Fans of the deplorable practice of smoking marijuana and/or listening to music made by people enamored of the deplorable practice of smoking marijuana were in for a bit of shock when they checked out the line-up for Cypress Hill's "Smoke Out" festival, as Sublime was listed as one of the acts scheduled to play.
How could that be? Did they reanimate the corpse of long-dead Sublime frontman Brad Nowell? Did they corral the services of his lookalike brother? Not exactly. The surviving members of the group merely roped in a new singer (Rome Ramirez) and decided to call themselves Sublime.
Here's what Nowell's family had to say on the Sublime website:
“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.”
What makes the whole situation creepier and more exploitatative is that this "Rome Ramirez" fellow is actually an alias for New Cars frontman Todd Rundgren. Man, that guy has no fucking shame these days.