I’d never heard anything like Sublime when “What I Got” first popped up on my radio on one of the nights I stayed up late listening to alternative radio. Late at night, after Loveline, was when they would play stuff that MTV hadn’t gotten a hold of yet, and I was going through my phase where I wanted to be different than my friends, I wanted to discover new music before they did. I stumbled upon Korn and the Deftones and Earth Crisis before they did. I didn’t like that we all got in to 311 at the same time, so there I would be — up late in my bed, blank cassette in my radio, ready to hit record anytime I heard something come on that caught my ears.
This insatiable desire to be ahead of the curve actually turned me in to a little shithead.
Bradley Nowell died in 1996, two months before this album was released (Thank you, Wikipedia), but people just hearing Sublime for the first time didn’t know this. I don’t remember how I found out, but it was a piece of information that lent more credibility to my “I heard them first” claim. I introduced a lot of my friends to Sublime, which they came to love, much to my join and self-satisfaction. I’m Cool Music Guy now!
No, just kind of a shithead.
On the school bus one day, I handed my headphones to the girl in the seat across the aisle from me. “Check this band out.” I played her this song, and she loved it. Her head started nodding.
"Who is this?" She asked.
"They’re called Sublime. They’re from Long Beach, California."
"I like it, it’s really cool."
(Here’s where I ruin it.)
"Yeah, they’re pretty awesome. I’m going to go see them in concert here in about a month."
"Really? Cool! I should go too."
"Hah. Yeah right, they’re not playing. The lead singer overdosed and is dead now, so obviously they aren’t playing. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.”
She handed my headphones back and Cool Music Guy sat there by himself the rest of the way to school.