Judge A. Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California ruled Tuesday that original Sublime members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh cannot perform under the moniker that made them famous. This ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times, "will be upheld until the breach-of-contract/trademark infringement civil case goes to trial, or the parties reach a settlement," said Jeremiah Reynolds, the man who represents the estate of late singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell.
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So what do this mean? Not sure, but more than likely, whatever Wilson, Gaugh and new singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez decide to do, it probably won't be called Sublime.
Not that anyone asked my opinion, but I'm really torn. One the one hand, I understand the legality and how Nowell apparently didn't want Sublime to exist without him. I get that. But I doubt the singer/guitarist pictured a world where he wasn't in Sublime due to an accidental heroin overdose. People can argue over who or what made Sublime, but the fact is, Wilson and Gaugh were kids once. Like many young musicians, I'm sure they dreamt of the big time. And they did what they had to do to get there. Nowell wasn't the only person at band practice, he wasn't the sole member to give up a large portion of his life in a dirty van for no money on tour and last I checked he wasn't a solo act on stage. There were two other people there with him. Nowell's death robbed the world of many things, but an often overlooked fact is how Wilson and Gaugh had the rug pulled out from underneath them and it had nothing to do with them. That has to hurt.
I'm not saying I think Wilson and Gaugh should use the Sublime name. In fact, I think they probably shouldn't. What I am saying is this: Of all the people on this planet who have any claim to the Sublime name, it's them. No court, judge or lawyer has the right to take that away from the two living members.
Then again, what do I know? Like everyone else, this isn't for me to decide.