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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From the Dorks’ Soundtrack (This Far Down South I Have No Self Control –Blind Melon)

Music from Episode # 61

Song –Lemonade

Performed by –Blind Melon

Off The Album –Soup

I believe I must have been in middle school when I discovered this wonderful band. I was a hip kid with sweet sock hats and humongous pants (which, I was made fun of for until I hit high school and realized too big of pants suck only to find the very people who poked fun wearing stupidly huge pants… and looking like idiots.) Of course, I watched MTV to add to my coolness. Back then it was The Maxx, Daria, Beavis and Butthead, 120 minutes, Kennedy (yeah that chick we all had crushes on) and videos called “Buzz Cuts.” Lucky for me, one of these “Buzz Cuts” was No Rain off of Blind Melon’s self title album. You who know what I’m talking about remember the dancing bee girl. Besides her, I heard a really great sound that I had never heard before. Amongst all the grunge and boy bands was a band that rocked, with obvious roots to good old rock and roll as well as folk and plenty of other styles of music. That’s when I began to believe in love at first sight. Now Shannon was pretty hot but I am speaking about the love for Blind Melon’s Sound.
Blind Melon is one of them bands that take’s me strolling down Memory Lane, to many different periods in my life. One of the best is one summer’s soundtrack that consisted of the album Nico. (Over and over and over and over and over again) The point is that most nostalgia bands take you to one specific time where Blind Melon has me all over the place. Some good and others bad, but all are worthwhile nonetheless. What is it about this band that keeps me coming back? Maybe it’s the fact there are two great guitar players that rarely play any chords. Maybe it’s Hoon’s bittersweet writing. Maybe it just that Blind Melon had something special. You know when the planets align and people get together and produce something that had to be put out there but these guys, specifically, had to do it. Nobody else could. Fate? You tell me. Not to mention that here was a band that could rock and I mean rock in their very own way and then bust out acoustics, banjos, mandolins, and kazoos. Blind Melon’s growth can plainly be heard from album to album, which is the sign of a good band… you heard?
Unfortunately, Blind Melon suffered the tragic loss of Richard Shannon Hoon on October 21, 1995 at the age of 28. Blind Melon was touring to support their release of Soup. Hoon, just out of rehab was pressured by his label (that’s the story I heard. I wasn’t there so how could I possibly know if it’s true or not. I choose to believe it… more fuel for the hate game.) to tour despite the thoughts of his drug councilor. Obviously, the road and rehabbing don’t tend to mix well. A month into the tour Hoon was found dead in the bus near Bourbon Street. On a side note, the word on the street is that that very bus was Wilco’s first tour bus. Sad state of affairs but the real tragedy is that he left behind a daughter and his lady. This Begs to raise the question, are drugs helpful in a person’s creativity and is it worth the price? Drugs may tear down apprehension that would hold you back from writing what you really are thinking but those thoughts are already in you. Maybe the secret to life is to conquer that fear of judgment naturally, sober, and with out hesitation. Not to say it is an easy task; due to the body count of very talented folks, it seems an overdose is easier.
During, their time I feel Blind Melon left a forever-lasting stamp on rock and roll. I know I will return to them from time to time for the rest of my life. Just as I will to all the wonderful memories of being a dumbass kid, a dumbass teenager, a dumbass twenty something, a dumbass adult, a dumbass middle-ager, and a dumbass geriatric. So if you like bands that consist of great people who are amazing at what they do, under great writing you should be a Blind Melon fan. The remaining members did pick up a new singer for a bit but I’m not sure if they are still rocking it. They came through St. Louis last year but I felt to see Blind Melon without Hoon would be a sacrilegious slap in the face. The Youtube I watched sounded good, though. The band still had the power of rock. If nothing else you should take away on sweet little line, "When life is hard you have to change."
"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"
* For further reading here is a link to an article that Robert Hunter (Dead fans should be excited now) did with Blind melon at his home for Creem Magazine. Enjoy!
Current members
Christopher Thorn – guitar, steel guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Rogers Stevens – guitar, piano
Brad Smith – bass, flute, backing vocals
Glen Graham – drum kit, percussion

Former members
Shannon Hoon – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica (1991–1995, deceased)
Travis Warren – vocals, acoustic guitar (2006-2008)
Studio albums
Blind Melon (September 22, 1992) [4X Platinum] 4X Platinum in Canada
Soup (August 15, 1995) Gold in Canada
Nico (November 12, 1996)
For My Friends (April 22, 2008)
Compilation albums
Classic Masters: Blind Melon (January 29, 2002)
The Best of Blind Melon (September 27, 2005)

Live albums
Live at the Palace (April 4, 2006)

And a pretty cool DVD called "Letters From A Porcupine"

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