Full Biography of Brad Nowell
True Facts About James Nowell
Birthplace: Long Beach, CA
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Description: Lead singer of Sublime
Who is Brad Nowell?
Bradley James Nowell (February 22, 1968 – May 25, 1996) was an American musician and the lead singer and guitarist of the ska punk band Sublime. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Nowell developed an interest in music at a young age. His father took him on a trip to the Virgin Islands during his childhood years, which exposed him to reggae and dancehall music; he then gained a strong interest in rock music once he learned how to play guitar.
Nowell played in various bands until forming Sublime with bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh, whom he had met while attending California State University at Long Beach.
In Nowell’s lifetime, Sublime released the albums 40oz. to Freedom and Robbin’ the Hood to critical and commercial success. Throughout the band’s career, Nowell struggled with a worsening addiction to heroin.
He eventually became sober after his son Jakob was born, but relapsed and on the morning of May 25, 1996, he died of a heroin overdose in a San Francisco hotel while Sublime was on tour.
Sublime released their self-titled third album two months after Nowell’s death, and has subsequently released several compilation albums featuring the hundreds of songs he recorded throughout his life. Nowell remains an influential figure of the 1990s alternative era in his legacy.
Brad Nowell’s Marriage and fatherhood
While on tour in the early 1990s, Nowell began dating Troy Dendekker. In October 1994, Troy became pregnant, giving birth to a son, Jakob James Nowell on June 25, 1995. A week before Nowell died, the couple married in a Hawaiian-themed ceremony in Las Vegas.
Lou Dog on the cover of a Sublime box set compilation.
In February 1990, Nowell purchased a dalmatian puppy from an old man for $500, and named him “Louie” after his grandfather. Also referred to as “Lou Dog”, he became a mascot for the band Sublime. Lou Dog was often allowed to wander the stage during concert performances.
Louie was also often featured on the cover of Sublime albums, and was referred to in the lyrics of Sublime songs. In Sublime’s most successful radio track, “What I Got”, Nowell sings, “…livin’ with Louie Dog’s the only way to stay sane”.
Another prominent song of the band, “Garden Grove”, mentions Lou Dog as such: “We took this trip to Garden Grove. It smelled like Lou dog inside the van, oh yeah”.
Nowell would sometimes begin live songs by referencing Lou Dog, and can be heard on the live version of “Caress Me Down” from Stand By Your Van yelling “Everybody say Louie – 1,2,3 Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie!” Nowell was known to invite his friends and their dogs over to film parodies of popular music videos; the dogs would pose as a band or an artist, dressed in corresponding costumes.
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In the early 1990s, Lou Dog disappeared for a week. Lou Dog was soon returned to Nowell, who later covered the Camper Van Beethoven song “The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon”, and changed it to “Lou Dog Went to the Moon”. Following Nowell’s death in 1996, Lou Dog was cared for by Miguel, the band’s manager. Lou Dog died on September 17, 2001.
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