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CONCERTS Gin Blossoms back on road



Published: Wed, July 6, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The group will be performing in and around the Valley.

"Found Out About You" is one of the Gin Blossoms' big hits from the early '90s.

Now it's about time we found out about them. What happened to this pop rock band from Tempe, Ariz., which released two platinum albums -- 1992's "New Miserable Experience" and 1996's "Congratulations ... I'm Sorry" -- and then seemingly disappeared overnight?

"We had been on the road forever, and we were really sick of each other," said Scott Johnson, calling from his home in Arizona. "After the second record came out, we were broken up before the end of the year."

Adding even more intrigue was the fact the moment the members of the Gin Blossoms decided to call it quits, the outfit received a Grammy Award nomination for its single "Follow You Down." The band would go on to lose the award to The Beatles' high-tech reunion single "Free as a Bird."

Lost in the shadow

In many ways, being lost in the shadow once again was apropos for this little rock band that could.

"It's kind of interesting," Johnson said. "It always seems like you're up against so many odds not in your favor. We came up after Nirvana broke, and that pretty much changed the face of radio for the next several years. The ironic thing was we weren't from Seattle, and we weren't a hard rock band, so we had to compete with all of those guys. And we had toured, toured, toured and shoved our music down people's throats. It was kind of a hard sell, actually."

If the Gin Blossoms felt pressure during its initial run, the decision to reunite was a breezy affair. The outfit got back together for a millennium performance in its hometown, quickly rediscovering the magic. However, without management and label representation, the next step -- recording and touring -- took awhile to work out.

New life

Eventually, the group hit the road last year as part of a nostalgia draw that invariably all aging generations of music lovers experience at one time or another. Today, the band intersperses new songs, such as "Fool for the Taking" and the reggae-influenced "Stop," alongside its hits "Hey Jealousy" and "Allison Road."

You can see the Gin Blossoms tonight at Pittsburgh's Red Star Tavern, Thursday at Cleveland's House of Blues and Friday at the Mahoning Valley Rib Burn Off.

Naturally, the next point of order for the band involves the release of only its third studio album, which Johnson says could see the light of day next year. The guitarist knows the group currently falls into the "Where are they now?" category, but he rationalizes, in really the only way plausible: the band's history in relation to its future endeavors.

"It was kind of a silly thing at the time, but in some ways, it made it so we can play now," Johnson said. "Because if you keep going and going and watch your popularity slip away and styles change on the radio, then most bands just end up saying 'enough.' So in some ways, it has kind of preserved that we can play now."




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