FULL LENGTH ALBUMS
- Blind Melon (1992)
- Soup (1995)
- Nico (1996)
- Encomium a Tribute to Led Zeppelin (1995)
- The Cowboy Way (motion picture soundtrack)
- Woodstock ’94 (1994)
- School House Rocks (1996)
- Triple Scoop 3
- Tones Of Home
- No Rain (from “Blind Melon”)
- Change (from “Blind Melon”)
- Limited Edition Galaxie 2 part cd set (from “Soup”)
- Letters from a Porcupine (1996)
- Dear Ol’ Dad
- I Wonder
- Tones of Home
- No Rain
- Tones Of Home
- Toes Across the Floor
- Three is the Magic Number
- Soul One
By Matt Collier (SHS)
Blind Melon is a five-man band that contains three members from Mississippi. Glen Graham (drums) and Brad Smith (bass guitar) both were born in Columbus, Mississippi, and Thomas Rogers Stevens was born in West Point, Mississippi. (“Members”) After receiving international superstardom, appearing on MTV, and even playing at Woodstock, their life as a band was cut short by tragedy.
Thomas Roger Stevens and Brad Smith grew up together in West Point, Mississippi. Throughout high school, they played guitar together. They decided they wanted to create music for a living, so they packed up and moved to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles trying out for a band, Rogers met Christopher Thorn (guitar) and the two developed a friendship. They then met Shannon Hoon through a mutual friend and decided to start a band. Glen Graham, a musician Brad knew from Mississippi, was then called to play drums.(“Members”). In 1989, Blind Melon was formed as a band.
After struggling through the local scene, Blind Melon left Los Angeles and found their sound. They recorded a few songs on a demo tape and the record company signed them. Soon their first album, Blind Melon, was released. The first single, “No Rain,” was an international hit. In 1992, the album went double platinum, and the song itself hit #3 on the charts. The group appeared on MTV and toured with the MTV 120 Minutes tour. Other singles were released, such as “Tones of Home” and “Change.” They received Grammy and American Music Awards nominations. The band played at Woodstock and toured with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Soundgarden, Lenny Kravitz, and Pearl Jam. (“Starland Hotel : Blind Melon”)
Throughout all of this excitement , Shannon was struggling with a crippling heroin addiction. Checking in and out of rehab centers, it was clear he was fighting a losing battle. Friends hoped his life had turned around when Shannon found out his girlfriend was pregnant. The birth of his daughter, Nico Blue Hoon, matured him a little. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Shannon promised to kick his habit (“Members”).
In 1995, Blind Melon released their second album, Soup. Its first single, “Galaxie,” was a modest hit. The album itself, however, was a commercial failure. Shortly after Soup was released, tragedy struck. Shannon was found dead in a tour bus of a cocaine overdose.
The band and the public were shocked. No one knew what to do. As a final way of getting through it all, the band released a third CD named for Shannon’s daughter. Nico contained previously unreleased material and rarities. “There are a lot more chapters that should have been written as Blind Melon, but that’s not going to be. This is it. This is all the music we have to put out with Shannon. We’re moving forward because this is all we know how to do,” says band member Rogers on the CD Nico (“Starland Hotel : Blind Melon”).
Today, you can find Brad and Christopher working with their new band, Luma. They are just formed so they have no CD’s to show. Rogers has been working with singer/songwriter Rene Lopez in New York. The pair have recorded fifteen songs and are currently putting together a band. Glen Graham has been busy writing songs and working on various recording projects with other artists (“Official Homepage”).
Although the band members have gone their separate ways, Blind Melon has left a lasting effect on the world. Through their gritty realistic music, they showed us that the world is a bad place, but still a place where we can find a way out. Shannon’s death also brought much publicity to cocaine and heroin addiction and has saved many lives around the world.
Blind Melon: A Biography
by Kim Lipe (SHS)
Blind Melon is a five man band from West Point and Columbus, Mississippi, who have made several CD’s and appeared on MTV. The members are the late Shannon Hoon, vocal: Brad Smith, bass: Glen Graham, drums; Christopher Thorn, guitar; and Rogers Stevens, guitar. The band told everyone that they had been together for year and that they had tons of songs. The truth is that they had only been together for a few months and had only a few songs.
In an interview by Michelle Cordle, Brad Smith, bassist, was asked why the group had been somewhat inactive after their first CD. Brad stated that “There were various reasons, such as court dates and rehab. We had our share of problems.” The late Shannon Hoon commented, “Everyone has been focusing on their foundations of life, sometimes that entails a little bit of absence.” They were also asked about their recording session in New Orleans. “It was crazy, said Brad. “There’s a weird vibe in New Orleans.” Shannon stated that “We couldn’t focus on the record because there was so much down there that took our minds off of it. The city has so much to corrupt you.” Also in the interview Cordle asked what the difference was between recording Soup and the first album. Brad replied that Soup came together so easily…We got together, recorded it, mixed it…Boom! It’s done.” According to Shannon, “It wasn’t rushed and we were able to remove most of the pressure that we had created ourselves from the first record.”
