Greener Pastures: a No Doubt fan site

The Band


Anaheim, California. Little Eric Stefani writes his first song, “Stick It in the Hole,” about a pencil sharpener, forcing Sister Gwen to sing along. Gwen was more interested in The Sound of Music.

Born and raised in England, relocated to So Cal at age 11, Tony Kanal joins his high-school jazz band in 10th grade as the bass player, although he had previously played the saxophone.

Ninth grader Adrian Young attempts to drum to “Bend Over’ by O.C. band Doggy Style at a school talent contest; several years later, when he was 18, his parents bought him a kit for Christmas and he learned “Wild Flower” by the Cult.

Tom Dumont’s life changed when he realized what the phrases “dressed to kill’ and “hotter than hell” really mean: Rock ‘n’ Roll; a wee lad with a prized KISS record living in Irvine (California), he dreamed of being a rock star. When he became a teenager, Tom picked up a guitar and started practicing.


December 1986

Back-flipping singer John Spence forms the Orange County-based 2 Tone ska group No Doubt — named after his favorite expression — with keyboardist Eric, who forces Gwen to sing backing vocals. Gwen cites Madness, Kermit the Frog, Julie Andrews and Fishbone’s Angelo Moore as her heroes.

March 14, 1987

After several raucous party performances, No Doubt play their first “official” gig at Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach, California; the band was second on a bill of fourteen with The Untouchables headlining. Tony was one of several hundred people watching.

Shortly after, Tony, a high-school junior, shows up to try out wearing baggy pants and Mexican sandals. Band accepts him even though this is his first band; still a high-school senior, Gwen eagerly accepts him.

Summer 1987

Gwen kisses Tony at an Orange County party. They hide their relationship from the band. An organized perfectionist, Tony becomes the band manager (now he’s just the bass player).

Dec. 21, 1987

Tragically, John Spence shoots himself at an Anaheim park. A few days later, No Doubt plays big industry gig at the Roxy in Hollywood; but devastated over John’s suicide, they call it quits. Days later, they reform knowing that’s what John would want.


Spring 1988

Heavy-metal guitarist Tom, a college music student, leaves his sister’s heavy-metal band, Rising, because the metal scene in O.C. sucks; after peering in the window while No Doubt rehearsed, Tom pulls his long hair into a ponytail and joins the ska-heavy No Doubt, adding a heavier edge.


Part of the then-underground-ska-scene, No Doubt built a huge following of loyal “rude boys” and “rude girls” after numerous gigs opening for The Untouchables and Fishbone, as well as their own all-ages shows. Through this following, they were able to avoid the “pay-to-play” crap many young bands acquiesced to. A three-song and a five-song demo are sold at shows.

Summer 1989

Drummer, huge No Doubt fan and fibber, Adrian joins No Doubt after calling a number from the back of a demo tape; he tells No Doubt he has years of experience, but later admits he only has one. His love of 70’s rock and ska made the choice obvious. No Doubt plays their first out-of-state show in Arizona in front of about a hundred people.


No Doubt evolved into a solid five-piece unit, expanding their sound to include the styles of each member. The natural evolution caused a few “rude kids” to fall away, but with shows opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ziggy Marley and Mano Negra, their fan base broadened to the college crowd. Pizza mailing list parties became the modus operandi as the list, which was started in 1987, grows from a few hundred names to a couple thousand. (In 1993, when the list reaches approximately 7,000 names, Tony decides to have just pizza parties).


August 1991

No Doubt signs a “big” recording contract with Interscope Records; they continue driving around O.C. in their old cars and work day jobs (Gwen and Tony were sales people at the same department store, Adrian waited tables at a steak house, and Tom ran a small music equipment rental business). Interscope head honcho Jimmy Lovine predicts Gwen will be a star in five years. The band really wants to be played on local radio station KROQ.

Oct.-Dec. 1991

Between working and going to school (Tom’s a music major, Gwen’s an art major, Tony and Adrian are psychology majors — it’s a smart band), band drives to a Los Angeles studio as often as possible to record their debut album, a 14-song collection of older material (1987) as well as recently penned tracks; on a budget, they spend less than $13,000.

March 1992

Self-titled No Doubt released. Only 30,000 sold; grunge is in; they don’t get played on KROQ. Adrian remembers the program director saying, “It would take an act of God for this band to get on the radio.” Enough said.

In support of No Doubt, the band embarks on their first two-week 13-show Western-state headlining tour in two vans (five members, a three-piece horn section, a roadie, tour manager/soundman and equipment).

Summer 1992

Band makes video for “Trapped in a Box” for a mere $5,000; MTV never played it, but M2 does now. No Doubt once again make a two-week Western run.

