Fame And Misfortune Essay, Research Paper
Fame and Misfortune
Luck works in strange ways. In 1994 when sublime s first cd 40oz to Freedom starting getting play on L.A. s KROQ, Bradley Nowell never knew just how much fame he would achieve.
Bradley was your typical surf-rat from south Cali. He got his first guitar at 12. He grew up listening to punk bands like the Circle Jerks, the Ramones, and the Misfits. Sublime consisted of Bradley Nowell, Floyd Bud Gough, and Eric Wilson. They were big on the campus of CSULB (California State University at Long Beach). In 1990 before Brad could earn his finance degree he dropped out of school to tour with his band. While Brad was a pretty mellow guy, biographers have said that there were times when he was never really happy and it used to eat him up. He had a huge heroin addiction, which is what eventually killed him. His wife Troy
blamed it on Ritalin and all the drugs he had been prescribed as a kid for his ADD. He was a musical genius though. In one of their best songs, Bradley says, Now I have the needle, but I can t shake, but I can t breathe. Take it away and I want more and more. One day I m gonna lose the war. Referring to his heroin addiction. The best way Sublime s music can be described is as a mix of the Bad Religion, Bob Marley, and a little Jimmy Hendrix all thrown in the mix. Bradley s rise to stardom started when he started playing guitar at age 12. Pretty soon he was in and out of bands, doing talent shows, and playing parties. Sublime s first cd 40oz to Freedom was under their own record label. Rumor has it that the first 10,000 or so cd s were sold at parties, concerts, and even out of the bands cars. Soon they were signed by a small record company and recorded Robbin the Hood at the height of Bradley s heroin addiction. Just like McBeth s wife was his personal demon, drugs, mainly heroin, were Bradley s. He always thought it was very rock and roll, the whole drug thing that is. He figured that by experimenting with all kinds of drugs that we would feel like more of a rock star.
Anyways by this time the band had made a real name of themselves in southern California. Bradley loved all the parties, drugs, and women that
came along with being in a famous band. Since by this time they had made a name for themselves, they were selling records like crazy. Everyone knows that when someone s in a famous band and hit it big, everyone and anyone starts calling them sellouts, and Sublime were no exception. Nobody wants to be called a sellout, and Bradley took this very personally. Sublime wasn t like Metallica, or the Offspring, or Blink 182. They never were an MTV, played out, flavor of the month band. Bradley s wife was once quoted as saying that the reason she loved drug addicts (meaning Bradley) so much was that they kept it real. And Sublime did just that. Having the fans that once loved you call you a sellout is a real stab to the back. It s similar in a way to how Lady McBeth changed how she thought about her husband once he was king. She became manipulative and he was betrayed by someone who he thought he knew.
Just as McBeth couldn t escape his fate, neither could Bradley. He died on May 25, 1996 from a heroin overdose in a hotel room. It was just two weeks before their latest cd, simply titled Sublime was to be released. That cd went triple platinum. Even with all that he had, Bradley couldn t escape his fate. Like McBeth, it seemed like Brad had everything he could ever want and still he lost it all.
There s not a lot of advice that can be given to someone in that kind of situation. Take advantage of what you have while you sill have it. Maybe if Brad would have laid off on the drugs a little or found some direction to his life, maybe then he would have been better off. But some things just aren t too be. It s said that people can never escape their fate. Like McBeth he was doomed to die. It may not have been the same circumstances surrounding his death, but think of it this way. McBeth was fated to die when the forest came to his castle. When he was attacked, McDuff s army ironically used battering rams made out of wood from the forest. In the same way, Bradley was doomed to his fate. As he said once, one day he was going to lose the war, and he did.
It s said that ending a paper on a quote is always a good idea, so this paper will end with this.
Life is too short so love the one you ve got Bradley James Nowell (1968-1996)