R O G E R S
S T E V E N S
GUITARIST AND FOUNDING MEMBER
ALTERNATIVE ROCK BAND
B L I N D M E L O N
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW“No Rain,” became one of the most indelible music videos of the 90’s—or any era for that matter—Blind Melon’s return is no exercise in nostalgia. Blind Melon began in L.A., founded in 1990 by a group of southern transplants. Rogers Stevens, Brad Smith, and Glen Graham (on guitar, bass, and drums, respectively) all headed west from Mississippi, while Christopher Thorn (guitar) hailed from Pennsylvania. The group’s original and iconic vocalist, Shannon Hoon, arrived shortly thereafter from Lafayette, Indiana. The band gained some early buzz after Hoon sang on the Guns n Roses single “Don’t Cry,” and the group’s early demos landed into the hands of Capitol Records A&R, which resulted in a recording contract soon after.
Nearly overnight, the band went from honing their distinctive blend of stripped-down psychedelia in a sleepy old house (immortalized on the song “Sleepyhouse”) to topping Billboard charts and shredding through a set at Woodstock 94. But all too soon the clouds began to gather. Critics panned their 1995 follow-up, Soup. (Time has been kind to that album, however, as classic songs like “Mouthful of Cavities” have since found large, appreciative audiences.) Then, during a tour stop in New Orleans—just a few weeks after the album’s release—Shannon Hoon died from a cocaine overdose. Unable to find a suitable replacement for Hoon, the band officially disbanded in 1999.
Blind Melon’s revival began in Austin, Texas, when Smith and Thorn produced a record by singer/songwriter Travis Warren in 2006. Few singers possess the range of someone like Hoon, and fewer still the raspy edge. Warren had it. And moreover, Warren had his own musical ideas, which served to push the band into new territory.
Then came a period of unprecedented creativity. Up late one night in late 2016, guitarist Rogers Stevens sent a sketch of a song to Warren. When he woke up the next morning, Warren had sent the track back with his vocals on it. Something clicked. That late-night correspondence ushered in a period of prolific songwriting, which continued into 2018. Based on the series of demos followed, a new album was afoot.
Longtime Blind Melon fans will find much to appreciate here, given that the each retain the essential elements of the band’s distinctive sound—Graham’s remarkable, rolling drumming still anchors the band, and the band’s two guitarists, Stevens and Thorn, have long been able to finish each other’s sentences musically that’s a result of the fact that there were probably many albums the band didn’t get to make. Whatever the case, with all those unrealized ideas built up over the years, the resulting pressure burst the dam and the songs now flow freely.
In sum, Blind Melon is back!
For more information
With Blind Melon
Blind Melon, 1992
Classic Masters (Blind Melon), 2002
Live At the Palace, 2006
For My Friends, 2008
Sippin' Time Sessions (Unreleased EP), 1991
With Extra Virgin
Twelve Stories High, 2000
First Cold Pressing (Demo), 1999
Rock City (Unreleased Demo), 2002
With The Tender Trio
Hamburger Demos (Demo), 2004
APPEARS WEEK OF
RAY’S BEST-SELLING BOOK
CHRONICLES, TRUTHS, CONFESSIONS AND WISDOM FROM THE MUSIC LEGENDS THAT SET US FREE
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Featuring over 45 intimate conversations with some of
the greatest rock legends the world will ever know.
CHRIS SQUIRE... DR. JOHN... GREG LAKE... HENRY MCCULLOUGH... JACK BRUCE … JOE LALA… JOHNNY WINTER... KEITH EMERSON... PAUL KANTNER... RAY THOMAS... RONNIE MONTROSE... TONY JOE WHITE... DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS… MIKE LOVE... TOMMY ROE... BARRY HAY... CHRIS THOMPSON... JESSE COLIN YOUNG... JOHN KAY... JULIAN LENNON... MARK LINDSAY... MICKY DOLENZ… PETER RIVERA ...TOMMY JAMES… TODD RUNDGREN... DAVE MASON... EDGAR WINTER... FRANK MARINO... GREGG ROLIE... IAN ANDERSON... JIM “DANDY” MANGRUM... JON ANDERSON... LOU GRAMM... MICK BOX... RANDY BACHMAN… ROBIN TROWER... ROGER FISHER... STEVE HACKETT... ANNIE HASLAM… ‘MELANIE’ SAFKA... PETULA CLARK... SUZI QUATRO... COLIN BLUNSTONE… DAVE DAVIES... JIM McCARTY... PETE BEST
THE ROCK STAR CHRONICLES
-By Literary Titan (5) STARS
The Rock Star Chronicles, by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show.
The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan.
Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives.
The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music. The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.
I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.