Shannon Hoon’s Risky Decision That Could’ve Ended Blind Melon
Blind Melon‘s rise in the industry was quicker than most other bands. Shannon Hoon was a major asset as he was friends with some top names in the industry, like Axl Rose, and even provided backing vocals for several Guns N’ Roses tracks which managed to gain the attraction of essential people in the industry.
After many attempts, they finally released their self-titled debut album, that initially wasn’t received well; however, it eventually gained a quadruple-platinum status and even debuted in the Billboard top 40 in 1993, due to a much broader audience.
The band was in touring mode and did everything to support their debut album, including hitting the road to support names like Neil Young and Lenny Kravitz, which led to their famous Woodstock ’94 performance that became the talk of the town.
The festival aimed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival in 1969. It was scheduled for the weekend of August 13–14; however, after receiving massive demand for tickets, a third day was added, bringing on artists like Bob Dylan and Red Hot Chili Peppers to close out the festival.
Blind Melon, who was experiencing the peak of their careers, was scheduled to take the main stage on day two at Woodstock, and it became a stand-out performance that the rock world talks about to this day. Even though they had performed early in the day, Hoon was allegedly on an LSD trip during the performance. Although the drug alters everything from time to color and sounds, the frontman’s performance at Woodstock is continuously praised for being top-notch.
While under the influence, Shannon Hoon made the impulsive and highly risky decision to wear his girlfriend’s white dress to perform ‘No Rain.’ For his time, this was a massive statement targeting a society that wasn’t as open-minded or accepting of performers expressing themselves by wearing clothes that were considered ‘inappropriate’ for their gender. It also perfectly exemplified the kind of man and musician Hoon was at his core. When he was asked about the performance during an interview, it seemed like the frontman didn’t even see it as a bold choice.
The three days were very intense, so much so that three people lost their lives, many were treated in medical tents, and many were sent to hospitals for better care. During their set and even in the interview, Hoon also made a point to pay tribute to the people who had died as it was a tragic outcome since everyone had one purpose for coming to the festival, and that was to have fun, but it didn’t end well for some people.
Shannon Hoon’s words about his impulsive decision to wear a white dress to perform read:
“You know what was ironic is that I happened to look out and see someone from my hometown that I know out of all those people, and it was quite amazing; obviously, it was more amazing to me than it was to you.”
“Well, that’s what motivated me to do that. I mean, no one wants to come here and learn that someone you know is losing their life over something like this, you know, I mean, that’s not what this is all about; no one wants to see that in any form that’s gathered, you know I did, and I mean yeah you feel I mean regardless of whether you know these people are not your attending the same get together as they are and when you know in deaths in when death enters the picture it tends to make things a little difficult.”
When the craziness of the Woodstock festival was over, a little more than a year later, after the band had released their second album ‘Soup’ and was on tour to support the album that didn’t do as well as their debut, Shannon, who had been struggling with drugs, apparent from his ’94 performance, he was found dead on the band’s tour bus from a heart attack caused by a cocaine overdose.
Although the singer was advised by his drug counselor not to go on the tour, the frontman was determined to see the run-through. They even hired a counselor to assist him on the road, but it wasn’t enough for Hoon to control his urges, and it, unfortunately, became the end of him. Rest easy, Shannon Hoon.