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Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beachmarker, Californiamarker, formed in 1986. The band's original line-up consisted of Bradley Nowell (vocals and guitar), Bud Gaugh (drums and percussion), and Eric Wilson (bass guitar). Lou Dog, Nowell's dalmatian, was the mascot of the band. Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996 and Sublime immediately split up. In 2009, the surviving members decided to reform the band with a new lead singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez. However, weeks after performing at Cypress Hill's Smokeout Festival, a Los Angelesmarker judge banned the new lineup from using the Sublime name, thus ending the band's reunion.

To date, Sublime has released three studio albums, one live album, five compilation albums, three EP and one box set. The band released its debut album 40 Oz. to Freedom in 1992. Although the album was quite popular in the states, Sublime would not experience commercial success until 1996 with their self-titled third album, released shortly after Nowell's death, which peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200, and spawned the single "What I Got", which remains the band's only number one hit single (on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart) in their musical career. As of 2009, Sublime has sold over 17 million albums worldwide, including about 10 million in the U.S. alone.


Early career (1986–1991)

Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh were childhood friends having grown up in the same Long Beach neighborhood. Eric's father Billy Wilson taught Gaugh how to read music and play the drums. Gaugh and Wilson together with future Sublime manager Michael Happoldt formed a three-piece punk band called The Juice Bros during their high school years. About this time, Bradley Nowell joined the band.

Sublime played its first gig on the Fourth of July, 1988 in a small club, reportedly starting the "Peninsula Riot" in Harbor Peninsula which led to seven arrests. For the next several years, the group focused primarily on playing at parties and clubs throughout Southern California. They recorded a few songs and put forth a number of short demos beside the well known Jah Won't Pay the Bills, containing several songs which would later appear on their major releases.

40 Oz. to Freedom and Robbin' the Hood (1992–1995)

Eventually, Sublime developed a large following in California. After concentrating on playing live shows, the band released 40 Oz. to Freedom in 1992 under Nowell's label, Skunk Records. The record established Sublime's blend of reggae, punk, skate punk, and hip hop, and helped to further strengthen the group's growing California following. Initially being sold exclusively at their live shows, the album became widely known in the greater Los Angeles area after rock radio station KROQ began playing the song, "Date Rape". In June 1994, Sublime was signed to the label Gasoline Alley of MCA records by Jon Phillips who subsequently became Sublime's manager.

The band toured extensively throughout 1994-1995, their popularity increasing gradually beyond the West Coast as "Date Rape" began earning radio play. Nowell was known for his tendency to play heavily intoxicated to the degree that he sometimes seemed to not even be able to play the guitar, as seen in the majority of the videos featuring the band live. In 1995, the band co-headlined the inaugural nationwide Vans Warped Tour. Being one of the most popular acts on the tour, their drug use led to tensions with the tour management. Gaugh was arrested several times for possessing marijuana. Similarly, the band's famed practice of keeping their dogs with them everywhere, including on the stage, resulted in concert-goers being bitten. Sublime was actually kicked off the tour for some time before the tour management was forced to reconsider and bring them back due to popular demand. After the Warped Tour and the subsequent Three Ring Circus Tour, the band was pressured to begin producing new studio material as a proper follow-up to the suddenly-prosperous 40 Oz. to Freedom.

Nowell's death, final album and breakup (1996)

Early 1996 saw Sublime headline the very first SnoCore Tour. In February, they began recording what would comprise the band's self-titled third record and their major label debut album. They completed it before Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 at the Oceanview Motel in San Franciscomarker, California, two months prior to the release. The album became a huge success, including the single "What I Got", which made it to #1 at the Modern Rock Chart. The album earned the band worldwide fame, and has since gone five-times platinum. Beside "What I Got", the album included several popular singles including "Santeria", "Doin' Time", "Wrong Way" and "April 29, 1992 ", all of which received heavy airplay.

Post-breakup (1997–2008)

A number of posthumous releases followed, among them Second-Hand Smoke in 1997 and both Stand by Your Van and Sublime Acoustic: Bradley Nowell & Friends in 1998. By the release of their Greatest Hits compilation in 1999 the band had released as many albums after Nowell's death as during his lifetime. A box set of demos, rarities and live recordings, entitled Everything Under the Sun, was released on November 14, 2006.

