Shannon Hoon: Wikis


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Shannon Hoon
Birth name Richard Shannon Hoon
Born September 26, 1967(1967-09-26)
Lafayette, Indiana
Died October 21, 1995 (aged 28)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Genres Alternative rock, Psychedelic, Jam band
Occupations Singer-songwriter, Musician
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1985–1995
Labels Capitol Records
Associated acts Blind Melon,Styff Kitten, RAGE, Guns N' Roses
Website Blind Melon

Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the frontman and lead singer of the band Blind Melon until his death from a drug overdose in 1995.[1]


Early life

Hoon was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana with his half-sister, Anna, and half-brother, Tim. Hoon reportedly began using his middle name, Shannon, to avoid confusion with his father, who was also named Richard. In high school, Hoon played football, wrestled, and was a pole vaulter. Hoon graduated from McCutcheon High School in 1986. After graduation, Hoon joined a local band named Styff Kitten, which also featured guitarist Michael Kelsey. Hoon took on the role of frontman and lead singer for the band. It was around this time that Hoon wrote his first song, "Change". Hoon was also a member of the Lafayette band Mank Rage, along with David Lank and Darren Mickler, during this time.

Blind Melon

Hoon left Indiana for Los Angeles where 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 soon the five musicians decided to form Blind Melon, reportedly named after a term Hoon's father used to describe the neighborhood stoners. In 1991, the new band mates 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 were recording their albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. 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".

In 1992, Blind Melon released their self-titled debut album produced by Pearl Jam producer Rick Parashar. Blind Melon began touring to promote the album, supporting and opening for acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young, Guns N' Roses and Soundgarden over the course of 1992-1993. In the summer of 1993, 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, pudgy 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, often referred to as the 'Bee Girl'. Blind Melon went multi-platinum.

Hoon and 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.[citation needed] In October 1993, while opening for Lenny Kravitz, Hoon came onstage in Orlando, Florida openly smoking marijuana at an outdoor concert.[citation needed] In 1994, Blind Melon appeared at Woodstock '94. Hoon went onstage wearing his girlfriend's dress, while tripping on acid.[citation needed] Throughout the performance, Hoon baited the audience and ended the set by tossing a set of conga drums into the crowd.[citation needed] Also in 1994, Hoon went on a drug-induced rampage at the Billboard Music Awards when he attacked a security guard.[citation needed] 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

In 1995, Hoon and his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Sinha, had a daughter, named Nico Blue. After the birth of his daughter, Hoon entered rehab again. In August, Blind Melon planned to tour to support their album Soup, so Hoon negotiated an early release from his drug rehab program with the stipulation that his drug counselor would accompany him on the road.[citation needed] The counselor, however, was unable to keep Hoon from falling back into a pattern of drug use and was dismissed from the tour after less than a month.[citation needed] Without the counselor, Hoon's use of drugs escalated.[citation needed]

After a performance in Houston, Hoon launched into an all-night drug binge.[citation needed] The next day, on October 21, 1995, Blind Melon was scheduled to play a show in New Orleans at Tipitina's. When one of the band's roadies went to the tour bus to wake Hoon up for a sound check, he was unable to wake him. An ambulance was summoned and Hoon was pronounced dead on the scene, at the age of 28,[2]. The cause of death was attributed to a drug overdose.

Hoon was buried in Dayton, Indiana; his grave is inscribed with the words to the first song he wrote, Change:

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, 1998. In December 2008, Hoon's mother Nel shared a collection of unreleased Shannon Hoon songs online.


  • Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro has the lyrics from 'Change' - "keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die", tattooed on his hip.
  • Hoon had made a necklace for Soundgarden's frontman, Chris Cornell; a bent fork, as a gift in the early 1990s. Cornell can be seen wearing the necklace in the music videos for "Black Hole Sun", and "Spoonman", however he stopped wearing the necklace shortly after Hoon's death.
  • In The Avett Brothers song, "Smoke in our lights", a part of the chorus is "You're the words in a song, that Hoon sang to me."
  • On Seth Avett's song "For all the times..." featured on the album Killing the Headlamps, part of the words to the song are sung "This one has me lying beneath a lightbulb moon, asking God permission to talk to Shannon Hoon".
  • Pearl Jam released a B-Side entitled "Bee Girl" which can be found on their Lost Dogs album, which was supposedly Eddie Vedder's way of asking Shannon to rein in his drug abuse.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967October 21, 1995) was the lead singer of the band Blind Melon.


  • I have a phobia of anything that doesn't die in the microwave after five seconds.
    • MuchMusic interview (1995)

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