As long as there has been rock and roll, there have been rock and roll deaths, the ones that come too early and too often as a result of excess. On this day in 1995, the rock world lost Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon, who died of a cocaine overdose on a tour bus in New Orleans. Hoon's death was especially tragic because his daughter Nico had been born only three months prior to his passing.
Blind Melon's success was sort of an apt metaphor for the loose nature of rock stardom in the alt-rock era. Part psychedelic jam band, part bluesy arena rockers, Blind Melon found themselves thrust into the spotlight when "No Rain" took over the radio airwaves in 1993. The accompanying video, which told the story of a tap dancing outcast known as "Bee Girl," also found itself in major rotation on MTV. But the band couldn't sustain their momentum (subsequent singles from the band's self-titled debut failed to gain traction) and their second album, Soup, was an experimental sprawl of an album that didn't find a home anywhere either.
The band was touring for Soup when they lost Hoon. They disbanded immediately, though got back together with an new singer in 2006. A year after Hoon's death, the band released Nico, a collection of outtakes named after Hoon's daughter. It contained the last song the singer ever recorded, a tune called "Letters From a Porcupine" that was captured on an answering machine (it's cut off by a beep before Hoon could finish, which is sort of haunting). Though the group (and Hoon) will always be remembered for "No Rain," the video for "Galaxie" (the first single from Soup) is a delightfully trippy excursion that remains underrated to this day.