20 years ago: Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon pees on stage in Vancouver

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      Most of the Halloweens I lived through in the nineties involved getting dressed up and going to house parties–usually the semi-rowdy ones I threw at the divey South Van house I rented for over a decade near Main and 58th.

      But 20 years ago last Thursday—on Sunday, October 31, 1993—I had a concert to go to at the Pacific Coliseum. Lenny Kravitz was in town, and he was riding high with his multiplatinum Are You Gonna Go My Way album. I was particularly fond of the title track, which boasted a killer riff and some wild drumming by Cindy Blackman, who would go on to marry Carlos Santana.

      So I must have said “screw the parties” that night, because I went to the show and did a review, which appeared in the Nov. 5-12 issue of the Georgia Straight, under the headline “Gracious Kravitz Outshines Melon’s Mooning Hoon”.

      Here’s an excerpt:

      I had a feeling there was going to be some wildness going on at the Coliseum last Sunday night, it being Halloween and all. On the way there, I noticed that the moon was full. And my new car almost got beaned with the fiery spray from a Roman candle that some happy fellow was aiming directly across Renfrew Street.

      When I finally got seated partway through opener Blind Melon’s set and took my first glance at the stage, I thought singer Shannon Hoon was getting into the spirit of things by wearing some sort of flesh-coloured outfit, with maybe a dark fig leaf or something covering up his naughty bits.

      To my dismay—and probably that of the other 13,300 folks in attendance—the longhaired dude was stark naked, stumbling around to the catchy chords of “Tones of Home”. I figured maybe he’d tried mooning the crowd, lost his pants in the process, and was riding the song out till one of his pants roadies found him another pair, but no.

      “I’m sorry, but I’m just having so much fun,” said Hoon, who proceeded to simulate sex with a guy dressed up in a bee costume. By the time the still-naked Hoon led the band into their big hit, “No Rain”, I was kind of tired of watching his pasty butt bounce around the stage, but I must admit that he caught my attention again when he started peeing all over the stage and then aimed his weenie at the poor folks in the front row.

      Considering the duration of Hoon’s urination, it looked like a good pee, but a chorus of boos went up anyway. And the Vancouver police didn’t think it was a good pee, either, because they arrested Hoon after the show on an indecency charge.”

      The rest of the review is all about how great Kravitz was, and how crazy the crowd went for him, but it’s not as memorable as the part about the pee.

      Tragically, Hoon would die of a cocaine overdose in New Orleans a little less than two years later, at the age of 28, leaving behind his girlfriend, Lisa Crouse, and their infant daughter Nico Blue.




      Nov 7, 2013 at 11:48am

      Any chance that you could force your colleague Mike Usinger to read this?

      Usinger continues his bizarre, personal attacks on Bieber's poor behaviour in various places, and described him yesterday as a "goddamn pussy" and a "loathsome shitheel". Usinger seems particularly offended by peeing.

      My guess is that he won't really be happy until Bieber is found dead of a drug overdose, like Shannon Hoon. He will probably be proud of the role that "critics" played in the demise of a rich kid/star who is so obviously spiralling down.

      I wonder if Shannon Hoon would have survived if observers had helped or guided him? Peeing in inappropriate places should have been a warning sign - not an invitation to craft elegant insults.

      Mike Usinger

      Nov 7, 2013 at 12:37pm

      I can't read.

      Steve Newton

      Nov 7, 2013 at 12:38pm

      sorry DavidH, I've sworn an oath never to comment on the antics of Justin Bieber. All I know is, 20-year-old piss is way more newsworthy than any recent urinations


      Nov 7, 2013 at 2:20pm

      @ Mike Usinger: It's a shame that you can't read. But the more important question is, why can't you think?

      Let's get real. You're a smart ass who "thinks" it's fun and clever to take artistic criticism over the edge into cringe-worthy personal insults.

      You do it because lots of "cool readers" of the Straight don't like Bieber's music. You do it because that same audience feeds your ego. You do it because you think bullying and name-calling is just fine if the object is a popular, rich kid (yay!) instead of an unknown teenager on Facebook (boo!) - even if the end-result is the same.

      I have no use for his music. I don't like his behaviour. But when I see a kid so clearly headed for disaster, I don't join the chorus of ignorants who get their jollies from pushing him faster toward the cliff.

      You're not a "critic", Mr. Usinger. You're just another online bully.

      Steve Newton

      Nov 7, 2013 at 3:13pm

      Kids, kids--take your fight outside. This is a serious blog about a guy pissing 20 years ago.


      Nov 7, 2013 at 4:19pm

      @ Steve Newton: You're right. There's a big difference between a naked rocker pissing in front of an audience, and a spoiled kid-star pissing into a mop bucket. The fact that one ended up dead from an overdose, and the other is just headed that way, isn't relevant. My apologies. What was I thinking.


      Nov 7, 2013 at 4:28pm

      I remember this review. But 20 years ago now? Fuck I feel old.

      Steve Newton

      Nov 7, 2013 at 4:29pm

      apology accepted, @DavidH, now scram


      Nov 8, 2013 at 2:23pm

      @Steve Newton: You're welcome (yuk, yuk).

      I'll scram when Usinger is identified as the internet bully he is - or The Straight admits that it really doesn't mind internet bullying - or the critics of the world accept "loathsome shitheel" and "goddamn pussy" as rational, intelligent comments.

      If you need a hand dealing with this obvious problem, just let me know.