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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.
Popular YouTube videos about Brad Nowell

74 Signatures in Brad Nowell's guestbook

  1. 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

  2. Richard Gillespie Says:

    Miss you Brad

  3. csthy yw3aski Says:

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

  4. Bubby Says:

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

  5. 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..

  6. Jake Says:

    Bradly you may have saved the world.

  7. Anderson Stoakley Says:

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your web site in web explorer, might check this… IE still is the market leader and a large component to people will leave out your excellent writing due to this problem.


  8. 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.

  9. Smoky Joe Says:

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Ted Says:

    Love you man. You are one of the greatest.

  16. 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

  17. Cole Says:

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

  18. Jordan Says:

    thx for the sublime vibe forever. love u man

  19. 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!

  20. 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)

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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!

  24. wyatt franco Says:

    my 2 year old brother sorry i dnt have any kids

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