Sublime’s Brad Nowell’s 1988 Letter To His Sister From College

Sublime’s Brad Nowell’s 1988 Letter To His Sister From College

Before Bradley James Nowell created a genre of reggae-rock music as the singer, songwriter and guitarist of Sublime, he was attending college at UC Santa Cruz. Thanks to his sister, Kellie Nowell, this is what Brad wrote her a year before starting Sublime.

The original publish of this letter can be read by clicking HERE! This deserves its own headline as we continue to celebrate the music and life of Brad Nowell on what would have been his 50th birthday.

Brad Nowell’s 1988 Letter to His Sister From College:

Bradley Nowell formed Sublime in 1989, but in April of 1988, he was going to UC Santa Cruz. When I reached out to Brad’s sister, Kellie, she didn’t have any stories to re-tell, but was kind enough to share an amazing letter that a 20 year-old Brad wrote her before moving back to Long Beach from Santa Cruz, CA. Sublime had not yet been founded and you get to experience a peak of who Brad was, in his own words, at the age of 20; even asking his sister for suggestions on a new band name! Enjoy:

Dear Kellie,

Howz it goin’ down there? Life up here is just swell! The waves haven’t been so good so I’ve been doing a lot of mountain bike riding & weight lifting – that is, when I’m not in the library studying…RIGHT!!? Well anyway, I wanted to thank you for the beautiful card you sent; it really meant Brad Nowella lot to me. I want you to know that I feel the same way about you. It’s important to have people believe in you – but, of course, you must first believe in yourself. ‘Tis the same way w/ love! Anywho, I’m looking forward to coming home very much. I’m more than ready to get the _ _ _ _ out of hippy town! (Even though it is a beautiful place.) I find myself wishing more & more that I was back in L.B. I can’t wait to jam again w/ da boyz. It gives me great joy, even if they are a couple a freaks! I’m trying to come up w/ a name for our band – something nice – so I’m quite open for suggestions. (Sloppy 2nd’s simply will not do this time around!) Oh – I’m not sure if I told you or not but Spike is VERY pregnant right now. I’d give her another 2 weeks max! I think the gestation period of cats is around 60 days. I’m not sure. Needless to say (or maybe not so needless), we have stopped indulging in “kitty flips,” much to her amazement & delight! Well actually I think she kind of like them, even though she did always run & hide. Nevertheless, the cat who knocked her up really sliced her up bad with his claws. (She was no easy catch… that’s my girl!) I’m almost positive it was that fat piece of shit Earl from down the street… I’ve seen the way he leers at her!

I hope all is well down there w/ you & your homegirls. Please give my love to our darling mother & Kirk – & our loving father & Janie. About moving back down – I’m pretty sure I can fit all my stuff in my truck. (If not I’ll call.) I’m hoping to sell my mountain bike right before I leave so I can start to raise enough cash to purchase a PA. There’s really no place to ride it down there anyway. Well, I love & miss you very much. Can’t wait to see you again! As they say up here:

May your beer waves & women never be flat! (Or something like that!)


  • Click HERE to view Page 1 of the Letter
  • Click HERE to view Page 2 of the Letter
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    Brad touched all of us with his creativity and his punk-rock soulful approach to the music. Share with us in the comments below how Brad and Sublime impacted your life. We find that the best way to honor the man and his music, is to continue to celebrate it at the highest possible volume. Today, we celebrate his birthday as much as we celebrate his music – Thank you and Happy Birthday Bradley!

    Special thanks to Kellie Nowell for taking the time to share this very special letter.

    Related Links:
    Exclusive Sublime Blog
    How I Discovered Sublime
    Sublime Website
    Sublime Facebook

    Article By: Mike Patti

    Watch: Sublime – “What I Got”