Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995) was an
American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer of the
Blind Melon until his death in 1995.
1 Early life
2 Blind Melon
3 Personal life and death
6 External links
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Hoon was born in
Lafayette, Indiana and raised in nearby Dayton,
Indiana with his half-sister, Anna, and half-brother, Tim. He
reportedly began using his middle name, Shannon, to avoid confusion
with his father, who was also named Richard. In high school, he played
football, wrestled, and was a pole vaulter. Shannon's musical
influences included the Grateful Dead, The Beatles, John Lennon, and
Bob Dylan. After graduating from
McCutcheon High School in 1985, Hoon
joined a local glam metal band named Styff Kytten, which also featured
guitarist Michael Kelsey. He took on the role of frontman and lead
singer of the band. It was around this time that he wrote his first
song and called it "Change." He was also a member of the Lafayette
band Mank Rage, along with David Lank and Darren Mickler, during this
This article appears to contradict the article Blind Melon. Please see
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In 1985, Hoon, 18, left Indiana for Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, he
met musicians Brad Smith and
Rogers Stevens at a party. Smith and
Stevens saw Hoon perform his song "Change" acoustically and invited
Hoon to play with them. Christopher Thorn and Glen Graham were then
brought into the fold, and by 1990 the five musicians decided to form
Blind Melon. The band was possibly named for a term Smith's father
used to describe the neighborhood stoners; or for
Blind Melon Chitlin,
a character from a Cheech & Chong album.[contradictory] In 1990,
the new bandmates produced a four-song demo tape and subsequently
signed a $500,000 recording contract with Capitol Records.
In Los Angeles, Hoon befriended his sister Anna's high school friend,
Axl Rose. Rose invited Hoon to join him in the studio, where his band
Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses were recording their albums
Use Your Illusion I
Use Your Illusion I and Use
Your Illusion II (both released in 1991). Hoon sang backing vocals on
several of the tracks, including "The Garden" and "Don't Cry." Rose
also invited Hoon to appear in the video for "Don't Cry."
Blind Melon released their self-titled debut album produced
Pearl Jam producer Rick Parashar.
Blind Melon began touring to
promote the album, supporting and opening for acts like Ozzy Osbourne,
Guns N' Roses, and
Soundgarden over the course of 1992–1993. In the
summer of 1992, the video for the album track "No Rain" was released
as a single. The video for "No Rain" focused on a theme of the
"normal" crowd versus the lonely outcast. It featured a young girl,
played by Heather DeLoach, in a bee costume, tap dancing to
unappreciative audiences, who finally finds an entire crowd of people
similarly dressed who welcome her. The video is often referred to as
the 'Bee Girl'.
Blind Melon went multi-platinum.
Blind Melon spent the next two years touring. In 1993, Hoon
was arrested for indecent exposure after he disrobed onstage and
urinated on a fan at a show in Vancouver.
Blind Melon appeared at
Woodstock '94 where Hoon, allegedly
high on LSD, went onstage wearing his girlfriend's white dress.
After taking a hiatus from touring,
Blind Melon returned to the studio
to record the album Soup in New Orleans. Soup was released in 1995.
Personal life and death
Gravesite of Shannon Hoon
On July 11, 1995, Hoon and his girlfriend, Lisa Crouse, had a daughter
named Nico Blue. Before the birth of his daughter, Hoon entered
rehab again. In August,
Blind Melon planned to tour to support their
album Soup, so Hoon allowed a drug counselor to accompany him on the
road. The counselor, unable to keep Hoon from relapsing, was
dismissed days before Hoon's death.
After a disappointing performance in Houston on October 20, Hoon
launched himself into an all-night drug binge. The next day,
Saturday, October 21, 1995,
Blind Melon was scheduled to play a show
New Orleans at Tipitina's. The band's sound engineer, Lyle Eaves,
went to the tour bus to awaken Hoon for a sound check, but Hoon was
unresponsive. An ambulance arrived, and Hoon was pronounced dead at
the scene, at the age of 28. The cause of death was attributed to a
Hoon was buried at Dayton Cemetery in Dayton, Indiana. His grave is
inscribed with a line from Blind Melon's song "Change", the first song
I know we can't all stay here forever
So I want to write my words on the face of today and they'll paint it
On November 12, 1996,
Blind Melon released their final album featuring
Hoon, Nico, as a tribute to him with all proceeds going to his
daughter and to programs helping musicians deal with drug problems.
The band also released a video called Letters From A Porcupine that
was nominated for 'Best Long Form Music Video' at the
Grammy Awards on
February 25, 1997.
On September 17, 2008, the book A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel
on the Other: The Story of
Shannon Hoon and
Blind Melon by Greg Prato
Shannon Hoon - AllMusic
^ Death of lead singer
Shannon Hoon hasn't stopped Blind Melon's music
JOHN WIRT. Advocate – Baton Rouge, La. November 8, 1995
^ "Obituary: Shannon Hoon". The Independent. Retrieved
^ Promoter Tears Strip Off Naked Rocker, Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver
Sun, November 2, 199w. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
^ "Dazed and Confused: 10 Classic Drugged-Out Shows,
Blind Melon at
Woodstock, 1994 - LSD". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone Magazine.
^ "The Homecoming, His Mother Feared Rock's
Shannon Hoon Wouldn't Make
It Back Alive; Tragically, She Was Right". People Magazine.
1995-11-06. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
^ a b "
Shannon Hoon 1967–1995". Rolling Stone. November 30, 1995.
Retrieved August 13, 2012.
^ "Tippecanoe Public Library Local Newspaper Birth, Death, Engagement
and Marriage Index Genealogy Resources". Retrieved January 4,
^ A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of
Shannon Hoon and: Greg Prato: 9780615252391: Amazon.com: Books
Prato, Greg (2008). A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other:
The Story of
Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon. Createspace.
Weitz, Brad (2012). From Your Friends – Art, Photos and Stories
Inspired by Blind Melon. Lulu.
Weitz, Brad/Mester, Csaba (2012). Sweet Meloncholy. Take On 1 or 2 /
Garage Art. ISBN 978-0-615-74029-4.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Shannon Hoon
Blind Melon Official Website
Shannon Hoon on IMDb
Shannon Hoon at AllMusic
Shannon Hoon at Find a Grave
For My Friends
Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks
The Best of Blind Melon
Live at the Palace
Letters from a Porcupine
"Tones of Home"
"Three Is a Magic Number"