Jesse ValenzuelaGuitar, vocals1987-1997
Frontman Robin Wilson grew up loving Kiss - he even had their lunch box. So he thought it would be great to offer a Gin Blossoms lunch box to fan club members. And they did.
They played their first concert on Christmas Day 1987 in Tempe, Arizona. They made it a tradition to play a show there every Christmas.
When their 1992 album, New Miserable Experience, hit Platinum, they were presented with the platinum album at a Phoenix Suns home basketball game.
Doug Hopkins had battled with alcoholism and depression for years. Things went from bad to worse and he was fired from the band after the recording of New Miserable Experience. He tried forming another band, the Chimeras, but committed suicide in December 1993.
Previous band names include The Moral Majority, the Psalms, Algebra Ranch, and Ten O'Clock Scholars.
The Psalms' claim to fame was opening for Billy Idol in 1983 when R.E.M. couldn't make it.
Wilson had performed with local Tempe bands, Guy Smiley and Bed Spurs.
The group played a lot of gigs as the Del Montes. This was a Traveling Wilbury-esque fake group. Supposedly they all had the same mother, but different fathers. They invented this pseudonym to play gigs with Richard Taylor who had been a member of the group, but he was on probation. Playing under this name made it less likely the cops would see him breaking probation.
In 1989, they were named the best unsigned band in the United States by College Music Journal.