Following Sublime's demise, its surviving members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh formed the Long Beach Dub Allstars in 1997, which also included many frequent Sublime contributors such as Michael "Miguel" Happoldt (former member of The Ziggens), Todd Forman (3rd Alley) and "Field" Marshall Goodman. LBDA disbanded in 2002.

Attempted reunion with new singer (2009)

On 28 February 2009, Gaugh and Wilson reunited for a show in Nevada and called themselves Sublime; the performance was confirmed on March 1, 2009, by a MySpace blog message from Gaugh's current band Del Mar; the message stated the singer and guitarist that joined Wilson and Gaugh onstage was Rome Ramirez, a then-20-year-old from Northern California. On August 31, 2009, it was announced that the reunited Sublime featuring new front-man Rome would be playing Cypress Hill's Smokeout Festival on October 24 in San Bernardino, Californiamarker. The festival also featured performances from Kottonmouth Kings, Slipknot, Deftones, Bad Brains and Pennywise.

Asked in October 2009 about the future of Sublime, Gaugh replied:

Trademark suit

On October 23, 2009, Nowell's family and the executors of his estate threatened Gaugh and Wilson, along with Rome, with a lawsuit if the reconstituted band uses the Sublime moniker in a statement posted on the band's official MySpace page. The statement reads as follows:

Gaugh and Wilson also commented on the the lawsuit, saying:

On November 3, 2009, a Los Angelesmarker judge shut down an effort by the new lineup of Sublime to perform under the name. Jeremiah Reynolds, who represents the estate of original Sublime singer Bradley Nowell commented on the case:

As part of the preliminary injunction, the new lineup are said to be unable to perform or record under the name Sublime without approval and permission from the Nowell estate. A spokesman for Gaugh and Wilson declined to comment. Thomas Brackey, who represents the surviving Sublime members, did not return calls. The injunction is dependent upon a bond of $125,000 being posted in the event it is later determined that the defendants -- the surviving Sublime members -- suffered damages as a result of the ruling. Reynolds said the bond would be posted. Gaugh and Wilson issued the following statement:

Musical style

Along with No Doubt, Sublime was one of the most popular bands of third wave of ska, specifically it is characterized as ska punk. Their genre-blending mash-up style incorporated elements of dub, reggae, ska (borrowing from both first-wave Toots and the Maytals and the second-wave The Specials), punk rock, improvised dancehall, hip hop, psychedelic rock and acoustic rock, which they developed through their live shows.

Sublime's music was highlighted by bass-driven grooves, reggae rhythms, elaborately-cadenced rhyme schemes and transitions between paces and styles throughout a given song, sometimes alternating between thrash punk, ska and reggae within the same song (see "Seed"). Their music often contains psychedelic, harmonic minor-based or bluesy guitar solos, rhythmically-improvised bass solos or dub-lines, turntable scratching and rolling drum transitions and heavy bass lines.

In the media and legacy

Even over a decade after Nowell's death and the band's breakup, Sublime remains immensely popular throughout North America, especially in its state of origin, California. The renowned Los Angeles alternative rock radio station KROQ has listed Sublime at #3 in their annual "Top 106.7 biggest KROQ bands of all time" list for the past six years in a row, behind Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana, and #81 at the "Top 166 Artists of 1980-2008" list. With over 17 million units sold worldwide, Sublime is one of the most successful ska-punk acts of all time.

Sublime's song "Santeria" has been included in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour.The song "Seed" has been included in Tony Hawk's Underground. The song "What I Got" has also been included in the multi-format game Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and also in the remake film Fun with Dick and Jane also in Guitar Hero 5. "Doin' Time" is heard in Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2. "Wrong Way" was a featured song in the multi-platform game Aggressive Inline. "Date Rape" was also a featured song on the game BMX XXX. "Smoke Two Joints" is heard in the background of the movies Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Grind, Mallrats, and more recently Knocked Up.


Sublime Incarnations
(1996-2009) SPLIT


Studio albums


External links

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