35 Years of Numbers Memories: Music to Die By
Over the last couple of days, we've looked at some Houstonians' best concerts and experiences from Numbers over the course of its 35-year history. Its legacy as a center of the excellent local gothic-music scene, as well as a unique size and scope that attracts an impressive array of touring acts, has continuously ensured Numbers' place as one of Houston's most legendary music venues.
But it's the darker memories associated with Numbers that are the focus of this final cycle.
Probably the most famous death associated with Numbers is that of the late Shannon Hoon, lead singer of Blind Melon. Hoon, who had recently become a father to a little girl named Nico, sought to rehabilitate his drug use and had a drug counselor accompany him on the road. The counselor didn't last long, and was dismissed shortly before Blind Melon played its last show at Numbers on October 20, 1995.
After their performance, Blind Melon boarded their bus and headed to the band's next gig in New Orleans. Hoon fell asleep en route and never woke up. Initial reports were sketchy, but the cause of death was eventually attributed to a cocaine overdose.
One patron, speaking anonymously, told Rocks Off that a close friend of his was the man who had sold Hoon the drugs that ultimately killed him. Our source wouldn't reveal names, but indicated that his friend often put up many bands passing through Houston in the mid-'90s, and was also a ready supplier of drugs to those artists. After he heard the announcement of Hoon's death on MTV, he quit the drug game completely.
Robert "Robot" Burtenshaw
At the time of Hoon's death, late Numbers owner Robert Burtenshaw seemed shocked, telling the Associated Press that Hoon was "having a general good old time. He was rocking and rolling.
"They appeared to be a typical band relaxing after the show," added Burtenshaw, better known as "Robot."
This past July, Burtenshaw himself was found dead near St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Humble, a suspected suicide. Any possible motive remains unknown to the general public.
Story continues on the next page.