Five’ll getcha ten that singer Gwen Stefani’s late night snack at Denny’s has her sleeping late, then confessing in her journal to a pig-out of magnificent proportions; bassist Tony Kanal, who briefly managed No Doubt and changes his hair color at a moment’s notice, is likely to be taking care of band business; Tom Dumont, guitarist and infamous nose scratcher (No Doubt concert goers do understand!), is still busy explaining why he won’t get a tattoo he promised to sport if No Doubt got famous; and drummer Adrian Young, who used to comb his hair into horns, which he dyed red, is likely gloating over his tattoo — the old No Doubt logo!
Where They’ve Been…
While Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt’s sun-kissed ska-pop album, has been around since the end of ’95 — sprouting hits such as “Just a Girl” and “Don’t Speak” — the band has a history that goes back some ten years and several logo designs! No Doubt was started by Gwen’s brother, Eric, and his good buddy John Spence. “Growing up, my older brother was the one with all the talent and all the focus,” says Gwen of the years she spent wanting nothing more than to be a housewife. “I had him, so I didn’t have to do anything, you know?” But when John Spence, who frequently used the phrase ‘no doubt’ and gave the band it’s name, died suddenly, Gwen’s life changed quickly.
Having been coaxed into the band by Eric in 1986, Gwen helped everyone get through their grieving. She had fallen secretly in love with Tony, but afraid that the others would be upset with their personal relationship, kept it private until John’s untimely passing. The band almost broke up, but ultimately ironed things out and decided John would have wanted them to go on. Tom, a metal-head rocker, joined up shortly after that, and Adrian, a No Doubt fan, signed on in ’89. In 1991, they recorded and released their first self-titled album — and it went nowhere! Nirvana grunge was in, pop was not. Yet, that is!
Eric, who wasn’t happy with the business of recording, left No Doubt to continue his second career as an animator for The Simpsons TV series. And in 1994, while recording their second album, Tragic Kingdom, Gwen and Tony broke up after seven years of being a couple. The pain of these losses clearly showed up in the lyrics Gwen wrote fro the album. But sadness doesn’t last forever, and No Doubt’s future changed as soon as Tragic Kingdom was released.
… And Where They’re Going
Single after single hit the top of the charts, and 10 million albums later, No Doubt’s bright/sad/danceable pop had captured the globe. Today, Eric has another successful career (and may write music for the band’s third album), Tony, who almost left the band because of his romance/break-up with Gwen, has settled in for the duration, and Gwen has a new guy in her life, Bush lead singer, Gavin Rossdale. The band is touring and getting ready to record, yet when you see Gwen tear up at the memory of the band’s history, you almost wonder if album number three wouldn’t be as big a smash on the silver screen as it would on CD! Either way, Gwen is “Just a Girl” who always seems to write the last word.