Starting in August of 1995, Blind Melon toured in support of their second album “Soup” which was released on August 15th. Shannon Hoon who had been battling drug addiction, allowed a drug counselor to accompany him on the road.
Blind Melon played 28 shows but the counselor was unable to keep Hoon from relapsing and was dismissed days before Hoon’s death. After a disappointing performance in Houston on October 20th, Hoon launched himself full-force into an all-night drug binge. The next day on October 21, Blind Melon was scheduled to play a show in New Orleans at Tipitina’s.
As the bus pulled into a New Orleans hotel the band checked into their rooms but Hoon opted to roam the city streets. He called his girlfriend and talked for forty-five minutes telling her how messed up he was. At around 10 a.m. he went for something to eat. Hoon had a smoothie at The Smoothie King (below) at the corner of St. Charles Street and Canal Street, where he proceeded to sit in a booth and talk to the psychic hot line for 45 minutes (according to an employee of the shop).
Hoon went back to the tour bus instead of checking into his hotel room, took off his clothes except for the pair of shorts, neatly folded them and laid down on the bunk of guitarist Christopher Thorn. At around 1:30PM, Blind Melon’s sound engineer, Lyle Eaves, went to the bus to wake up Hoon for a sound check but was unable to rouse him.
Eaves saw Shannon’s feet sticking out of the bunk so he tried to tickle his feet, but there was no response at all. He then tried to wake him up by calling out his name and shaking him but he knew something was wrong. He screamed for the bus driver to call an ambulance while the tour manager tried CPR on him.
When the ambulance arrived they announced that Shannon Hoon was dead at the age of 28 due to cocaine overdose. Some reports say he died while their tour bus was parked in a lot on St. Charles Ave. in the Central Business District but Lt. Defillo of the New Orleans Police Department told LAUNCH magazine that Shannon Hoon had been asleep on the bus with two sound engineers when the bus pulled up to the venue Tipitina’s in preparation for that night’s performance. This photo below claims to be the last photo of Hoon alive. It was taken the day before his death as he is ironically in front of the tour bus.
In a slight bit of irony, he also died a few blocks away from the studio where the group recorded “Soup“. The album was recorded at Daniel Lanois, “Kingsway Studios” on 590 Esplande Ave. at the corner of Esplande Ave. and Chartres Street in New Orleans.