Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fayette Factor: Melonheads Gather

With Grunge copycat suicides having been of recent concern, we may wish to throw out some lifelines from October 21st through 27th, as Melonheads gather.

Shannon Hoon - 1995
Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer of the band Blind Melon until his death from a cocaine overdose in 1995.

The singer of the band Blind Melon, grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, was a three-sports athlete in high school, joined a band, and then left for Los Angeles where he eventually formed Blind Melon.

His Fayette Factor continued when after music success, another Lafayette native, Axl Rose of Guns 'n Roses, asked Hoon to join him on an album being recorded in 1991-1992.

Hoon died from a heart attack brought on by cocaine use on October 21, 1995. He was found dead in New Orleans in the band’s tour bus.

Every year on the Saturday closest to Hoon’s birthday, fans called Melonheads make the trek to his grave for a weekend of commemoration.

Hoon's grave is near Lafayette, Indiana.

A coincidence of date and situation?

Exactly 20 years to the same week, another rock music star allegedly died by cocaine overdose, also being found on his band's tour bus.

The famed photo of Stone Temple Pilot's Scott Weiland by SGranitz mirrors Chris Cornell's and Chester Bennington's often-displayed "Jesus Christ Pose."

Scott Weiland - 2015
Scott Richard Weiland (born Scott Richard Kline; October 27, 1967 – December 3, 2015) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. During a career spanning three decades, Weiland was best known as the lead singer of the band Stone Temple Pilots from 1989 to 2002 and 2008 to 2013. He was also a member of supergroup Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008 and recorded one album with another supergroup Art of Anarchy.
As the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland fronted it from 1986 to 2002 and again from 2008 to 2013. In addition to his most recent band, the Wildabouts, Weiland was part of the group Velvet Revolverfrom 2003 to 2008.

Weiland, 48, was found dead on his tour bus on December 3, 2015, in Bloomington, Minnesota, before he and his band The Wildabouts were scheduled to go on stage. He was 48. Police searched Weiland's tour bus and confirmed there were small amounts of cocaine in the bedroom where Weiland was discovered dead. Police also found prescription drugs including Xanax, Buprenorphine, Ziprasidone, Viagra, and sleeping pills on the tour bus. Additionally, two bags of cocaine were found and a bag of a green leafy substance. Tommy Black, bassist for The Wildabouts, was arrested by police on suspicion of possession of cocaine, although the charges against him were later dropped. Despite the discovery of drugs, no underlying cause of death was immediately given, although the medical examiner later determined it to be an accidental overdose of cocaine, alcohol, and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA); the examiner's office also noted his atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, history of asthma, and prolonged substance abuse in its report.

News of Weiland's death quickly spread throughout the internet with many of his fellow musical peers, including his former band members along with fans and music critics throughout the world sharing their condolences, tributes and memories. A day following his death, his former bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots issued a statement saying that he was "gifted beyond words" but acknowledged his struggle with substance abuse, calling it "part of [his] curse". Weiland's ex-wife Mary Forsberg, released an open letter about her ex-husband, his addictions and not being a good father to their children. Forsberg said, "I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up. Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it."

In the wake of Weiland's death, Chris Cornell dedicated a December 4, 2015 performance of "Say Hello 2 Heaven" (which Cornell had written for his late friend Andrew Wood) by Temple of the Dog to Weiland.

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