VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn & Roger Stevens On Shannon Hoon Documentary ‘All I Can Say,’ Part 1
Blind Melon was one of the most prominent alternative rock bands of the 1990s.
Now, two of their members are involved in a new documentary called All I Can Say, which chronicles the rise of their late lead singer Shannon Hoon, who died of a cocaine overdose at age 28 in 1995.
Christopher Thorn and Roger Stevens revealed to uInterview exclusively at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival how they first met Hoon, the making of the film and more.
“I met Shannon in Hollywood, I think in 1989,” said Stevens. “I’d been out there. Brad [Smith], who’s the bass player, and I we moved out there together and Brad had met Christopher and we were kind of looking for somebody to sing.”
“[Shannon] had moved to Hollywood probably after we’d been there [for] about a year. I’d heard about him before I met him.”
Thorn went on to describe his late bandmate as “charismatic and talented” and revealed Hoon knew Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose through his sister.
“We knew it instantly. The second he sat there and sang in the room with you, you knew he was brilliant,” Thorn added of Hoon.
Stevens added he also has a vivid memory of the day he met Hoon and first heard him sing.
“At one point, after [Christopher and Brad] met Shannon, Brad called me and said, ‘hey, we met this guy, you gotta come meet him,'” Stevens recalled. “I remember he said [Hoon] sounded like Janice Joplin and John Mellencamp, which I thought was an odd thing to say at the time.”
Like Hoon did for Thorn, Stevens revealed their band’s frontman also played “Change” — one of their first songs — for him and that it completely blew him away.
Stevens then explained that Blind Melon received a record deal from Capital Records after releasing just a four-song demo and then moved to North Carolina, at which point their name recognition as a brand truly began to grow. Stevens added that the moment the band signed the deal, which they considered a “milestone” in their musical careers, is portrayed in All I Can Say.
Full interview transcript:
Q:How did you first meet Shannon?
A: Thorn: I met Shannon in Hollywood I think in 1989, I’ve been out there Brad and I, who’s the bass player, we moved out there together and Brad had met Christopher and we we’re you know kind of looking for somebody to sing and he had moved to Hollywood probably after we’ve been there about a year, and you know we heard about him or I had heard about him before I met him and and he’d only been there for like a week. He had so much charisma that he was just you know a really good-looking charismatic and talented dude, probably the most charismatic talented dude in any room he was in. And he knew Axl Rose because his sister had gone to school with Axl’s older sister, and so he moved out there and was kind of staying with him being taken care of you know, it was making sure that he was gonna be okay, but he was notorious already and we met him and he came into our little rehearsal garage that we had built out and he sat on the floor with a guitar and sang “Change,” which is a song on our first record, and I was like that guy that guy’s amazing I mean he was, we knew it instantly I mean the second he sat there and sang in the room with you, you knew he was really I mean you know he just had a really unusual voice and it really came off in the room like that and I’ll follow this guy anywhere.
Stevens: You know back to that story, I came along it’s funny I have a similar story only just probably a few weeks later at one point after those guys met Shannon, Brad called me and said, ‘Hey Rogers is back out we met this guy he got to come meet him,’ I remember he said he sounded yeah he was like a Janis Joplin and John Mellencamp, which I thought was an odd thing to say at the time, but same thing I came over and I remember Shannon playing “Change” for me and “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction and I just remember thinking the same thing like wow this guy’s a superstar you know. And we immediately formed the band you know once I was the last person like in the moment, yeah like right there it was just like okay now we’re a band, and we had a different drummer at one point named Howie Bhushan and I don’t know how long that lasted, but we had we had begun to start you know we were writing songs but a few songs and it wasn’t quite right so then Glenn came out and these guys called Glenn who they knew from their hometown, he came out and that’s really when we became who we you know.
Well actually you know what happened is we got a record deal from just a four song demo and then at that point we moved to North Carolina and honestly that’s when I feel like we became a band when we were signed, we were barely a band I would say there was a couple songs, but we hadn’t developed into you know people that were planning to spend the money that they gave us in ways that and we started to do that so we had to get out of town yeah, we went to North Carolina but I mean it was incredible you know. For me was like I left Pennsylvania because I wanted to get a record deal that was as big as the dream was for me you know, what I mean and so to get a record deal was I that moment which is in the movie, is such a great moment you know on top of the Capitol Records building or signing and it just it was amazing, it felt great I mean that’s really when the work begins you know, but at the moment it felt like a milestone for us getting a record deal.