Vocalist Shannon Hoon was born in Lafayette, Indiana on this date in 1967. Today Hoon should be celebrating his 50th birthday, but the Blind Melon frontman tragically died from a cocaine overdose on October 21, 1995. While Hoon was only in the national spotlight from late 1992, when Blind Melon’s “No Rain” video entered heavy rotation on MTV, through his death, his music has had a major impact on many musicians and fans over the past 25 years.
Before Blind Melon issued their self-titled debut album in 1992, Hoon contributed backing vocals to Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion LPs including memorable singing on “Don’t Cry.” It didn’t take long for Blind Melon’s ’92 record to go multi-platinum thanks to such standout tracks as “Change,” “Tones Of Home” and of course “No Rain.” The catchy lyrics of “No Rain” sung with soul and flair by Hoon, along with its memorable video, brought Blind Melon to headliner status quickly. Blind Melon would go on to release the highly underrated Soup in 1995, just eight weeks before Hoon died on a tour bus.
On January 8, 1994 Blind Melon played one of the biggest gigs of their career, when they served as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Actor Jason Patric was the host and Blind Melon would perform both “No Rain” and “Paper Scratcher” off their self-titled debut. SNL cast member Chris Farley appeared in costume as the iconic “Bee Girl” from the “No Rain” video ahead of Hoon & Co.’s performance of the song.
Watch Blind Melon’s version of “No Rain” from SNL:
Here’s the band’s performance of “Paper Scratcher”:
As a bonus, watch Shannon lead Blind Melon through “Change” during a 1994 visit to The Late Show With David Letterman including a tribute from Hoon to the late Kurt Cobain: