"Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreaminí itís time to die." - Shannon Hoon, from the Blind Melon song "No Rain"
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 90ís. One month into Blind Melonís 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 Hoonís baby daughter, was a collection of unreleased tracks and outtakes from the bandís prime. As we look back on Shannon Hoonís short career, it is important that his various rock star escapades not overshadow his achievements as a creative and groundbreaking musician.