Being one of the few people who has read your article....... I was wondering what other bands did Bradley cover while y'all were roommates, and what was your reaction when you first heard him sing? I feel like he had this crazy ability to take any song and make it sound like a hit! Honestly don't know how many times i've heard covers of bands i've never heard, and becoming hooked to these bands (descendents, love and rockets, half pint, etc...)because of Bradley. Also did he play any reggae/punk bands during his short stay at UCSC?
I think that I mentioned all of the bands that I could remember from that time which was almost 30 years ago. Yikes! I'm going to paste into here what I wrote a while ago for other readers of allexperts.
I think that we first listened to a lot of the Reggae Dance Hall Style artists or whatever they are called. I remember these the least probably because I didn't like them too much. I was asked before to name a few of the artists in this genre that we listened to and I really drew a blank. I think that it was Eek A Mouse, Yellow Man, and Pato Banton but I could be totally wrong. Maybe Half Pint was in the mix too but I might just be saying that because I heard it in a Sublime song this morning. I canít really remember any songs at all from this genre. Brad clearly said once that he didn't like the Bob Marley roots stuff at all. I am really not much help at all with those artists.
There was a time when he repeatedly listened to the Beastie Boy's first album. Over and over and then 10 times more for good measure. It drove me crazy but I eventually grew to kind of like it. (Their later stuff is so much better) I was such a musical blank slate that I had never even been to a concert or show before. Wow. He took me to my first show which was a Camper Van Beethoven show on the west side of SC in the same complex as the big Safeway there. It was in some weird space there but really cool. He might have then afterward put on a little of CVB then like, "Take the Skinheads Bowling"
I have vague memories of him playing X or at least talking about them. I remember learning about John Doe and Xena (spelling). I only clearly remember him playing a few of their covers in his only gig (and he was solo) during his Santa Cruz years.
Three bands that he talked about but I don't think he played much were Bad Brains, Fishbone and Suicidal Tendencies. He had memorable stories from the last 2 bands but I'm not sure if I listened to those 3 bands that much with him. Okay I remember listening to Bad Brains with him but not as much as some other bands.
I think that the unofficial sound-track of the first year and maybe both years was the music of the Descendents. I absolutely love this band now and recommend everyone to listen to their stuff. Iím more into their studio stuff as opposed to the live album(s) but to each their own. Their influence on Sublime and Sublimeís music is huge. Iíll let the Sublimeologists do all the work on that. I feel that if Brad couldnít play Sublimeís music, he would have been relatively satisfied just playing Descendents covers (Sour Grapes, No Fat Beaver, Pervert, HŁrting CrŁe, I'm not a Loser, In My Van, Wendy, Clean Sheets, etc..) We went to a Descendents show in Berkeley in the fall of 1986. Pretty awesome for the sheltered kid. We also went to a Butthole Surfers show. They projected this gruesome medical film of penis operations or something like that in the background. They had two drummers and the female one basically kicked my ass when I tried to do a stage dive. Brad and the other Pink Palace roommate held my legs down when I attempted to climb onto the stage and then she came out of nowhere through the fog filled stage and wrestled and danced on my back. I never remember him playing any Butthole Surfers tunes.
More Punk influences on Brad. Well, Iím listening to this cassette tape, as I type, of the Descendents and other bands. Iím not sure if Brad made it for me but it would make sense. It includes some classic songs of Fear, Suicidal Tendencies and the Vandals (Anarchy Burger.. Hold the Government Please is hilarious). Not too surprisingly, some Sublime lyrics seem to be influenced/borrowed/altered from these bands but especially from the Vandals.
A few other punk bands that Brad mentioned but maybe even never played for me were: Black Flag, Minutemen and (Rudimentary) Penni.
(I left out the section about the Grateful Dead)
Not sure of this one but I think we listened to Public Enemy in the apartment close to the time of him leaving Santa Cruz. No KRS-1 played that I knew of or remembered. One final band that I'm unsure of was NWA. I listened to that group in the Pink Palace but it might have been after Brad's departure.
I guess that it's important to remember that Brad listened to everything and was able to completely incorporate most songs into his musical conciousness/database.
Trying to more specifically answer your first question about which bands Brad covered while we were roomates...the short answer is not too many. He probably covered a lot more bands than I realized because I was pretty musically clueless so most of the bands he covered were ones I had never heard of before. I vividly remember him covering X becasue it was at his only "show" that he had while up in Santa Cruz.
Nope. Brad didn't play in any bands while in Santa Cruz. He was pouring himself into his music at this time but it was mostly a solitaire experience. He occasionally played with and collaborated with random people like the famous Eben but it was mostly by himself with his drum machine and a few guitars.