In Memoriam: Doug Hopkins

5th December 2013 No comments


Few songwriters have had as big an impact on my life as Doug Hopkins. While many may not know him by name, anyone who has ever been near a radio has undoubtedly heard his music.
Doug was the founder and chief songwriter of Tempe, Arizona band the Gin Blossoms. The band exploded in the 90’s in an all too typical ‘worked for years to be thought of as an overnight success’ fashion and sadly, Doug Hopkins didn’t live long enough to see his dreams realized. It was after his death that songs such as Hey Jealousy and Found Out About You became huge hits for the band.
Twenty years ago today Hopkins ended his life after years of struggling with addiction and depression. Not only is it heartbreaking that he made such a permanent decision, it’s also quite sad that he didn’t get the opportunity to see his success and the lasting impression his words left on so many people around the world.
Doug Hopkins possessed the rare ability to weave haunting and despondent lyrics into the most uplifting, jangly, and infectious melodies.
Hopkins is the only Gin Blossom I never got the chance to meet. I was 16 when he died and I vividly remember everything about that day. The Gin Blossoms album New Miserable Experience was the soundtrack to my life for many, many years and I was listening to Pieces of the Night when I heard of his passing, which, in some odd poetic and romantic scenario, seems somewhat appropriate and slightly ironic.

In the years that followed I always supported the Gin Blossoms; I befriended one of them, met the rest, and have always had a special place in my heart and my life for the music that they made. As much as I love Congratulations I’m Sorry (and I do love it), it’s not the same. Probably because the band members had grown up and grown past much of the despondency that made New Miserable Experience so enchanting, but also because the man with the ability to turn loneliness into pop anthems was gone.


Enough of my rambling like a school girl on LiveJournal….

Today we send lots of hugs to those remembering and celebrating a friend, colleague, and relative. Please know that Doug meant so much to so many….including those of us who never got to meet him.

If you’d like to check out a comprehensive resource for info on Doug’s life and career, visit Lost Horizons: A Tribute to Doug Hopkins

Check out My Guardian Angel~ It’s a very early version of one of the songs Doug wrote in The Chimeras (later The Pistoleros); his post-Blossoms project.

And the always infectious Hey Jealousy

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