Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chris Farley and Bilnd Melon

On January 8, 1994 Jason Patric hosted Saturday Night Live along with musical guest Blind Melon. Farley was dressed up in a bee costume (imitating the chubby girl from Blind Melon's infamous music video "No Rain") as Patric introduced the band. You can check out this video on Blind Melon's dvd "Letters From a Porcupine" and below.*

Picture from "the Chris Farley Show:A Biography in Three Acts"

Maybe not purposely, but in a way, the choice of outfit paid homage to Chris' hero, John Belushi who also dressed up in a bee costume on several occasions during his SNL tenure.

What I have more recently discovered is that this "partnership" on SNL was not the band's and Shannon Hoon's only encounter with Mr. Farley. As a "deleted scene" from the "Chris Farley Show" book Tom Arnold revisits a memory from Woodstock 94:

TOM ARNOLD, friend:

In 1994 they had the Woodstock twenty-fifth anniversary concert in upstate New York. We took a helicopter in there. Chris took his sister Barb. We were supposed to introduce some of the bands, and right before he went on, he said, “I just talked to my agent, and he says I should get paid for this.”

They weren’t paying anybody. I was like, “Well, they’re kind of letting us do this. We’re just going to introduce the band, and then we get to hang backstage, but I’ll let you decide what you’re gonna do.” So I went out and introduced Nine Inch Nails or one of the bands, and Chris saw that and it looked like fun and he said, “Fuck it. I’ll do it. After the next one, introduce me, and I’ll come out.”

So I went back out there and I was all excited and I said—this is right after True Lies came out—I said, “Ladies and Gentlemen…Arnold Schwarzenegger!” The crowd went nuts. They were like, “YEAH!!!” So Chris came out and the whole place was like, “What the…?” Chris was so mad. And as soon as he got onstage, someone picked up a big piece of mud and hit him with it from about thirty yards out.

He was of course hilarious in making something out of the whole thing for the audience. But he was pissed. He was pissed. I said, “Well, if you hadn’t been such a pussy about the money thing. Of course we’re not gonna get paid. From the looks of things, these guys are gonna lose money on this anyway.” So, you know, he didn’t want his “art” to be taken advantage of, and yet he would perform for anyone at any time wherever he was.

Woodstock 1994 also marked a high point for Blind Melon, as they put on one of the most memorable performances at the festival. Shannon and Chris met up after the set to take this picture together.*
Picture from "A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other"

These two encounters were the only ones that I knew about until I discovered this... Listen for Chris' voice in the background during the opening seconds of this Blind Melon bootleg recording of the song "Walk" from the Roseland Ballroom on Febuary 17, 1994.

As you can hear from the muffled audio clip, a girl asks Chris if he is from Saturday Night Live and wants to know if he is going backstage. The rest is hard to understand but a few of Farley's characteristics shine through on the audio. Of course if anyone else can translate or clear up the audio any better it would be appreciated.

Shannon Hoon, would pass nearly two years later of a heroin and cocaine (speedball) overdose. Which is very similar to the way Chris passed, with traces of cocaine and morphine (metabolized heroin) in his system. As Jerry Seinfeld's attempt at an animation motion picture taught us, that bees make the world go round. Maybe it is fitting that these two entertainers met because of a bee...costume

*Thanks to foreverlights & ~ M A T T at the Blind Melon Forum
**Link to Tom Arnold Interview:


ChiTown Momma said...

Thanks for sharing! I have been a huge fan of Blind Melon and Chris Farley is just a legend, period!

Greg said...

This is great! Chris was a living legend of Comedy. It is a shame he had to die in such a way at such an early age. R.I.P. Chris Farley!