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Article

EX-GIN BLOSSOM DOUG HOPKINS

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Rock & roll has its easy symmetries. The booze-soaked, angst-ridden lyrics that guitarist Doug Hopkins, 32, penned for the Tempe, Ariz.- based Gin Blossoms now hold-in light of his suicide on Dec. 5-the weight of hindsight: ”Drink enough of anything to make this world look new again/Drunk drunk drunk in the gardens and the graves.” Hopkins-who had tried to kill himself five times in 10 years-shot himself in the head with a .38 revolver he bought from a pawnbroker. Although he helped found the alternative pop band in 1987 and played on their first EP and their debut LP, New Miserable Experience (for which he wrote or co-wrote half the songs, including the hit single ”Hey Jealousy”), he was dropped from the Blossoms in April 1992 because of his drinking problem. ”It got to the point where either we would collapse or Doug would have to leave,” Blossoms vocalist Robin Wilson said earlier this year. While Hopkins returned to Tempe, playing local bars with a short-lived group called the Chimeras, the Blossoms toured heavily in support of Experience, now nearly platinum; another Hopkins song, ”Found Out About You,” is currently No. 5 on Billboard’s modern rock chart. ”When (‘Jealousy’) comes on the radio, I turn it off,” a disappointed Hopkins said after he was canned. But ”although being dropped hurt Doug enormously, it wasn’t what killed him,” says Lawrence Zubia, the friend who discovered Hopkins’ body. ”It was alcohol, and this intangible depression that he was trying to kill.” -Nisid Hajari