Published Mar 03, 2010It's been almost 15 years since Blind Melon front-man Shannon Hoon died of a drug overdose, but his former band-mates still haven't been able to let the past go. In 2006, they reformed with replacement lead singer Travis Warren, who left the band after recording the 2008 album For My Friends. Now, the surviving members of Blind Melon are looking to revisit the past once more, this time with a documentary honouring Hoon.
The still-untitled film is being directed by Colleen Hennessy and will be released in time for October 21, which will mark the 15th anniversary of Hoon's death. The film draws its material from numerous sources, but the bulk of the footage comes from self-shot videos by Hoon.
Guitarist Chistopher Thorn told Rolling Stone, "He filmed everything. Some of the most powerful footage is when Shannon sits on the corner of his bed in a hotel room, looks right into the camera, and sings the most beautiful, heart-wrenching song. Some you've heard before, some you've never heard this version before. It might be 'Mouthful of Cavities' or 'St. Andrew's Fall' with completely different lyrics, or it could be a song we've never heard before. It's the most intimate, incredible footage - as if he knew, 'I'm not going to be around, man, so here's my gift to you when I'm gone.'"
If you feel a little uncomfortable viewing Hoon's private home movies, Thorn assures audiences, "Shannon took this footage for a reason - he wanted people to see this footage." Were he alive today, he probably would have been an obsessive webcammer and posted endless clips to YouTube.
If this is true, then the project perhaps won't be quite as invasive as the time Kurt Cobain's estate released his Journals. In fact, Thorn himself compared the documentary to Journals, saying, "It's one thing to read somebody's writing, but when somebody looks into the camera, and you see the fear, the sadness, or the happiness. I would say it's even more intimate. How amazing would it be to have Kurt sitting on the edge of his bed in a hotel room, singing these songs to you? This is like Shannon's journal times a thousand. People are going to be absolutely blown away."
The most dubious piece of footage the band are considering using for the film is taken from Hoon's last-ever conversation with his girlfriend, taken from the day of his death. There are also plenty of less controversial clips, including videos taken from the band's tours with Neil Young and the Rolling Stones, as well as recording sessions.
In the meantime, the surviving members of Blind Melon are once again looking for a new singer. If you're looking to take your karaoke skills to the next level, submit a YouTube video or MP3 of yourself singing a Blind Melon song to firstname.lastname@example.org.