Tones of Home
Blind Melon celebrates life and music at Mt. Airy
Life is all about twists and turns, adaptations and changes. The surviving members of Blind Melon know it all too well. “‘Change’” was the very first song Shannon ever played for me,” guitarist Christopher Thorn recalled. “I remember that day, walking into this little rehearsal spot. We were all super young and Shannon said, ‘here’s one of my songs,’ and my head spun around three times.” From an abrupt and tragic end, to a rebirth and reconnection with their legion of dedicated fans, Blind Melon is back and set to perform at Gypsies, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mount Pocono, on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is 21 and over.
Blind Melon originally formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California, when five transplants from other states crossed paths — singer Shannon Hoon (from Indiana), guitarist Christopher Thorn (from Pennsylvania), and guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and drummer Glen Graham (all from Mississippi). While at the height of their career and only two months after Blind Melon’s second release, Soup, Hoon died while on tour from a drug overdose at the age of 28. Responsible for some of the most memorable rock music of the ’90s, the group reformed in 2007 with singer Travis Warren, a diehard Blind Melon fan who “could sing Blind Melon songs in his sleep.” The band is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut self-titled album, a classic record containing such standouts as “Tones of Home,” “Change,” and “No Rain,” their smash hit radio single with accompanying MTV video featuring the “Bee Girl.” As the album scaled the charts, so did the gigs, opening for the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, as well as an appearance at Woodstock ’94.
The band is currently writing and recording new music for a 2013 release in addition to celebrating the 20th anniversary of its self-titled debut album. “It feels unbelievable,” Thorn said. “I was pulling out the original artwork for the first record. My wife shot these pictures, a hundred or so, and made collages, which served as the artwork for the record. I had a moment and sat back. I’m super flattered that anyone cares about our band after 20 years. I feel super lucky, super privileged. I had a moment of gratitude and I’m really happy that people care.”
Thorn not only talked about how the band has evolved and grown throughout the years, but also how they have managed to maintain Blind Melon’s unique chemistry. “A lot has changed; you evolve whether you like it or not,” Thorn said. “You become a different songwriter and your well is being filled in different ways. Life swaps and switches things around on you. I do not know what it is, but when the four of us are in a room together, that chemistry that we had 20 years ago comes back immediately. It’s pretty wild. I don’t play with anybody the same way that I play with Blind Melon and I can’t even put my finger on it. There is an unspoken thing that happens between us; a magical thing.”
Fans should not only expect a Blind Melon show honoring Hoon’s legacy, but also there will also be treats for the dedicated fans looking to hear some fun deep cuts. “The live show is the most important thing to us,” Thorn said. “We like to play the songs everybody loves. It’s important to us, but it’s also not just about the singles. It’s nice to see that people like these little weirdo songs that were tucked away in the record, so that’s been really fun for us.”
After 20 years of music, Thorn said it isn’t about record sales; it’s about connecting with people through music. “I know how important my favorite songs are to me; they are a part of my life. For somebody to even hint that songs I’ve written with my friends are part of their lives is the ultimate feeling of success. People still want to hear these songs and they still have meaning.”
— tom graham
Experience Blind Melon live at Gypsies, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mount Pocono on Saturday, Feb. 16. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $55. This event is 21 and over. To purchase tickets online, visit www.mountairycasino.com.