They played their first show on July 4, 1988 at Harbor Peninsula, a small club in Long Beach, California. As legend has it, the performance initiated a small-scale riot, now known as the Peninsula Riot.
Their first record, 40 Oz. to Freedom, was released through a homemade label, Skunk Records, started by Nowell and Sublime manager Miguel. It sold an amazing 5,000 copies before they were signed to MCA and spent over 50 weeks on Billboard's Alternative New Artist chart.
Nowell died on May 25, 1996 in San Francisco, California from a heroin overdose. Their commercial breakthrough didn't occur until July that year when their third, self-titled album was released. His death came just seven days after he married his wife Troy, and eleven months after his son Jakob Nowell was born. (thanks, Tristan - Seattle, WA)
Miguel (a.k.a. Michael Happoldt) played a major role in the band, playing several instruments on their first album and producing their outtakes collection Second-hand Smoke after Nowell died.
Wilson and Gaugh continued in music after Nowell's death. They formed the Long Beach Dub Allstars, which released their first album in 1999.
Lou Dog was Nowell's dog, a dalmatian. He was name-checked in several songs, not to mention the backing vocals he contributed. Some consider him the fourth member of the band. Once, he was lost in Costa Rica, but was quickly recovered... in the jungle. Lou Dog died in 2001.
Artists that have been cited as Sublime influences: Black Flag, the Specials, KRS-One, the Circle Jerks, Selector, Run-D.M.C., and NWA. Artists that Sublime toured with: Firehouse, No Doubt, the Ramones, the Melvins and Butthole Surfers.
Gaugh on politics: "We're pro-choice. We think everyone should have the right to smoke pot or not."
Nowell's first band was formed when he was 13 and was called Hogan's Heroes.
One night, they found a man in a halfway house named Raleigh Theodore Sakers. He began hallucinating and the band pulled out their tape recorder. Some of his ramblings can be heard on their second album, Robbin' the Hood.
The Long Beach Dub Allstars include Marshall Goodman, who was in charge of samples and turntables for Sublime, and singer Opie Ortiz, who did artwork for Sublime.
Brad's heroin addiction got so bad he got the tattoos to his elbow and underarm just to hide his track marks. (thanks, Steve - Mount Prospect, IL)
Bud Gaugh was drunk before one show and decided to go BMX riding. He fell flat on his back and broke two ribs. He finished off the tour and only got minimum medical attention. (thanks, Joe - Farmville, VA)
Paul Leary, who produced their 1996 self-titled album, is the guitarist in the Butthole Surfers. "He heard our song 'Date Rape' on the radio, so we hooked up back then," Eric Wilson said in his Songfacts interview
. "And ever since then, there's no reason looking for anyone else. He's such a perfectionist when it comes to producing."
Leary also produced the 2015 Sublime With Rome album Sirens
Bradley dropped out of college with only one semester left from getting his Bachelor's degree. He was majoring in finance. (thanks, Cory - Tallahassee, FL)
After Bradley wore out his Ibanez, he got a custom-built guitar from a friend to which he gave the affectionate name, "The Brown Guitar." It was designed especially for him and now is owned by his family in Long Beach, California. (thanks, Mike - Atlanta, GA)
When Nowell was 11 years old, he went to the Virgin Islands with his dad. This was when he was introduced to reggae, which greatly influenced his music. (thanks, Kirsten - Apex, NC)
The last show that Sublime played was at Petaluma, California, which took place on May 24, 1996, about 8-12 hours before Nowell was found dead in his hotel room. This is quite a rare recording, as most websites have been forced to remove links to it. However, there are a lot of fans who still hold these recordings. The show was eventually given the name "Play Nice in the Pit." (thanks, James - Blackpool, England)