Opening the Blind Melon Vault

Hard to believe that this October marks 20 years since Shannon Hoon, singer for the 90s band Blind Melon, was found dead of an overdose on a bus in New Orleans at the age of 28.

Longtime friend of the band and rock photographer Danny Clinch has decided now is the time to dig deep into the untapped well left behind by Hoon: more than 200 hours of home movies documenting not only Hoon’s life and creative process but struggles with addiction.

Last week, Clinch and associate Shawna Kaszer launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $100,000 to edit, produce and otherwise fund the documentary. In the short video posted on the campaign’s website, Clinch explains that the total fees will be much more, but “because we can’t risk losing everyone’s generous contributions by not reaching our goal, we are starting with a goal of $100k,” he explains. “This will help us clear our legal fees and wrap up editing, after which we will be in the home stretch to complete this film that we are all so passionate about.”

When the campaign reached its first $20,000, Clinch released a new clip from Hoon’s video archive, showing him singing a rough version of the song “St. Andrew’s Fall” in a candlelit studio in New Orleans where the band was working on its next album. The song would later show up on both Soup and the posthumously released Nico, named for Hoon’s daughter, Nico Blue. She makes a cameo in the original fundraiser video, and it’s breathtaking.

If the two videos currently available are any indication of what Clinch has been given by Hoon’s family, hidden away in boxes and boxes of his old videos, the documentary will be well worth whatever Blind Melon fans are willing to contribute.

“The film Hoon made—the film that we get to complete with him—is incredibly powerful, creative and artistic, and we’re intent on honoring the vision he had for what he was making through this collaboration,” Clinch says. “After years of watching Hoon’s private footage and understanding his vision for his film, it’s time to close this chapter for the band, his family, his friends, and his fans, and bring the world this incredibly powerful and raw look at Shannon Hoon’s story.”

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