It was April 1994, and I was sitting in my dorm room. I heard someone yelling from down the hall. “Hey! Did you hear Kurt Cobain killed himself?”
The response came quickly, from the other end of the hall; “Did he? That stupid fucking asshole.”
That was my freshman year, and the song I most distinctly remember hearing in the halls of Boston University’s dorms was not “Heart Shaped Box” but “No Rain,” a one-hit wonder by Blind Melon. It was perfect 90s indie-pop music: cheery but tortured, self-absorbed but danceable. I hadn’t actually seen the video — characteristically, I was actively disdaining everything I was supposed to like, so ignoring MTV was a no-brainer — but I knew about the Bee Girl. She was a pre-Tumblr meme, back when things like that were passed around just by talking about them (“I hate that fucking Bee Girl” “I think the Bee Girl is cute!” “Did you see the Bee Girl in that Weird Al video?” “Jesus, last night at the Paradise, Juliet got high and danced like the goddamn Bee Girl”).
The Bee Girl was generally credited for breaking the song into the top 40, and Entertainment Weekly called 10-year-old actress, Heather DeLoach, “The newest queen of the MTV buzz bin.” She did the VMAs, did the Weird Al video (“Bedrock Anthem,” 1993), and signed so many autographs, she told EW, that she thought she was getting arthritis. That’s not her on the album cover, though: that’s Blind Melon drummer Glen Graham’s younger sister, in a costume that was recreated for the “No Rain” video.
DeLoach went on to appear in episodes of ER and Reno 911!, while Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon, a chronic drug abuser (it may or may not shock you to learn that he was tripping on acid during the “No Rain” video shoot), had a much shorter career arc: he ODed on coke in 1995. His Dayton, Ohio gravestone is inscribed with lyrics from “Change,” the first Blind Melon song he wrote: “I know we all can’t stay here forever/ So I want to write my words on the face of today and they’ll paint it.”
Lyrics from “No Rain” might also have been apt: “It rips my life away, but it’s a great escape.” Drop acid. Cue Bee Girl. And…action.