄ
    ƳƠƲ ƛƦЄ ƓƠƝЄ ƁƲƬ ƝЄƔЄƦ ƑƠƦƓƠƬƬЄƝ

  21. Russell Parker Says:

    the summer of 2001 i met the girl of my dreams. we were 18 and the whole summer we listned to nothing but sublime albums. that is the happiest time of my life and ill never forget it. Thanks Bradley for the music

  22. DJB Says:

    More than 13 years have gone by, and your passing still hurts. Much love.

  23. Fargone Says:

    your a great dude your music made me find myself RIP

  24. Jake Says:

    You used to get so high, you touched the clouds. Now you’re up there for real… R.I.P.

  25. Richie Orris Says:

    Brad, I wish
    you were still h

  26. Richie Orris Says:

    brad i wish u were still here i know u would of had much more success. but for the short time u faced this cold world u certainly made an impact. RIP to u and lou dog

  27. j ritter Says:

    brad, i plan on listening to and learning about you alot more. im not sure how heaven works but i want to meet you and lou dog up there one day. if your first major album was that good, its a shame we’ll never know what else you could have done, i tear up when i watch santaria when lou dog imagines you still alive. one love.

  28. Chris C Says:

    brad youre weed influenced sound can be related to by stoners everywhere. my single greatest regret is that i will never be able to see you perform live and i will never be able to blaze with you. rest in peace you and lou

  29. SABIR SABIR Says:

    THE DEAD STILL ROCKZ!!!!

  30. Paul P. Says:

    Sublime wasnt just brad, he was a big part but sublime isnt dead, bud and eric can rock that shit, keep going guys, brad your music was amazing, only thing i live for, ill see you in heaven soon…hopefully, R.I,P. brah.

  31. Sandra Says:

    Its sad that the most talented people have to go.

  32. anna Says:

    xoxo bradley…much love

  33. Bryan b Says:

    You are my idol.You are a musical genius and there will never be anyone as good as you. Hope to spark a j with you in heaven.

  34. Travis Gibson Says:

    You brought me music. Thanks man

  35. Anjuli Says:

    Your very much loved. stay awesome. Your my idol and about 12343242 million other peoples.

  36. mario aleman Says:

    r.i.p bradley we will miss u & your dog 2 urock

  37. jerry Says:

    miss you bro, you too louie!!! RIP guys

  38. Skye Marlay Says:

    You inspired me to sing and create my own music. I love sublime, I even re-drew the sun with my own creativity and am going to get it as a tat. It’s still for the same amazing band though. Where ever you are, peace it out Brad. Take care of Lou-dog.

  39. Mike Nova Says:

    I didnt listen to your music until after your death, but I love it nevertheless. Around the time of your death I begin my twisted love affair with H. I just left my 4th rehab yesterday and I can’t get the mental obession of the drug out of my mind. Tonight, I most likely will give into sin. I know “One day I’m going to lose the war.”

  40. Ray Says:

    I remember the day u had passed and sitting in high school i had heard it on the radio. I had been a fan of Sublime for 5 years before when my brother would bring me out to local shows and if u were a teenager living around LA u knew and have probably saw the band Sublime. I had the joy to see u and Kurt play. U had and still have a day to day effect on my life with your words of wisdome. even though u both were into different styles, you were both still musicians. It was sad to see u go but u are up there sitting with all the other greats like Morrison and Hendrix. I never realized it but i guess the good do die young. You were all in your 20′s and are all considered in the same circle of the GOD’s of Rock. May u please the next generation music lovers with your never dying music over and over again.

  41. matthew martinez Says:

    the lord of true ska and reggie.
    i talked to you once and you said dude fuck this shit lets get high…..but forgot and went back to the greenroom.
    i gave you some purp.

  42. Madaline Says:

    you started a whole new genere of music, you bring tears to my eyes, your voice was beautiful. Sublime is my all time favorite and always will be! you’re AMAZING. Rest In Peace Brad…
    you are truely missed.

  43. Edgar moreno Says:

    I remember when first heard sublime& it was back I’m high school. I heard and I was hooked!! Till this day sublime is &Will b my favorite band…. RIP BRAD!!!

