Sublime: Behind the Music #169

Season 1 Ep 16912/9/2001

If you only judged Sublime by their breakthrough hit, "Date Rape", you might dismiss the band as just another a novelty act. But the trio was much more than that. Led by their charismatic lead singer, Brad Nowell, Sublime turned the traditional sounds of Southern California rock on their head. Hip-hop beats and punk melodies embodied the band's post-modern sound, while a devotion to all night parties personified their offstage style. A trio of self-described alcoholics, Sublime not only played every club and house party south of L.A., they brought one with them, too, draining every beer keg within reach of the stage. It was when Brad Nowell traded his beer for heroin that the bands' fortunes drastically changed. Heroin infested every inch of Brad's life, and nothing -- not even the birth of his son, Jakob, or his marriage to his longtime sweetheart, Troy Dendekker -- could permanently break the devastating cycle of abuse, recovery, and relapse. In May of '96, while on tour with his band, Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose. He was just 28 years old. Two months later, Sublime released their third album, simply called, "Sublime". An instant hit, the record spawned 5 hit singles, and sold 5 million copies -- becoming one of the biggest albums of 1997.