Exclusive: Photo Essay of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon by Danny Clinch
Years before established rock photographer Danny Clinch released a photo book, shot a music video, or made a movie, he was a hard-working photographer shooting for numerous magazines and record labels. In the early ‘90s he was fortunate enough to befriend and become a regular photographer of Blind Melon and its charismatic vocalist, Shannon Hoon.
But while he was shooting Hoon, the singer was shooting back. “Shannon was obsessively filming right before he joined Blind Melon up until the day he died,” Clinch told Yahoo Music. “He shot everything: going to the toilet, cutting his own hair, band rehearsals, recording, writing. He used the video to rough out some demos in hotel rooms. And he was very methodical.”
After Hoon died of a drug overdose Oct. 21, 1995, his parents gave Clinch all of the rock star’s hi-8 video tapes and the photographer planned to use them in a documentary about Hoon and the band, documenting the group’s development between 1990 and the present. Then, the band’s bassist Brad Smith suggested that instead of shooting a traditional documentary, Clinch should make a movie about Blind Melon through the eyes of its late singer.
“That footage is so personal,” Clinch said. “He filmed so much that either you hated it and he drove you crazy, or you forgot that he was filming and you just didn’t care anymore. He had a way of breaking everybody down.”
Currently, Clinch and his team of directors, Colleen Hennessy and Taryn Gould, are working on the yet-untitled film that recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. In addition to talking with Yahoo Music about the project, Clinch contributed an exclusive photo essay of rare and revealing behind-the-scenes shots of Hoon and the band that offer insight into the artist and how he lived his short, but incredible life.