BUD GAUGH and ERIC WILSON took to the stage as Sublime at California's Smokeout Festival on Saturday (24Oct09), despite the threat of legal action from the estate of late frontman BRADLEY NOWELL.
The punk stars reunited to perform at the event - their first show since Nowell's death in 1996 - and sparked controversy by refusing to ditch the band's name.
On the eve of the show, Nowell's family threatened bandmates Gaugh and Wilson, along with the singer's replacement Rome Ramirez, with a lawsuit if they took to the stage at the festival on Saturday as Sublime.
A statement from the family read, "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... 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."
But Gaugh and Wilson went ahead with the show, stating, "While we all mourn the passing of our brother and bandmate Bradley Nowell some thirteen years ago, Sublime still has a strong message of hope and love to share - a message that is especially important in these difficult times.
"Brad’s heirs apparently do not share this vision and do not want the band Sublime to continue and tried - unsuccessfully - to file a temporary restraining order to prevent the band from carrying on. Despite those objections, we are pleased that the United States District Court has allowed us to perform as Sublime for all of our fans."
And Gaugh adds, "It’s unfortunate that The Estate would take a position against us. Eric, Brad and I started this band when we were kids. We were the ones that spent years paying dues playing hole-in-the-wall clubs. We were the ones lugging around our gear in a broken down van. We were the ones that spent years writing, recording and rehearsing. WE. Not anyone else. Sublime is a band - our band."