Fall 1992

Hitting the big time, the band undertakes a two-and-a-half month national-tour — still in a van. Although, predominately headlining small clubs, the band plays a couple shows with Public Enemy, Pato Banton, and The Special Beat, a reunited Specials and The English Beat.


March 1993

No Doubt begins the first sessions for what would be called Tragic Kingdom. The album was recorded in eleven different studios over two and a half years. Tony refers to it as a “battleground” — and there were casualties.


Eric departs before the completion of Tragic Kingdom, and continues as an animator for The Simpsons.

After a seven-year relationship, Tony gets claustrophobic and dumps Gwen; the singer has plenty to sing about and “Don’t Speak” evolved from a love song into a broken heart song.

Early 1995

Knowing it had been three years since they had any music out and local fans were wanting something new, No Doubt self-releases the 10-song Beacon Street Collection, named after the house on Beacon Street in Anaheim where several

Members lived and the garage studio where most of the tracks were recorded. They sold out of the first thousand CD’s within two weeks after selling them at shows and local record stores (To date, they’ve sold approximately 100,000 copies).

Fall 1995

Wanting to learn how to read music and grasp the rudiments, Adrian takes a basic drumming class at Fullerton Junior College (California); not a morning person, Adrian still makes the 8 a.m. classes.

Aug.-Sept. 1995

Laying the groundwork for Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt plays the main stage on the first Warped Tour.

October 1995

Tragic Kingdom, a mixture of ska, new wave, pop, punk and rock, is released. Of the lyrics, Gwen says: “We went through some really bad times in the past couple years — personally and band wise — and our whole way of dealing with that is humor and I think that’s really apparent in the record.”

Album doesn’t make the charts and KROQ, slow to catch on, doesn’t pay attention.

No Doubt play the Virgin Megastore in Costa Mesa, California; since relatives will be attending, and also, Gwen believes, because she’s a girl, her mother asks her not to swear when she sings “Just a Girl”; Gwen swears; her mom won’t speak to her for a week.

Winter 1995

KROQ pays attention; band smiles. New wave-ish “Just a Girl,” about being a girl, gets massive requests.

Band swears it’s not their friends calling.

In support of Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt tours a week with 311, then several weeks on their own, followed by holiday radio shows.


January 1996

Several months after its release, Tragic Kingdom debuts on Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 175, and the single “Just a Girl” reaches No. 10. “That single surprised the hell out of me,” Tom, who created the music, told Guitar World. “I always thought the song was cool, but I never expected it to fly like it has.” Video, which features band in one room and Gwen in another, is all over MTV; media ignores band and focuses on Gwen’s midriff and bindi.

No Doubt makes late night debut performing “Just a Girl” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

March 28, 1996

David Letterman is seen tapping his foot while No Doubt performs “Just a Girl” on The Late Show.

May 1996

On the road opening for Bush, Gwen breaks her foot while performing; the show must go on — this time with plenty of Band-Aids.

After Dominic Griffin interviews No Doubt for the syndicated radio show, “Live from the Pit”, Dom follows Gwen, repeatedly saying: “Yeah, I know I was the drunk Irishman from the Real World, but I’m just a boy and you’re just a girl.” A restraining order is issued. (If you believe this, you believe Dominic is a journalist.)

June 1996

The catchy “Spiderwebs,” with music by Tony and Gwen-penned lyrics NOT about their relationship, reaches No. 5 in Billboard.

Band begins their first European tour, followed by dates in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Japan.

July 1996

Tragic Kingdom goes Platinum.

Gwen changes her hair; Mabel’s Salon in Austin reports big business in platinum color treatments.

August 1996

Tragic Kingdom certified Double-Platinum. Although No Doubt had been headlining in clubs for seven years, the band embarks on their first sold-out theater-size headlining tour.

Salons across the country complain that every teenage girl wants to get their hair cut and colored like “that No Doubt girl.” “Gwennabees” are hatched.

Meanwhile, Tony goes from blond to brown, and Adrian, who had sculpted his hair into two red horns, and Tom check the theory that blondes have more fun by dipping into the bleach bottle; barber shops don’t report an increase in coloring.

Sept. 5, 1996

Mutual admiration established, No Doubt returns to Letterman to perform “Spiderwebs.”

Sometime 1996

Some leading news magazine reports that those other two blonde singers are out and “that No Doubt girl” is paving the way for a new style; she changes her hair again. The band gets cropped out of photos. No Doubt stipulates they are a BAND, not just a girl. Gwen feels guilty, but becomes the reigning queen of pop and idol to teenage girls.

