Shannon Hoon

Shannon Hoon

"Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die." - Shannon Hoon, from the Blind Melon song "No Rain"

There is a notorious stereotype in the United States that characterizes the rock star as someone who sings a few songs, gets arrested a couple times, and ultimately dies from a drug overdose. Many times this popular perception obscures the musical genius that brought these individuals their success. Shannon Hoon, the lead singer of Blind Melon, lived out many of the aspects of the rock star stereotype, however his music deserves serious recognition.

Born in 1967, Hoon grew up in Lafayette, Indiana. In high school, he was a star athlete, musician, and troublemaker. At 23, Hoon moved to Los Angeles, where he formed Blind Melon with Rogers Stevens, Christopher Thorn, Brad Smith, and Glen Graham. Blind Melon rebelled against the currently favored musical styles of Los Angeles, harking back instead to the sounds of bands like Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead. After the release of their debut album in 1992, the band went on tour, opening for such varied acts as the Rolling Stones and Ozzy Osbourne. All this performing gradually got the band attention and their debut album gradually became a hit. Hoon and his band released two more albums in the coming years, neither of which were received well by critics or the mainstream audience, but were artistically much more important than their debut. Around this time rumors began to spread that Hoon had developed a drug problem. This gossip was revealed to be true when the singer began to frequent drug rehabilitation centers in the mid 90's. One month into Blind Melon's 1995 tour, Hoon was found dead inside his tour bus, the victim of a drug overdose.

After his death, Blind Melon released one last album, entitled Nico, a tribute to Hoon. The album, named after Hoon's baby daughter, was a collection of unreleased tracks and outtakes from the band's prime. As we look back on Shannon Hoon's short career, it is important that his various rock star escapades not overshadow his achievements as a creative and groundbreaking musician.

  • According to those who knew him, Hoon was born a frontman. Blind Melon's manager was quoted as saying "Shannon's got that desire. He's got the persona of a frontman. You never want to take your eyes of him because you never know what he's going to do."

  • Hoon was very proud of his daughter in the few months after she was born before he died. When she was six weeks old, he held her up in front of a crowd at a concert at the Murat Temple in Indianapolis, declaring "tonight's my daughter's first rock 'n' roll event."

  • One of the final acts of Blind Melon was to release a home video called "Letters from a Porcupine." This film, which was once nominated for a Grammy, included all the band's music videos as well as additional live performances and backstage footage.

Shannon Hoon Main Page
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