#172 Gin Blossoms – New Miserable Experience (1992)


From the moment that I heard the Gin Blossom’s “Hey Jealousy” I was in love, I still am. I bought this as soon as I could. Although the song eventually became a pop/rock smash, I wonder how many people have actually paid much attention to the lyrics. If you strip away the jangely guitars and fuzzy, distorted riff, it’s the song of a desperate man feeling as if he is in a desperate situation. He doesn’t want to let go for fear of being alone, which is a fear that seems to great to bear so he buries it with alcohol and wild behavior. Believe it or not I heavily identified with the protagonist in this song (“If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down…”). But bubble gum pop it is not. The album “New Miserable Experience” was released in August 1992 to almost no fan fare. For almost a year the album did nothing, then somehow during the summer of 1993 “Hey Jealousy” began getting airplay. The second single from this disc was “Found Out About You”, which went on to become a hit in its own right, albeit not as big as it’s predecessor. Once again beneath the pop undertones of this song is a darkness of a jealous man who stalks his ex-girlfriend…going as far as to stand outside of her house and watch the lights go out while she’s with her new man. Both of these songs were written by Doug Hopkins  the guitarist for the Blossoms. He co-founded the band a few years earlier. When the Gin Blossoms were signed to a major label and taken out of Tempe, Arizona he had misgivings about becoming a slave to a record company. No stranger to drink, his alcohol intake grew to almost uncontrollable depths during the recording of “NME”. When the recording of the record was finished the band and label flew Doug back to Arizona. They then informed him that he was fired from the band. The band then withheld $15,000 that it owed him until he agreed to sign over half of his publishing rights to the songs of his that the band recorded (which was over half of the album). There were other good songs on this disc such as “Allison Road”, “Until I Fall Away” & “Mrs. Rita”. It must have been hard for Doug to see the band taking off and enjoying enourmous success that he could not be a part of. He recieved a Gold Record for “NME”, before 1993 was finished Doug Hopkins had killed himself with a gunshot to the head. Although they had a minor hit with “Til I Hear It From You” which appeared on the “Empire Records” soundtrack,The Blossoms would never again achieve success of the magnitude that they did with their first major label record and would break up by 1997. Karma.

“Do you think it’d be alright…If I could just crash here tonight…you can see I’m in no shape for driving…and anyway I’ve got no place to go…”

 


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