October 1996

November issue of SPIN hits the stands with No Doubt cover story–only they forgot there were three guys in the band too. Gwen’s pretty face and belly button get top billing while the boys are relegated to the Table of Contents page. SPIN says: “No Doubt is the Last American New Wave Group.”

November 1996

After performing nearly every night for a year, Gwen’s vocal chords are strained; the band cancels its second European tour; the dates are made up in February and March 1997.

Quintessential power ballad “Don’t Speak,” about Tony and Gwen’s break up, reaches No. 2 on the Modern Rock chart and No. 1 on Hot 100 airplay chart in Billboard. Video portrays a different story, the story of three forgotten guys pitted against the adored singer; it was therapeutic. “Has it got to the point where we mean nothing?” Tom queries a Rolling Stone writer. “If Gwen doesn’t speak, we mean nothing?”

Dec. 7, 1996

No Doubt perform “Don’t Speak” and “Excuse Me Mr.” on Saturday Night Live. The following week Tragic Kingdom reaches No. 1 in Billboard — 14 months after its release, selling 229,000 copies the first week at the top spot, more than 500,000 Christmas week, and 6 million total. The album will spend nine weeks at No. 1, and 36 weeks in the Top 10.


Winter 1997

No Doubt begins their third headlining tour, this time at enormadome venues. It was either stripped-down clubs or Spinal Tap, jests Tom. They went with the classic comedy and the Cirque de Soliel sets.

Tragic Kingdom reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s International Album Eurochart, and was a Top 5 album in the U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, Norway, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland.

January 1997

No Doubt attends American Music Awards after being nominated for Favorite New Artist Pop/Rock. Band’s super excited even if they don’t win. “Not bad, Best New Artist and we’ve been around for 10 years,” marvels Gwen.

February 1997

No Doubt attends Grammy Awards after being nominated for Best Rock Album and Best New Artist.

Band’s super excited even if they don’t win. They perform “Spiderwebs” live.

All-time touring highlight, No Doubt plays a sold-out 3,000-capacity show in Israel — including members of the two opposing religious groups. On their day off, they tour Jerusalem and swim in the Dead Sea.

March 1997

No Doubt celebrates Tenth Anniversary!!!

April 11, 1997

No Doubt perform the reggae-tinged “Sunday Morning” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; although the lyrics are once again about their break up, it’s Tony’s favorite No Doubt song.

May 1997

Rolling Stone finally puts No Doubt on the cover–the ENTIRE band in surgical garb. The writer announces “everything (Gwen) says is true” and that their pop music is “rousing and potent.”

July 1997

Tony’s life takes on new meaning after meeting his all-time music hero Prince, or as he is now called, The Artist formerly known as Prince. After the Purple One checked out No Doubt’s Minneapolis show, he invited the band back to Paisley Park to jam. How cool is that?

Summer 1997

Rarely seeing a Sunday morning at home, No Doubt continue to see the world from a stage. Tragic Kingdom, still in the Top 50 at 80-plus weeks on the charts, sells seven million in the U.S. and eleven million worldwide. No Doubt, their first record, has now sold around 250,000 copies.

Sept. 4, 1997

They finally win. “Don’t Speak” gives No Doubt the opportunity to speak as they enthusiastically accept the Best Group Video statue at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Fall 1997

No Doubt plays across Europe, India, Singapore and South America. Tragic Kingdom continues to sell big, reaching eight million in the U.S. and fourteen million worldwide.

Oct. 21, 1997

Interscope re-releases 10-song Beacon Street Collection as part of the back catalog.

November 1997

No Doubt releases Live in the Tragic Kingdom, a 92-minute, live-performance video shot at The Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, the arena owned by Magic Kingdom heads Disneyland. Plenty of rock poses, good cheer and sweat.

More good tidings, No Doubt’s version of the Vandals joyful carol “Oi to the World” — recorded in one day while on tour — appears on the album A Very Special Christmas III; proceeds benefiting the Special Olympics.


Early 1998

No Doubt takes some much needed time off, adjusts to being home, step across the Orange County border, and settle into new addresses within the L.A. County line; two now reside in Long Beach and two in Los Feliz. They stop eating at fast food eateries—except Tony. Renting out a Hollywood Hills home, the band begins writing songs for their forthcoming CD—finding their direction; as Gwen said: “We didn’t really know what kind of music we were gonna write because it had been so long and we kind of out grew our old style.” Gwen, now very in love, has plenty to sing about.

March 7, 1998

They win again—this time at the California Music Awards (formerly the BAMMIES). Gwen gets a statue for Outstanding Female Vocalist Statewide, and the band walks off with Outstanding Group Statewide.

