Tag Archives: Here and Now

Playback: Gin Blossoms founder Doug Hopkins and The Tempe Sound

26 Jan

hopkins story

Last November, an exhibition called “The Tempe Sound” opened at Tempe History Museum. The show (which runs through October 2015) features an array of items related to the Tempe and metro Phoenix music scenes of the late ’80s and early ’90s. There are early concert posters for The Meat Puppets, the sound board from defunct venue Long Wong’s, stage outfits from the Phunk Junkeez and St. Madness, a skateboard deck from JFA, and a plethora of paraphernalia from other Arizona artists including The Refreshments, The Pistoleros and Flathead.

But for many, the main draw of the exhibition is a display of items related to the late Doug Hopkins, founder and guitarist of the Gin Blossoms. Hopkins penned the Blossoms’ best-known hits, including “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You,” but his struggles with personal demons led to his dismissal from the band and suicide in 1993. For the November 2014 issue of PHOENIX magazine, I wrote a story about Hopkins’ life and music, named after the title of my favorite Gin Blossoms song, “Lost Horizons.” For this story, I had the honor of speaking with many of Hopkins’ friends and former band mates, including author Laurie Notaro, Arizona bluesman Hans Olson, and Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson. I was impressed by the talent and personality and intelligence of Hopkins as it was relayed to me, and perplexed at his ultimately tragic (and some say inevitable) end.

After the story was published, I had the opportunity to speak with “Here and Now” host Steve Goldstein about Hopkins on 91.5 KJZZ FM. Here is a link to the segment on Hopkins.


Playback: “Country Roads,” the History of Arizona Country Music

19 Jan

I decided to open a blog category called “Playback” to share some of the music writing and media I’ve done in the past. This entry is dedicated to a feature I wrote for PHOENIX magazine‘s July 2014 issue. The story was titled Arizona Country Roads, and it recounted the countless musicians who helped shape the country music soundscape in Arizona, from Duane Eddy and Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter to Marty Robbins and Tanya Tucker. The Herndon Brothers and Handlebar-J help continue the legacy; see my behind-the-scenes interview with them at this fine establishment below:

In addition to the web extra video for PHOENIX magazine, I was given the opportunity to discuss the story on the 91.5 KJZZ program Here and Now. The full audio segment is here.