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Articles: A Biography Of Shannon Hoon (October 1995)


A biography of Shannon Hoon

From Lafayette Journal and Courier (October 1995)


Shannon Hoon -- a Lafayette native and lead singer of the multi-million album selling band Blind Melon -- died Saturday afternoon in New Orleans. He was 28. Here is a chronology of his rise to national fame:


 Spring 1986 -- A standout athlete in football, wrestling and track, Hoon graduates from McCutcheon High School.

February 1988 -- Hoon fronts Styff Kytten, a Lafayette cover band that includes Lafayette guitarist Mike Kelsey. In a Journal and Courier feature story about Styff Kytten, the band's manager says: "Shannon's got that desire. You look at him and automatically know he's a band member. He's got the persona of a front man. You never want to take your eye off him because you never know what he's going to do."

Spring 1990 -- After several scrapes with Lafayette police and hoping to follow in thefootsteps of fellow Lafayette native, Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses, Hoon leaves Lafayette for  Los Angeles.

March 1991 -- Hoon and his new band, Blind Melon, sign a $500,000 recording contract  with Capitol Records. He tells the Journal and Courier, "I wanted to make a CD they would sell at Musicland in Tippecanoe Mall. I wanted to show them I could do something with my life, and I have." Blind Melon moves from Los Angeles to Chapel Hill, N.C., to work on new material and to live together in a home they dub "Sleepy House."

Fall 1991 -- At the invitation of Axl Rose, Hoon sings backup vocals and appears in theGuns n' Roses video, "Don't Cry," a major MTV hit. Dubbed the mysterious man in flannel, Hoon's appearance gives Blind Melon a national buzz.

April 1992 -- Blind Melon goes on the MTV 120 Minutes Tour with Big Audio Dynamite II,Public Image Ltd. and Live. Blind Melon releases "Dear Ole Dad," a video that receives airtime on MTV's 120 Minutes.

September 1992 -- Blind Melon releases its self-titled debut on Capitol Records. RollingStone says Hoon "at times sounds eerily like Janis Joplin." The record's homey,folk-meets-alternative sound gets good marks, but sales are quiet.

October 26, 1992 -- Hoon brings Blind Melon to West Lafayette for a sold-out show at Nick's.

June 1993 -- Capitol releases the Blind Melon single, "No Rain." The arresting video --featuring a misfit girl in a bee suit and Hoon's engaging vocals -- becomes a huge hit and wins heavy rotation on MTV and pop radio. Blind Melon reaches No. 3 on the Billboard charts that summer. The record sells more than 2 million copies. The band tours constantly, opening shows for Soundgarden and Neil Young, among others.

October 31, 1993 -- Hoon faces nudity and indecent exposure charges after he strips onstageduring a concert in Vancouver, B.C.

November 11, 1993 -- Blind Melon appears on the cover of Rolling Stone. The band poses nude.Hoon gets more attention, though, for wearing braided pigtails.

February 1994 -- Hoon is charged for attacking a security guard during the taping of the American Music Awards.

March 1994 -- Blind Melon is nominated for Grammy Awards in Best New Artist and BestRock Performance categories. The band doesn't win.

August 13, 1994 -- Blind Melon performs at Woodstock II.

July 11, 1995 -- Hoon becomes a father, when girlfriend Lisa Crouse gives birth to a girl.

August 1995 -- After months of recording in New Orleans, Blind Melon releases Soup. The first single, "Galaxie," peaks at No. 8 on Billboard's modern rock tracks chart.

Sept. 25, 1995 -- Blind Melon plays the Egyptian Room at the Murat Temple in Indianapolis.Hoon introduces his daughter, Nico Blue, to the crowd: "Tonight's my daughter's first rock 'n' roll event." The tour is one of the first dates on a three-month, U.S. and Canadian tour.

Oct. 21, 1995 -- Band members find Hoon dead on the tour bus before a date in NewOrleans. Officials are investigating the cause of death.



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