April 1998

For the Stormy Weather ’98 concert at L.A.’s Wiltern Theater, a benefit for Don Henley’s Walden Woods Foundation, Gwen sings two torch songs: “I Can Dream, Can’t I,” made popular by the Andrew Sisters, and Elvis Costello’s “Almost Blue.”

August 1998

Gwen’s a waitress—just for a day. She appears in an apron in a Rufus Wainwright video shot at her house. A week later, Gwen (without the apron) hosts a birthday bash for Tony and Adrian at her house. Many musician friends dance to loud rock music until 3 a.m. The excitement proves to be too much for Adrian; around 4 a.m. he re-decorates Gwen’s front yard with regurgitated petits fours.

September 1998

The band attends the MTV Video Music Awards—purely for fun. Gwen looks smashing in her blue Smurfs fuzzy bra top and matching blue-dyed hair

October 1998

Straying for a brief afternoon, Gwen records a duet with Brian Setzer for his new album, Dirty Boogie. The track, made famous by Ann Margaret and Elvis Presley is called “You’re the Boss.”

October 31, 1998

Boo! Trick or treats were courtesy of Offspring’s Dexter Holland. Gwen was a vampire, Tony was a bag of French fries (he loves those things), Adrian was a nun, Tom was something politically incorrect (we’re not saying), and No Doubt horn player Gabe McNair was a skeleton. It was a hoot!

November 1998

No Doubt celebrates their childhood in song for the Rugrats soundtrack. In the fall, the band records “I Throw My Toys Around” with musical hero Elvis Costello, who also wrote (with his wife) and produced the song for the movie.

The band continues writing songs for their forthcoming CD and searches for the right producer.

Dec. 31, 1998

The band throws a HUGE New Year’s Eve bash at Gwen’s house for their friends, friends of friends, and musician- and actor-friends of friends. A star-studded affair with the likes of Tommy Lee, Ben Stiller, the Chili Peppers, Beck, plus many more. It goes into the wee hours. Adrian, once again, is plagued with ill feelings, but waits until the ride home.

After numerous attempts to find the right producer, the band finally decides on Glen Ballard, with Jack Joseph Puig as the man with the right mix and Alain Johannes (of Eleven fame) as the engineer. The magic (and long process) occurs at two Los Angeles studios—Ocean Way and Royaltone. According to Gwen, the band has three goals: to grow as songwriters, keep it simple and clean instrumentally with no tricks, and to be spontaneous.


February 1999

After numerous attempts to find the right producer, the band finally decides on Glen Ballard, with Jack Joseph Puig as the man with the right mix and Alain Johannes (of Eleven fame) as the engineer. The magic (and long process) occurs at two Los Angeles studios—Ocean Way and Royaltone. According to Gwen, the band has three goals: to grow as songwriters, keep it simple and clean instrumentally with no tricks, and to be spontaneous.

Feb. 22, 1999

Adrian’s Schwing Magazine Charity Golf Tournament raises money for a Hollywood charity. Out for a putt and a swing, members from the Offspring, NOFX, Smashmouth and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Earlier in ’99, Adrian and Vandals drummer Joe Escalante started Schwing, an alternative golf publication through Thrasher. Lotsa musicians and girls in bikinis.

March 1999

RIAA creates a new sales status symbol: the Diamond Award for artists who move more than 10 million copies of a given album in the U.S. Forty-six artists were responsible for the 62 best-selling albums of all time… and in the mix was No Doubt for Tragic Kingdom (at 10 million!).

Band says “yes” to hip movie Go and delivers “New” for soundtrack. Finally, new music from No Doubt, although it’s not so new (“New” was the first song the band wrote after Tragic Kingdom). The song, produced by Jerry Harrison, is received at radio with enthusiasm.

April 1999

Tom remarks: “This is our eighth week recording… and probably our 80th week working on this record.”

Unable to wait until Gwen finishes vocals for a track, Maggen, the singer’s 14-year-old dog, went poo-poo on the studio carpet. Gwen cleans it with paper towels and disposed of the mess in the garbage bin next to the studio, locking herself into the stinky gated structure in the process. “There I am, standing on top of the garbage bin that smells awful while everyone is inside a sound-proof studio.”

May 1999

A whopping 17 songs are recorded—the band is really excited. It’s a new sound for the band. One they have a hard time describing—or pinpointing into a style. Tony thinks there’s a pervasive early ’80s new wave thing reminiscent of what they grew up on, and a very organic rock ’70s sparse sound. The songs are somewhere between rock, pop and reggae. (Tony admits that all reggae they’ve attempted in the past sucks; “We’ve finally hit the right groove. Now we don’t have to qualify what we’ve done.”)

