Alternate History

Bradley Nowell doesn't die

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May 25th 1996

It was early morning in San Francisco, California, where the ska punk/reggae band Sublime (from Long Beach, CA) are due to play a sold-out show at the Maritime Hall. Brad Nowell, the singer and guitarist of the band, decides to take a walk out on the beach in the early morning. He wants to wake up his fellow band members, Bud Gaugh, Eric Wilson, and the bands' manager, Miguel Happoldt, to join him for a walk on the beach. All of them decline and fall back asleep. Brad decided to go to the beach, anyway. While he's there, Guagh (who was sharing a room with him at the motel) suddenly remembers that Brad had bought some heroin at a show earlier that week in Chico, CA. Thinking that Brad might still have some left and might shoot up once he returns to the motel, Bud gets up and looks for Brads' stash. Sure enough, he finds it and flushes it down the toilet. He frantically wakes Eric and Miguel up and tells them what had happened. When Brad returns to the motel, they confront him and tell him he has to stop or else they would leave the band. Brad breaks down in tears and apologizes for everything he has put his band and his fanily through. He admits he needs help so the band decides to hire a bodyguard to guide him away from drugs when they return to Long Beach on Monday the 27th. They think about their pending European tour and consider cancelling, but they realize that the label won't let them, since the label had already fronted a million dollars for the band in order to put their new album, their merchandise, and the European tour, which would start on Wednesday of the next week. They play their show at San Francisco on Saturday and their last show in America for a while. This show takes place in Ventura CA on the 26th.

May 29th 1996

After what could've been a tragedy in San Francisco, the band returns home to their family and friends back home. The band makes a pact with Brad; in exchange for hiring a bodyguard for the tour, they decide not to tell Brads' family of what almost happened. They say their goodbyes to their families, and head off to their European tour.

June 01 1996

Sublime plays their first show at The Garage in Saarbrucken, Germany, where they are greatly received, since no music similar to Sublimes' had toured Europe in a while. Brad had wanted to visit the historical landmarks and places in Europe, which he does. This experience is great for him, since it helps him realize that he still has a lot of living to do and sights to see. More importantly, he wants to see his son Jacob grow up and his marriage with his new wife Troy blossom.

June 06,1996

Sublime plays to their biggest crowd yet in a punk and alternative music festival in Bologna, Italy, a festival where fellow Southern California band Pennywise is also playing at. Sublime receives one of the greatest receptions amongst the bands at the festival, since the Europeans are enjoying the fresh new music Sublime plays. Brad is inspired by this festival, and realizes his band still has a lot left to accomplish.

July 28th 1996

Sublime finishes their European tour in Moscow, Russia, where they are also greatly received. They play to 10,000 people in Russia. They head home back to the United States.

August-December 1996

Sublime returns to the United States, set to begin a U.S. tour which would end by Christmas of that year. Their new album, titled Killin It', is released and thanks to their touring, reaches the top of the alubm charts by the end of September. What I Got is the albums and bands' biggest single, reaching up to #1 on the charts. They play the song on Late Night with David Letterman; the reception is overwhelmingly positive. Critics hail the albums' range of music as one of the reasons for being one of the best rock albums of 1996. The album goes gold by the end of the year and the music videos for Santeria, What I Got, Wrong Way and Doin' Time all receive regular playing time on MTV. Bradley Nowell is called the "Kurt Cobain of ska punk." The band headlines KROQs' annual Almost Acoustic Christmas festival in Los Angeles. The band receives the biggest reception of all the bands there, as they are hometown heroes. The band members all return to their families, with Brad being really happy and thankful he gets to see his wife and son. Sublime is hailed as band of the year, with Killin' It being the Album of the Year by Rolling Stone Magazine.

January 1997

The band decides to take a month-long break in order to rest up for a world tour, one which will last into Spring of 1998. The band does a couple of recording sessions in Hermosa Beach in L.A., in order for the bands' next album.

February 1997- November 1998

Sublime wins Alternative Album of the Year at that years' Grammys. The band goes on a world tour, with tour dates in Canada, Mexico, Central America, Jamaica, Brazil, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Australia, Russia, and Europe again. Sublime now becomes a worldwide phenomenon. The band returns home in March 1998, happy to return home. They decide to take the rest of 1998 off, citing exhaustion. They decide to spend time with their family. Recording for their follow-up album is set to start in early 1999, with a possible release date of December 1999. The band cuts their short hiatus off a little and go into the studio in November 1998.

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