Whereas most up-and-coming alternative bands of the early '90s borrowed from the leaders of the pack (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, etc.), Blind Melon were an exception to the rule -- their roots lay in classic rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin). And while a promising career lay ahead of them, tragedy would ultimately end the band abruptly. The group came together in 1989 in Los Angeles, although all their respective members had migrated there from other U.S. locales (singer Shannon Hoon from Indiana; guitarist Christopher Thorn from Pennsylvania; and guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and drummer Glenn Graham all hailed from Mississippi). The complete opposite of all the glossed-up glam metal that was permeating the Sunset Strip at the time, the quintet used a refreshing back-to-basics approach, both musically and visually (giving off a heavy retro vibe early on). The band considered several names -- Brown Cow, Mud Bird, Naked Pilgrims, and Head Train -- before agreeing on Blind Melon, a phrase that Smith's father would use to describe a couple of hippie neighbors from back home in Mississippi.