Burning London—A Clash Tribute is released. It includes No Doubt’s cover of “Hateful,” which is produced by David Kahne and includes guest vocals, growls and hand gestures by Billy Idol. Proceeds are donated to an L.A. youth shelter.

June 1999

Gwen adds vocals to Fishbone’s cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everybody is a Star” for the Fishbone and Familyhood Nextperience tribute album (out March 2000).

July 1999

No Doubt completes mixing at Ocean Way with Jack Joseph Puig. Band is really excited. Record company is really excited. If the fans knew, they would be excited. Then the band decides to record two more songs; now they are the only ones excited. Tour plans for fall are put on hold.

August 1999

Band enters the studio again to record new songs for the as-yet-untitled new album on Interscope Records.

Tragic Kingdom continues to sell big, reaching 15 million worldwide.

No Doubt hosts their second annual co-birthday bash for Tony and Adrian (who sports a pink mohawk for the party) at Adrian’s home in Lakewood, California. Celebrating the dynamic duo’s special day: members from 311, Rage against the Machine, and the Vandals, Perry Farrell, actor Vince Vaughn, and… Well, more rock and movie stars than the neighbors liked. It was a long and festive night.

Sept. 30, 1999

No Doubt kicks off an eight-city West Coast club tour in San Diego in full pop gear: Tony and Tom wear red Jumpsuits, the horn section in lime green, Gwen in bubblegum pink (including her feathered hair), and Adrian shirtless and in boxers. The jaunt was appropriately dubbed “Pop Smart” and “Pop Start” by two fans who screamed in joy over the new pop songs at the band’s L.A. show.

Oct. 9, 1999

On the final night of No Doubt’s club tour, in a tender moment at The Fillmore in San Francisco, Adrian lures his girlfriend Nina to the stage and before the thousand-plus fans, gets down on one knee, professes his love and then proposes. Nina shakes her head “yes” and the two exit the stage in each other’s arms. The band, moved to tears, finishes the set with Vandals drummer Josh Freese covering for Adrian.

Winter 1999

Final touches are made to the as yet untitled new record. Even more recording, mixing, and mastering to make it just right.

Dec. 5, 1999

No Doubt attends the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at New York’s fashionable 26th Street Armory. The very fashionable band is nominated for Most Stylish Video, and Gwen—proudly displaying her multi-colored braces—is nominated for Most Fashionable Female Artist. The band walks away with the statue for Most Stylish Video for “New.” Orthodontically-challenged teens everywhere proudly smile a toothy grin.

Dec. 31, 1999

Way to ring in the millennium!! No Doubt played at one of the biggest parties in the world: Times Square. To be exact, the MTV New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. The first band to play MTV in the new millennium, No Doubt took the stage a few minutes after midnight, performing a festive rendition of “It’s the End of the World (And I Feel Fine)” by REM, the new skool and new first single “Ex-Girlfriend” to appease the millions of waiting fans, and the old skool “Spiderwebs.”

Jan. 5, 2000

No Doubt is shot—but it’s all good. The band is shot by photographer David LaChappelle for their new album, drum roll please, Return of Saturn.

Jan. 16, 2000

The first No Doubt wedding: Adrian and Nina happily make the commitment at Adrian’s home in Southern California while family and close friends (including members of the Vandals and Sugar Ray) watched and cried. A true tight-knit group, Gwen serves as a bridesmaid while Tony and Tom stand as groomsmen.

Jan. 24-26, 2000

The video for “Ex-Girlfriend,” directed by Hype Williams, is shot


Feb. 1, 2000

“Ex-Girlfriend,” the first—and extremely anticipated single—from Return of Saturn, will be released to radio. The band waits for the day when all the planets aligned in the… you get the point. The accompanying video will be seen on millions of TVs the following week.

March 2000

No Doubt set to pack their bags and get their feet wet. The band will hit the road for an intimate three-week club tour in the States followed by a European tour in April and May. At this point they plan to take a couple deep breathes and begin a thorough tour of the U.S. and the rest of the world. Who knows, maybe Saturn will follow.

April 2000

The very down-to-Earth yet extremely out there Return of Saturn will be released April 10 internationally and April 11 in the States. Produced by Glen Ballard, mixed by Jack Joseph Puig and recorded by Alain Johannes, the 14-song disc encompasses the band’s eclectic tastes: new wave, reggae, pop and rock. Radio programmers across the country predict a minimum of 14 hits.


Jan. 2000 – Sept. 2001

In the studio making “Rock Steady”.

© 2001-2015 / Privacy Info. / Header graphic by Lyndsy.
rss feed
Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost.