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AN OD'S OTHER VICTIMS
THESE SHOULD HAVE BEEN HEADY DAYS for the members of the Long Beach, Calif., ska-punk band Sublime: drummer Floyd "Bud" Gaugh, 28, bassist Eric Wilson, 27, and especially singer Brad Nowell, whose edgy vocals have helped make their single "What I Got" an alternative-radio hit. But the promising musician was found dead, at 28, of a heroin overdose in a San Francisco hotel room May 25, a few months after completing Sublime (Gasoline Alley/MCA), his group's highly anticipated third album, and just a week after his wedding to San Diego-born college student Troy denDekker, 26. "I really feel cheated," says denDekker, who gave birth to the couple's son Jakob, now 15 months, in 1995. "He had finally fulfilled his dreams. He had Jake. Then heroin took it all away. It was like another woman. She was killing us. I now have a lot of anger toward heroin. I hate heroin."
Devastated, too, were his bandmates, who had formed the group with him in 1988, only to disband after his death. "I get frustrated when I hear our song on the radio," Gaugh says. "We could be touring and playing for all these kids." Instead he and Wilson despair as Sublime, released in July, climbs the pop charts. Now, says Gaugh, himself a recovering addict, "I surround myself with people who don't use heroin. Brad's death really woke me up. Seeing him there at his funeral was enough for me."
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