• A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other

  • The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon
  • By: Greg Prato
  • Narrated by: Greg Prato
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other  By  cover art

A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other

By: Greg Prato
Narrated by: Greg Prato
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Publisher's Summary

One of the most tragic stories of the 1990s rock world was that of singer Shannon Hoon and his band, Blind Melon. Despite scoring one of the decade’s most enduring singles and videos, “No Rain”, and a quadruple-platinum hit with their 1992 self-titled debut album (in addition to touring alongside rock’s biggest names), Hoon could not overcome a dangerous drug addiction. 

Only two records into a promising career, Hoon was dead from an overdose at the age of 28. A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other is the first book to tell the group’s story - culled from more than 50 exclusive interviews (including the surviving band members and those closest to the band). 

“I am honored that Greg has painstakingly accounted for what the hell happened during those crazy times. He has summed up all the chaos, jubilation, and paranoia that is Blind Melon.” (Brad Smith, Blind Melon bassist)

©2008 Greg Prato (P)2020 Greg Prato

What listeners say about A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Good but beware

This was an enjoyable listen, however I wish it had more story to it. It reads just as a collection of quotes from interviews that are lumped together by topic and timeframe to which they are referring to. While it gives great light to the events during the short career of Hoon and the band it seemingly lacks depth beyond first hand accounts a good amount of which are 12-15 years after the fact.

1 person found this helpful

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New Fan

I loved late 90's music. No rain was one song that didn't resonate with me and I never gave Blind Melon a second look. I was so wrong. I listened listened to the music when songs were described in the book to reveal how deeply talented this band was. Live concert footage was great. The book performance was pretty good. I think we all had that one friend that was ball to the wall pure energy but reckless. Another talent taken too early. This book was well written and it holds your attention through every chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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A sad story about a great band

A good read, especially for fans of Blind Melon. Unfortunately, most of the book revolves around Shannon Hoon and his legendary substance abuse problems. I don't mean this as a ding against the book, but the reality is that a lot of them story of Blind Melon is the story of Shannon and his self destructive behavior and selfishness. The book is written as a series of first-hand accounts and interviews with relevant persons. Recommended for BM and music fans in general.

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Great interviews, not great delivery

The narrator did not have the best performance, but I was so enthralled with Shannon Hoon, I listened to this in one day. Great book for any rock fan

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thankful !!

one of my favorite reads ! thank you Greg for writing this like I said it's one of my favorites. an thank you for helping me to get the chance too enjoy once again!!

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Extremely good and very painful

This Blind Melon biography is a classic rock bio, especially because Blind Melon was never the biggest band out there. Most rock biographies cover the huge stars everyone knows, and those books can be amazing, but there’s something special about learning about a different type of rock band and career trajectory. Blind Melon was so much more than a 90s one hit wonder (No Rain) They made tons of great songs and were way under appreciated as a group. Rip Shannon

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A Must Listen For Any Rock Fan

Greg Prato has written many five star books, this is at the top of the list.

Greg tells the amazing story of Blind Melon - one of the best yet often overlooked bands to come out of the 90s and it's told all through quotes from the people who were there every step of the way.

From the band's overnight shot to fame thanks to the smash single "No Rain" to its sudden end after the tragic death of singer Shannon Hoon, this is a roller coaster ride of a story you wish never ended but sadly did.

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Fantastic book about an underrated band

Full disclosure here: Blind Melon are one of my all time favorite bands. But even if they weren’t, this is still a captivating book. Telling the story of a bunch of guys from the Midwest who moved out to California with nothing to their names, and became rockstars. They lived a lifetime of ups and downs in just 5 years before Shannon’s passing. They deserve to be remembered for so much more than No Rain.

This book does an excellent job telling their story. Without trying to dramatize it in any way. Greg puts the story together by interviewing people who were actually there (band members, family, label executives, etc.) He even incorporates Shannon’s own words into the story. It really feels like a bunch of old friends sitting around reminiscing. I couldn’t recommend it more. Not just for fans of Blind Melon. But for fans of rock & roll in general. I swear, I’ve never heard of a band going through more in such a short period of time.

It’s also a great companion piece to the recently released documentary All I Can Say. Which compiles hundreds of hours of video footage Shannon shot on his personal camcorder. There is enough to explore in both of them that they’re both worth checking out.

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Honest & Raw

If the listener is expecting a raw and real account of Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon; you got it. There is such honesty found here and an understanding of a very talented young life gone way too early. Take time to go online and listen.