The Upful LIFE Podcast – Ep.074: ROGERS STEVENS [guitarist/co-founder BLIND MELON]




Welcome ROGERS STEVENS, guitarist/co-founder of Blind Melon – as well as Towne & Stevens – to Episode 074! A dream come true for your host, an unabashed lifelong Blind Melon fanatic. Rogers joins the pod from his cozy home studio just outside Philadelphia for a 90-min conversation about his career – past, present, and future.

A peek inside Rogers’ process making records with Nathan Towne, and Stevens finally finding his singing voice later in life. Working with Rene Lopez again, long after Extra Virgin and The Tender Trio. Growing up a rocker in rural Mississippi. Embarking on the storied sojourn from the Deep South to the Sunset Strip, arriving at the peak of glam-rock hair-band decadence. Rogers pulls up in a Cadillac, sittin’ in the back, opens the passenger door and invites us on a wacky, wild, reflective ride through the galaxies of yesteryear in the Blind Melon wayback machine. 

Buckle up fam, this ep is my love letter to anyone who ever treasured this beautiful band, and those of us who still grieve deep for the dearly-departed Shannon Hoon.

  • 3:15 – a word from our sponsor IAMAVL
  • 7:30 – The Upful Update
  • 10:15 – Introducing ROGERS STEVENS + B.Getz’s BLIND MELON rabbithole
  • 31:20 – conversation w/ Rogers [97 min]
  • 2:08:30 – Afterglow & Reflections, + Vibe Junkie JAM



In 1990, 23-year-old Shannon Hoon first met Rogers Stevens in Los Angeles after taking a bus from Lafayette, Indiana to SoCal. A year or so earlier, Stevens and bassist Brad Smith had relocated to L.A. from West Point, Mississippi, where they graduated high school and worked on the kill floor of a local slaughterhouse. Stevens connected with Shannon through a mutual friend in Hollywood; Hoon – hometown homies with W. Axl Rose and already making waves on the West Coast – swiftly reeled off a couple of tunes for Rogers. Immediately taken with Hoon’s voice and mesmerized by his presence, they decided – on the spot – to form a band together.

Blind Melon consisted of Stevens, Hoon, Smith, drummer Glen Graham, and guitarist Christopher Thorn.  A promising, multi-hued, idiosyncratic brotherhood that was sadly short-lived. Dreamy single “No Rain” blasted the band into superstardom pretty quickly, and their self-titled debut went triple platinum in the tailwind of the huge hit. In less than five years, the quintet released a strong pair of studio albums, while touring at a furious clip. They appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, SNL, MTV, Canada’s MuchMusic, and threw down a legendary set at Woodstock ’94. Headlined clubs and theaters, opened stadiums for The Rolling Stones, supported Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Lenny Kravitz, Neil Young, and numerous others. 

After the monster success of their debut CD, Blind Melon set about refining/redefining their unicorn sound, as evidenced on sensational sophomore record Soup. Critically-panned and a commercial disappointment at the time, over the course of nearly three decades Soup has proven a celebrated fan favorite. A gumbo of compositions and performances that transcend era and genre, Soup is a magnificent work of high art in the Crescent City voodoo tradition. When Hoon died suddenly from a drug overdose, on tour in New Orleans in October 1995, the band was evolving rather organically, though still finding their stride. A posthumous collection of B-sides and outtakes, the gripping Nico  (named for Shannon’s daughter Nico Blue Hoon – only a few months old when he tragically transitioned) was released in 1996, an emotional nod towards what could’ve – and should’ve – been. 

These days, Rogers Stevens is an attorney who lives in the Philly suburbs with his family. He’s currently workshopping songs with Nathan for the next Towne & Stevens record. I offer the deepest of bows & eternal thanks to Rogers Stevens for his time, energy, the music and memories. Rest easy, Shannon Hoon & Long Live Blind Melon!


Vibe Junkie JAM 

Blind Melon – “Time” (1995 > 1992 > Woodstock ’94)

sourced from the film Letters From a Porcupine



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