The band makes a big point out of the fact that Blind Melon is a band and not a singer with musicians backing him up. Brad Smith believes that “one person isn’t better than the other just because the music hierarchy perceives it that way. Musically speaking, we’re all on the same level.” And Hoon added, “Everybody has the ability, musically, to write a song. No one’s opinion has more weight than anyone else’s.”
Unfortunately for the group, Shannon Hoon, lead singer for Blind Melon, is now dead. He died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol on October 21, 1995. He was known to have a taste for hard drugs and had been to rehab earlier in the year. However, on July 11, 1995, Shannon Hoon and Lisa Crouse had a little girl named Nico Blue Hoon, which made Hoon extremely happy. He vowed he would change his ways, but three months after the birth of his daughter, he overdosed.
Capitol released Blind Melon’s final record called Nico (after Shannon Hoon’s daughter) on November 12, 1996. Letters from a Porcupine, a documentary home video, was also released. The video features live backstage footage of the band from their early days to the present.
- 1967 – Glen Graham (drummer) is born in Columbus, Mississippi..
- 1968 – Brad Smith (bass guitar) is born in Columbus, Mississippi.
- 1969 – Thomas Roger Stevens (guitarist) is born in West Point, Mississippi.
- 1986 – Thomas and Brad move to Los Angeles. They meet Shannon Hoon through a mutual friend and Christopher through the folk scene. They then call Glen Graham from Columbus, Mississippi, to play drums.
- 1989 – Blind Melon is formed in Los Angeles.
- 1992 – Blind Melon releases their debut album Blind Melon. It’s single, “No Rain,” climbs the charts and establishes them as international superstars.
- 1994 – Blind Melon goes on the “120 Minutes” tour.
- 1995 – Blind Melon releases a second album, Soup. It receives mixed reviews and is a commercial failure.
- October 21, 1995 – Shannon Hoon is found dead of a heroin overdose.
- 1996 – Nico is released, marking it the group’s final album. It contains previously unreleased material and rarities and is named after Shannon’s daughter, Nico Blue Hoon.
A Review of “Soup”
By Matt Collier (SHS)
Soup by Blind Melon is one of the greatest CD’s in my CD collection. From beginning to end, it takes the listener on a musical journey that is unlike any other. It begins with a dark funeral march, in which Shannon Hoon (the lead singer,) tells us that we’re “entering a frame bombarded by indecision. Where a man like me can easily let the day get out of control.” This sets up a dark mood which follows through out the CD.
Most of the CD’s’s lyrics focus around Shannon’s heroin addiction. An example of this is from the song “2 x 4.” It reads:
Someone’s pouring warm gravy all over me
And you see that synthetic therapy
Don’t you know it seems to be so unappealing
But, oh what a feeling.”
But he doesn’t only write about HIS problems. On “Carseat,” he talks of a young mother who drowns her two sons in a car. Told from the son’s point of view, it is an emotionally powerful song. It ends with a poem, “God’s Presence,” which was written by Shannon’s grandmother.
Overall, the CD is a gritty, grunge-filled collection of songs that show us how terrible the world is, but it also offers an escape from it. I recommend this excellent CD by this excellent band to everyone.
- Blind Melon fan site
- See Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon Get Naked and Bring Pizza to Guns N’ Roses
Photographer Danny Clinch tells us about his planned crowdfunded documentary on deceased singer (Rolling Stone, 2015)
- Blind Melon. “2 x 4.” Rec. 1995. Soup. Capitol Records, 1995.
- Blind Melon. “Enhanced CD.” Rec. 1992-1995. Nico. Capitol Records, 1996.
- Blind Melon. Rec. 1992. Blind Melon. Capitol Records, 1992.
- Fil Millz. The Millz Blind Melon Page. [Online] Available http://www.filmillz.com/blindmelon/, April 15, 1999.
- Jennifer Vit and Hillary Corwin. Members. [Online] Available http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Studio/1905/members.html, April 4, 1999.
- Matt. Matt’s World Of Thought. [Online] Available http://www.oberlin.edu/~mbadanes/home.html, April 15, 1999.
- Official Blind Melon Homepage, The. [Online] Available http://www.blind-melon.com/, April 4, 1999.
- Starland Hotel : Blind Melon. [Online] Available http://hollywoodandvine.com/blindmelon/, April 4, 1999.