Most of the Halloweens I lived through in the nineties involved getting dressed up and going to house parties–usually the semi-rowdy ones I threw at the divey South Van house I rented for over a decade near Main & 58th.
But 20 years ago last Thursday–on Sunday, October 31, 1993–I had a concert to go to at the Pacific Coliseum. Lenny Kravitz was in town, and he was riding high with his multiplatinum Are You Gonna Go My Way album. I was particularly fond of the title track, which boasted a killer riff and some wild drumming by Cindy Blackman, who would go on to marry Carlos Santana.
So I must have said “screw the parties” that night, because I went to the show and did a review, which appeared in the Nov. 5-12 issue of the Georgia Straight, under the headline “Gracious Kravitz Outshines Melon’s Mooning Hoon”.
Here’s an excerpt:
I had a feeling there was going to be some wildness going on at the Coliseum last Sunday night, it being Halloween and all. On the way there, I noticed that the moon was full. And my new car almost got beaned with the fiery spray from a Roman candle that some happy fellow was aiming directly across Renfrew Street.
When I finally got seated partway through opener Blind Melon’s set and took my first glance at the stage, I thought singer Shannon Hoon was getting into the spirit of things by wearing some sort of flesh-coloured outfit, with maybe a dark fig leaf or something covering up his naughty bits.
To my dismay–and probably that of the other 13,300 folks in attendance–the longhaired dude was stark naked, stumbling around to the catchy chords of “Tones of Home”. I figured maybe he’d tried mooning the crowd, lost his pants in the process, and was riding the song out till one of his pants roadies found him another pair, but no.
“I’m sorry, but I’m just having so much fun,” said Hoon, who proceeded to simulate sex with a guy dressed up in a bee costume. By the time the still-naked Hoon led the band into their big hit, “No Rain”, I was kind of tired of watching his pasty butt bounce around the stage, but I must admit that he caught my attention again when he started peeing all over the stage and then aimed his weenie at the poor folks in the front row.
Considering the duration of Hoon’s urination, it looked like a good pee, but a chorus of boos went up anyway. And the Vancouver police didn’t think it was a good pee, either, because they arrested Hoon after the show on an indecency charge.”
The rest of the review is all about how great Kravitz was, and how crazy the crowd went, but it’s not as memorable as the part about the pee.
Tragically, Hoon would die of a cocaine overdose in New Orleans a little less than two years later, at the age of 28, leaving behind his girlfriend, Lisa Crouse, and their infant daughter Nico Blue.