Vegas Cannabis Magazine

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Nevada's Original Cannabis Resource // Since 2014

ADDICTION

The Nowell Family Foundation Strives to Provide Treatment to Musicians.

BY: JOSH KASOFF

As unfortunate of a reality as it is to admit, drug addiction and abuse is tragically common among musicians. Across decades, far too many talented souls have become victims of a disease that knows no socio-economic bounds. From psychedelic rock legend Jimi Hendrix to Port Arthur, Texas legends Janis Joplin and Chad “Pimp C” Butler, AC/DC’s Bon Scott, Layne Staley from Alice in Chains, Dee Dee Ramone, Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots, Hillel Slovak, the original guitarist for the iconic band Red Hot Chili Peppers and son of Holocaust survivors died at 26 from a heroin overdose. Even more modern examples that still hit close to home for millions such as Mac Miller and Juice WRLD, drug addiction and abuse is a sadly prevalent epidemic that affects musicians across the board. One such wildly talented yet unfortunate victim of drug addiction in the mid-1990’s, right when his rising band was putting the finishing touches on their album that would go on to become one of the decade’s best and have hundreds of millions of Spotify streams, was named Bradley Nowell. Although fans of the ‘90’s era ska-reggae sound that had increased in popularity and that Nowell popularized throughout his music may know him by a far more commonly known name. Brad from Sublime. He had a high-energy stage presence and playing style like few others of his contemporaries and a clearly evident gift for music and the production of songs that aren’t easily forgettable. Using the reggae music he had been a fan of since childhood and combining the alternative/ska genre that was taking off at the time, Sublime is an example of a band

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the masses and over-encompassing the legacy of Sublime has become in the decades since his passing. From this tragedy and loss of talent however, an organization dedicated both to Bradley’s memory and to finding musicians the help they desperately need to overcome addiction was formed. First seeing their booth at the recent Reggae Rise Up Festival in town, I was captivated by their story and the mission of the Nowell Family Foundation.

Bradley in Mexico - Circa 1973 that defined a sound that they’ll forever be associated as a trailblazer for. Whether for the catchy riffs and equally talented band members or the attentiongrabbing lyricism that certainly stood out in terms of substance, Nowell became one of the most legendary and legacyestablishing musicians of the diverse decade of music that was the 1990’s. To this day, both within the culture associated with both cannabis and reggae/ ska music communities, Sublime’s music is fondly remembered and still jammed out to by millions across the world. Through the unique sound they pioneered, Nowell cemented himself in music history. Even for those who aren’t the most dedicated of reggae/ska fans, Sublime is a name that holds prestige to it. Terribly though, Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 at 28 years old, never truly seeing how adored by

Instead of going immediately into the mission statement, a representative with the organization asked a question of great importance to the organization and reggae/ska fans alike. “What’s your favorite Sublime song?!” she excitedly asked. (Don’t worry y’all, I said Santeria immediately). Through contacting the organization, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kellie Nowell, one of the founders of the Nowell Family Foundation and the sister to Bradley himself. While Bradley’s untimely death was certainly a driving force behind the formation of the organization, a more current matter still deeply involved and connected with Bradley acted as a catalyst of sorts in that formation of the group that hopes to help musicians just like him. “Unfortunately his son, Jakob, was following in his footsteps.” Kellie said. Jakob, who was born in June of 1995, was less than a year old when his father died. As tragic as it was to see Jakob have his