When national success finally came to the Long Beach, California, ska-rock band Sublime, it was painfully bittersweet. Frontman Brad Nowell spent eight years of his life in pursuit of rock stardom with the group, but he would never fully realize his dream. On May 25, 1996, three months before Sublime’s self-titled MCA debut shipped to stores, Nowell—who had battled a heroin addiction for years—died of an overdose in a San Francisco hotel room. He was 28.

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Photo by John Dunne

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