Anyone who ever argued against the authenticity of Sublime With Rome probably feels pretty smug today, now that original Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh has quit the trio. Gaugh made the announcement following the group's concert at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas concert Saturday night in Los Angeles. "I'm taking a break," Gaugh said. "The story is, I'm gonna be a dad here again real soon, and I need to be here for my family."
So Gaugh's official reason for leaving the band, which replaced original Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell with singer Rome Ramirez, is family obligations ... and not because of a verbal tirade Gaugh unleashed on Sublime manager Mike "Cheez" Brown onstage during a concert last month in Maui, a confrontation so epic that even TMZ reported on it. Sublime With Rome's troubled tenure began in 2009, when surviving members Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson decided to revive the Sublime name (Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996). Nowell's family sued to prevent the group from performing as "Sublime," so they settled on the clunkier "Sublime With Rome" and played their first show in October '09. The group's sole release was this year's Yours Truly.
Gaugh's departure does not spell the end of this incarnation of Sublime, even though the Long Beach band is now down to bassist Eric Wilson as the lone original member still in the "band." Rome and Wilson will continue on with a familiar dude behind the kit: Josh Freese, the Octavio Dotel of drummers, will make room in his busy scheduling of playing with Devo, Weezer, Paramore, A Perfect Circle, the Vandals and 50 other bands (give or take) to hit the high hats on "Bad Fish" and "Date Rape" for Sublime With Rome.
For now, Sublime With Rome Minus Bud have one date scheduled: A March 3 gig at Cypress Hill's Smokeout Festival in San Bernardino, California. Watch Gaugh's announcement that he's leaving the band: