success of the upbeat MTV hits "Hey Jealousy,"
"Found Out About You" and "Till I Hear It
From You," the Gin Blossoms have shown America the
"happy" side of alternative music.
Douglas Hopkins, bassist Bill Leen and guitarist/singer
Jesse Valenzuela began playing as the Gin Blossoms on
Christmas night in 1987 in Tempe, Ariz. By the time they
recorded their first EP, Up and Crumbling (1991),
drummer Phillip Rhodes and vocalist Robin Wilson had
joined the band.
first full-length album, New Miserable Experience,
was released in 1992 and went double platinum thanks to
the heavy MTV rotation of "Hey Jealousy" and
"Found Out About You." Hopkins, who had written
both songs, was kicked out of the band after recording the
album for his uncontrollable drinking habits and severe
bouts of depression. He was replaced by Tempe guitarist
Scott Johnson when the band went on the road to support New
Miserable Experience, opening for Toad the Wet
Sprocket, Del Amitri and the Neville Brothers in 1992 and
his songwriting success and the promise of his newly
formed band, the Chimeras, Hopkins committed suicide at
the end of 1993.
the band recorded "Till I Hear It From You"
(co-written with Marshall Crenshaw) for the soundtrack of Empire
Records. It was later released on their sophomore
album, Congratulations...I'm Sorry in 1996.