Today is the 15th anniversary of what I'd say is the darkest day in the history of Arizona music. On December 5, 1993 Doug Hopkins, former guitarist of Gin Blossoms took his life. I'm not really the person to talk about this myself, having been 13 and living in Ohio at the time, but I wanted to share some links for further reading on Hopkins, arguably the greatest songwriter Arizona has ever produced, and the man who penned the Blossoms' biggest hits. So click more for further reading, and say a prayer for his friends and family.
This amazing article from Detroit's Metro Times, "Jesus of Suburbia," tells Doug's story well and also does a pretty good job of what it's like to live through a close friend's suicide.
This column from Phoenix New Times' music editor at the time is full of quotes from local musicians.
"I have maintained from Day 1 that not a musician in this town would have a job if not for Doug Hopkins," Karen Lander, publicist for the Tempe/Arizona Musician's Coalition told the Arizona Republic at the time.
This tribute page to Doug has a lot of good links and reprints of articles no longer available online.Oh, and tomorrow, well you can see the Gin Blossoms at the Mesa Arts Center. There's still some bad blood between the band and Hopkins' supporters (this video vilifies the band, for example) but I hope they say something about it. I don't think anyone would argue the Blossoms would be where they are without him -- he did write "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You."
Doug was cremated, by the way, but if you're looking for somewhere to leave flowers, I'd suggest the Ash Avenue Bridge, where his ashes were scattered.
Rest in peace, Doug. Thank you for your songs. --Martin Cizmar