Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Night Videos: Tones of Home

In 1993 a little girl dressed up in a bumble-bee outfit hit the airwaves on MTV, and Blind Melon was introduced to the music loving world through their Billboard hit No Rain.

While that song gave Blind Melon notoriety, many found there was much more to Blind Melon than one overplayed MTV video. From their eponymous first release, Tones of Home is one of the twelve other songs on that album that prove Blind Melon to have been one of the premier rock and roll bands to come out of the "grunge" era.

In Tones of Home, frontman Shannon Hoon tells the tale of a young singer entering the world of glitz and glamor in Southern California. Feeling rather misunderstood by everyone around him, Hoon sings about how if he were to walk away nobody would miss him, and he'd be fine.

Hoon goes on to describe how he always thought Hollywood and the L. A. music scene would be "The land of milk and honey" but instead he has "Come to find out that it's all hate and money."

He discusses the gossip and corruption elements of his new home, and how everyone seems to so patronizing, asking him, "Yo, Hey Boy! Have you found what you're looking for?"

His response is one that displays exactly how grounded a person he was at the time, as he replies, "It seems they don't really know me, because it's here, and it's what they can't see."

Sadly, Shannon Hoon didn't stay grounded for long. He battled drug addiction for much of his short career, eventually causing the band to stop touring for its second album Soup in an effort to help him find sobriety.

He did indeed stop his abuse for a time, and in the process the band wrote many songs that were planned for a third album. Additionally, Blind Melon performed a version of Three Is a Magic Number of Schoolhouse Rock fame as part of a promotional CD, as well as a version of Led Zeppelin's Out on the Tiles for the tribute album Encomium.

Shannon Hoon succumbed to his battle with addiction on October 21, 1995, as he was found dead of a heart attack due to an overdose of cocaine. Blind Melon's third album was posthumously released and named after Hoon's only child Nico, a daughter who was just thirteen weeks old when the singer died. All the proceeds from Nico were donated by the band to a program that helps musicians with drug and alcohol addiction.

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