The estate of Bradley Nowell, the late singer of Sublime -- the band that so epitomized the early 1990s laid-back Long Beach/O.C. music vibe -- is taking action against the surviving members of the band, who recently announced plans to resume performing under the band name.
Here's the Nowell family statement:
LOS ANGELES (October 23, 2009) - The Estate of Bradley Nowell, Sublime's late singer, guitarist and primary songwriter, issued a statement today regarding the use of the band's name by Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and Sublime drummer Floyd "Bud" Gaugh.
Sublime members Floyd "Bud" Gaugh and Eric Wilson, along with new vocalist Rome Ramirez, who performed with Gaugh and Wilson earlier this year, are scheduled to perform under the name "Sublime" on Saturday, October 24th at Cypress Hill's 2009 Smokeout Festival. Sublime, with its original members, has not played together since their final performance with Nowell on May 24, 1996. The advertising and promotion of the new group as "Sublime" has been done without the consent of the Estate of the late Bradley Nowell (consisting of widow Troy Nowell, father Jim "Papa" Nowell, and son Jakob Nowell). The Estate intends to take appropriate legal action to protect Brad’s intentions, as well as the legacy and integrity of his body of work.
Nowell's family released the following statement on the band's official Web site today:
"It was recently announced that Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and Sublime drummer Floyd 'Bud' Gaugh are 'reuniting' and teaming with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez in a band they intend to call 'Sublime.' Prior to his untimely passing, both Bud and Eric acknowledged that Brad Nowell was the sole owner of the name Sublime. It was Brad's expressed intention that no one use the name Sublime in any group that did not include him, and Brad even registered the trademark 'Sublime' under his own name.
As Brad's heirs, and with the support of his entire family, we only want to respect his wishes and therefore have not consented to Bud and Eric calling their new project 'Sublime.' We have always supported Bud and Eric's musical endeavors and their desire to continue to play Sublime's music. We wholeheartedly supported Bud, Eric and the many talented members of the Sublime posse that formed the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, soon after Brad's death, to honor him through their original recordings, live performances and Sublime music until they disbanded in 2001. But, out of respect for Brad's wishes, we have always refused to endorse any group performing as 'Sublime,' and now with great reluctance feel compelled to take the appropriate legal action to protect Brad's legacy.
Our hope is that Brad's ex-bandmates will respect his wishes and find a new name to perform under, so as to enhance the 'Sublime' legacy without the confusion and disappointment that many fans have expressed upon seeing the announcement.
Peace and Love to all,
Troy, Jakob & Jim 'Papa' Nowell."
Sublime is still a core artist on Los Angeles' KROQ, even 13 years after Nowell's death.