Bradley Nowell: Feb. 22, 1968-May 25, 1996

Dad Jim Nowell and widow Troy Holmes reflect on the late Sublime front man

Not that Holmes can really forget. "It's impossible to forget him, when practically every time I turn on the radio, I hear Sublime," she says. "So I never want it to be a painful thing."

Sublime were Holmes's favorite band before she met Nowell in 1992. She'd been given one of his tapes ("Sublime would get out to surf in San Miguel, put up a PA by the beach, perform and sell cassettes out of the trunk of their car"), and it was the soundtrack of her summer. "It was perfect party, smoke-a-joint music," she says.

Before KROQ, before getting signed, they had a small underground following. When Sublime were booked at a heavy-metal bar ("It was the wrongest place for them," she says), Holmes knew she had to be there. There were 20 people at that show. "It was quite sad!" Holmes recalls, laughing. She and Nowell exchanged numbers, beginning their romance; they married a week before he died.

Trying to keep a family together at first was a struggle, Holmes says. "We were both pretty young, and he was on the road a lot. Music was his passion, and I totally supported that. Being a fan in the first place, I wasn't going to stand between him and his music. But he was a very devoted husband and father."

Holmes, who has since remarried and now has five children, says she wouldn't change a thing from her life with Nowell. "We at least have the gift of his music," she says, "so he'll never be gone.

"My biggest regret is that Jakob will never know him," she adds. "He's turning into a young man, and he'll never know what his dad was like." (Lilledeshan Bose)

 

 CLICK HERE: Nowell's fellow musicians remember the Sublime front man.

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