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Sonya and the Sleepyhouse:


 

The sleepyhouse is located in Durham, NC (West Trinity Street). Rogers Stevens received these pictures and confirmed it's the right house!

"...living in that house for a couple of months
was like being in a band for 5 years..."
Christopher Thorn

"...Moving to North Carolina was obviously the best thing forthe band because we all got to know each other. There was a lot going on rather than just the music. There were a lot of relationships being built, and that helped to make the music more sincere..."
Shannon Hoon (Rolling Stone Magazine Oct 1992)

"...We weren't going to leave and go out on the town, because there's nothing to do in Durham, so we just played music, smoked weed, and everyone was into painting at the time. It was a blast. It was a very strange environment, Shannon tin-foiled the windows, so it was always dark in there, with candles. Rogers didn't take off his pyjamas for a week."
Brad Smith (Classic Rock Magazine 2004)

After lunch yesterday my husband (Greg), two young sons and I hopped in the minivan and set out on a real adventure. (I know the minivan must be giving you visuals already on how cool we are - ha ha!) It took us about 45 minutes to get to Durham and I was a little nervous on the way because during the drive we were watching "the Columbus clouds bring in the rain". I had planned for the family to visit the public gardens at Duke University after we checked out the Sleepyhouse and if the clouds decided to bust open on us it would have really put a damper on the garden portion of the trip. We didn't know for sure what we would find when we got there, we didn't even know 100% that it was going to be the actual Sleepyhouse so there was a chance that we were making the trip all for nothing.

 As we got closer to our exit I loaded Blind Melon's first cd into the cd player so I could get in the right frame of mind. As Greg and I listened, we pondered which songs from the album would have been completely written at the Sleepyhouse...we obviously know that Sleepyhouse was and we reasoned that Time and I Wonder were a couple that were possibly written there as well. I knew Change and No Rain weren't written there and I don't think Tones of Home was either but I'm not sure about that one. Let me know if any of you know which songs definitely were written there. So anyway...we were groovin to Glen's drumming in particular and I was talking about how when I first got into Blind Melon, they introduced me to a whole new style of music that entirely shaped what I listen to today. He's heard me talk about it before, but he lovingly put up with hearing it for the hundredth time.

As we drove into Durham the skies were now a beatiful Carolina blue and the ominous dark clouds had disappeared and fluffy white clouds dotted the sky. When I figured out that we were getting close it really started to hit me that these were the same streets the guys had driven and walked...the place they called home so long ago. I thought of all of the "foggy" memories they must have of this place.

We turned onto West Trinity street and located the address. At first we slowed down to get a good look at the house and then decided to pull into the driveway. I had intended on taking lots of photos, but I didn't want to disrespect anyone who lived there by being obvious about what I was doing. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and I didn't want the locals to wonder why the fuck some lady in a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and her hippie looking husband were snapping photos of their house and neighborhood. We pulled into the driveway for the house next door and I snapped a couple shots of the front of the house and the front porch.


The Sleepyhouse 


Church is front of the sleepyhouse 

My husband noticed the church that was directly across the street devised a plan to park in their parking lot so we could spend more time there (i.e. stalk the shit out of the house). He truly is my partner in crime...and I give him mad props for being my accomplice. We parked the van in the church parking lot and came up with a plan of action. We decided to play it off like we were admiring the church since we wanted to take photos of it anyway to use as a landmark reference. We sat on the front steps of the church for a few minutes and took in the house. I noticed that there was a big hedge of bushes that lined the front porch and I wondered if that line from Time was written right there on that porch "I drink from the faucet from the porch I take a pee, I look at you through the bushes where you can't see me". I got a kick out of imagining that Shannon might have been pissing off of that exact same front porch while tripping his balls off and spying on people trough the bushes. I thought it was kind of funny that the people who live there now probably have no idea what the history of the house is and how much partying went on there.

I'm pretty sure it's still a rental house. There are a lot of apartment houses on the street and it looks like a lot of Duke students rent places in the neighborhood. I thought about Sleepyhouse where it says "I think that I'm gonna play with some free livin lads down the street aways away" and I wondered where the free livin lads had lived. It was a very cool feeling to be there and I had lots of butterflies fluttering around in my tummy.

 

 

 

 I had fantasized about partying in the Sleepyhouse since I was 14 or 15. My best friend in high school and I wished we could have hung out there and smoked pot with Blind Melon and listened to them jam. We used to hang out in her room after school smoking out and having lengthy discussions about what it would have been like to be able to observe the goings-on in the Sleepyhouse. Nowadays I don't smoke anymore, but if I had some with me yesterday I would have sparked one up in homage to the Sleepyhouse!

After a couple minutes sitting on the church steps, and seeing a lady folding laundry in the front window of the house, we really became aware that we were being stalkers and it seemed like a good time to head back to the van and stalk a little more incognito from inside the van since we had a decent view from there. We listened to Sleepyhouse and Time and imagined what life was like for the guys when they lived there.

We thought it was funny that there was a church directly across the street from the house because there were probably people arriving at church on Sunday mornings right as things were winding down from a long Saturday night at the Sleepyhouse. I'm sure the churchgoers had opinions of those long haired musicians that lived across the street like vampires...sleeping all day and up all night.

After the songs finished playing we decided to say goodbye to the Sleepyhouse. We drove around the neighborhood a little more to see if we could catch a glimpse of the back of the house. There was an alley behind it, but we couldn't get back there because a car was blocking it and it was too narrow. I said my final goodbye as we drove away. A couple miles away were the Duke gardens so we spent the rest of the day exploring its beauty. The gardens are one of the most beatiful places I've ever been and if any of you decided to find the Sleepyhouse someday I would highly recommend visiting the gardens afterwards. It's free and beautiful and if you smoke out it would be an extra-incredible experience...and I can attest to the fact that you don't need to be in an altered state to appreciate it.

Today I'm thinking about how 13 years ago the Sleepyhouse was an incredibly magical place to me and my best friend. We fantasized like only teenage girls can about it what it would be like to hang out there with Blind Melon (our lives revolved around all things Blind Melon for quite some time, but that's a different story alltogether). We planned to one day live in our own version of a Sleepyhouse. We never thought we'd know where the real one was, although we wished we could find it one day. Yesterday that wish came to fruition...for me at least. Time passed and after high school we grew apart. We don't talk anymore, but if we ever do regain contact I want to take her there with me.

So without further ado...I'd like to share my photos with all of you Melonheads who can appreciate the Sleepyhouse in the same way that I do. To me it still is a magical and legendary place. I love houses with a history and I think this house has one of the coolest histories ever! Thanks for reading! I hope it wasn't too sappy and corny...

Sonya - 09/25/2006

 


 

Hopefully this will clear up some of the misinformation regarding this subject.

by Glen Graham (posted on blindmelonforum.com on 02/15/2007)

 
Glen Graham bedroom


Pictures taken by Andy Martin during the days at the Sleepyhouse (taken from Greg Prato's myspace page)

 


 

 


 


 

 


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