Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995) was the singer of the band Blind Melon.
Hoon grew up in Lafayette, Indiana. He was a successful athlete in high school, and he joined a local band soon after he graduated. Hoon then decided to leave for Los Angeles where he formed Blind Melon together with Christopher Thorn (guitar, mandolin, harmonica), Rogers Stevens (guitar, piano), Brad Smith (bass), and Glenn Graham (drums, percussion). The group signed with Capitol Records in 1991, and that same year Hoon appeared in the Guns ‘n’ Roses video for “Don’t Cry”.
Blind Melon’s self-titled debut album was released in 1992. The first single, “No Rain”, instantly became an international success. The band promoted the record by touring with Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young, Guns N’ Roses, and Soundgarden. Hoon, however, began experimenting with drugs. He attended several rehabs and was also arrested for drug possession. The band managed to appear at Woodstock 2 in 1994, but Shannon was heavily intoxicated throughout the show.
In 1994 Blind Melon recorded their second album Soup. Shannon slipped further into his drug addiction. Even the birth of his daughter Nico in 1995 didn’t stop him from taking drugs. On October 21, 1995 after an all-night cocaine party during the Soup promotional tour, Hoon was found dead.
Shannon is buried in Dayton, Indiana and his grave is inscribed with lyrics to “Change, the first song he wrote: “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.” Every year on the Saturday closest to Hoon’s birthday, fans called Melonheads make the trek to his grave for a weekend of commemoration. The event is organized by his mother, Nel Hoon. For more information, please visit http://www.blindmelon.org.
If you would like to light a candle for him, you can do it here.