Fascinating Photos of The Early Days of No Doubt from the late 1980s

No Doubt, a ska band formed in 1986 in Orange, California, was initiated by Eric Stefani, his younger sister Gwen Stefani, and John Spence. The initial lineup included Gwen Stefani on backing vocals, Eric on keyboards, and Spence as the lead vocalist. Other early members included Jerry McMahon (guitar), Chris Leal (bass), Chris Webb (drums), Gabriel Gonzalez (trumpet), Alan Meade (trumpet), and Tony Meade (saxophone), practicing in Eric’s parents’ garage. The band’s name was inspired by Spence’s frequent use of the phrase “no doubt.”

Early Performances and Tragedy

No Doubt’s first performance was at an Orange High School backyard graduation party on June 6, 1987, alongside other California ska bands. Their setlist included songs like “Total Hate,” “Too Much Pressure,” and “Danger.” However, in December 1987, a tragedy struck when Spence took his own life. This event led to a brief disbandment, but the group soon regrouped with Alan Meade taking over as lead vocalist.

Gwen Stefani as Lead Vocalist and Lineup Changes

After John Spence’s death and Alan Meade’s departure, Gwen Stefani assumed the role of lead vocalist. Tony Kanal, who attended an early show, joined as the bassist and secretly dated Gwen Stefani for a time. The band also saw other additions, including Paul Caseley (trombone) in 1987 and Eric Carpenter (saxophone). In 1989, Adrian Young replaced Chris Webb as the drummer, and Tom Dumont joined the band, replacing Jerry McMahon on guitar.

Early Gigs and Growing Popularity

During the late 1980s, No Doubt started to build a local following in California, playing at various venues such as local colleges, Fender’s Grand Ballroom, The Whisky, The Roxy, and with other bands like The Untouchables, Fishbone, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Cal State Long Beach. This period marked the beginning of their journey towards becoming a well-known band in the music scene.

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Written by Rachel Mitchell

Rachel Mitchell is a vintage fashion enthusiast with a passion for all things retro. She is interested vintage fashion styles, trends, and accessories, and provides tips and tricks for incorporating vintage pieces into modern wardrobes.

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