  44. Jasmine Steiner Says:

    Rest in Peace Brad and Lou Dog. you are my hero’s . I’ll be seeing you on the other side <3

  45. Website for Restaurant Says:

    This is, by far, the best writing yet!

    http://www.bistrosquare.com

  46. Derek Miller Says:

    You were a GREAT musician and your music will live on forevr <33 rest in peace

  47. Frankie Fernandez Says:

    Sublime is where it’s at! Dude was a fuckin magician!

  48. Ronny T Says:

    will always be missed.

  49. Leslie Says:

    This is your best music yet!

    http://www.rushopn.com

  50. Nova Scar Says:

    thank you for being there for nd you left way too soon

  51. jacob biles Says:

    ill never forget the first time i heard sublime no band has influenced me more or will if you dont like sublime somethings wrong with u

  52. Richard Gillespie Says:

    Miss you Brad

  53. csthy yw3aski Says:

    i was a ggood friend\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

  54. Bubby Says:

    I’m not wrohty to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  55. nick Says:

    Brad you were a major influence on my life, ive listened to your music since i was 8 and i still cant find anything better. even though they got rome as a singer now, you are still the face of the greatest band ever, but he is doin a damn good job of keepin the name out there of some of your best friends. SUBLIME for life… and ill never put the bong down..

  56. Jake Says:

    Bradly you may have saved the world.

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  58. Kelly Legner Says:

    heroin is a hell of a drug; if i hadn’t been thrown out of that pit, i doubt i would’ve fared much better at crawling out on my own. heroin could hardly have taken a victim less deserving of the punishment a junky endures. i feel your pain brad. the world misses you.

  59. Smoky Joe Says:

    You are truly missed. your music inspires me and it will until the day i die…

  60. bex Says:

    the first time i ever heard his voice & their music, i was forever changed. i really dont know what else i can say that would describe the love i have for him & this group. theyre huge in my heart & always will be. it lives on & so does his spirit. amazing individual. just simply amazing.

  61. Eric M. Says:

    You have brought light into my life when i thought never possible! i hope one day to see you again up there and thank you personaly!

  62. Katie Power Says:

    I wish I could have been around to actually experience you and your music, Brad. Too bad I was born in the wrong generation… R.I.P. Love always

  63. Chelsea P Says:

    You made reggae what it is today. You’re loved and missed and will absolutley NEVER be forgotten. Rest in peace, Bradley Nowell<3

  64. Jonny P Good Says:

    G.O.A.T. I hope you wouldnt mind if I sampled a some of your songs for a mixtape. Its going to be BIG. For the people that never heard of Sublime, will now.. And for those that do.. this is for you. RIP

  65. Ted Says:

    Love you man. You are one of the greatest.

  66. frank flores Says:

    i just want to say that im a huge fan of brads music an I personally will miss him an my heart goes out to his family and the rest of the band sublime mutch love …… peace

  67. Cole Says:

    Rest In Peace, Bradley Nowell. Your music will always be an inspiration to all.

  68. Jordan Says:

    thx for the sublime vibe forever. love u man

  69. pam sharp Says:

    cry when you have to and laugh when you can cause blink and its gone – i hope i get to meet you brad when my time comes – just take my hand and show me the way!! see ya later!

  70. pam sharp Says:

    cry when you have to and laugh when you can cause blink and its gone – i hope i get to meet you brad when my time comes – just take my hand and show me the way!!see ya later! (never goodbye)

  71. Dane Pendley Says:

    Love you always Bradley. going through a breakup with my boyfriend of 3 years who is going through a heroin addiction. Can only think of you. Your music is therapeutic.

  72. Dilara Says:

    ill say this even though home slice aint got the best most talteend voice on planet i will say he did give it his all that lil card board condo captain really put every thing he had into that. i think he tried so hard he got herneah and needed an oxygen tank and a respiratory therapist lol lol

  73. wyatt franco Says:

    i just got to say i love sublime more than anybody out there! brad u inspired me to get ur bck sublime tattoo down my forarm with my uncle…i am 15 years old and i have evry single album and no evry sing song that sublime has ever written..ive been a fan since i was a baby my dad and my mom r huge fans to theyve seen u guys play twice at the hard rock cafe in vegas.were im from! afetr u died my dad saw eric and bud in 7-11 and smoked a blunt with them at there hotel!u inspired me to name my dalmation lou dogg and my lil 2 year old bradley imma huge fan i love sublime always till i die! ill see u in heaven..R.I.P brad and lou you wont be forgotten!

  74. wyatt franco Says:

    ^
    my 2 year old brother sorry i dnt have any kids


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