What Happened to the Remarkable Group: 4 Non Blondes?

When the group: 4 Non-Blondes was formed for the first time in 1989, their music didn’t fit quite well with the popular ones until their only album ‘Bigger, Better, Faster, More!’ which was released in 1992 became a mega-hit.

Over a million copies of the album were sold and the US and the song from their album became one of the biggest songs from the 90s. When the band was finally starting to take everything fell off and the band was disbanded, so what happened?

How Did The Bandmates Meet Each Other?

Linda Perry-1 Of 4 Non Blondes - 90's Celebs

The lead singer of the group, Linda Perry moved to San Francisco when she was 21, in 1986. Perry had a difficult childhood, her parents got divorced and she was forced to live in the street.

Due to bad relations, she got into drugs and was struggling hard. Fortunately, her brother John, who was a guitarist introduced Linda to music which helped her get out of the drastic situation.

Linda already played for a several band before moving to San Francisco. After moving out, her passion for music was ignited and she became more confident.

“Suddenly this big voice came out of me, as if by magic. I was saner then so I thought to myself, ‘Why not do something with this voice?’ At the time I felt like I had lived 40 years. It was time to grow up and get a career,” she said to the LA Times.

Christa Hillhouse (bassist) and Shaunna Hall (guitarist) were roommates together in Fransico. They were also friends with Wanda Day (drummer), the three of them started playing together and formed their own band.

During the band’s performance at a club, they encountered Lunda Perry which Hillhouse described as one of her ‘fateful nights.’ One night Shaunna and I wandered into the Nightbreak and caught Linda playing a solo set. We were blown away by her raw power and emotion,” she stated on her website.

“She was singing a song called ‘Down On Your Face’, an over-the-top anthem born of rip-out-your-heart honesty, brutal and raw in its confession. Linda held a force over the crowd that was obvious, and I could only imagine how powerful it would be to blend strong instrumentation with such a stunning personality.”

4 Non Blondes is Formed

Linda Perry was giving her solo performance at the club, and after witnessing the band asked her to be a member of the group and take the role of the vocalist.

Perry became a prominent member of the band, she did the songwriting for the band, and slowly started to rise towards success. During 1990 and 1991, the band was already popular among the locals. They were frequently featured in the local press.

They were ready to take a recording contract which would help them quit their jobs at the club and focus on making music. 4 Non Blondes found a spot to play for for Bob Mould at the Warfield Theater.

Since they were all gay and used to play at the gay club, they were afraid that their original fans would oppose them. Perry admitted that some gay fans opposed them when they started to play for the straight people.

Shauhnna and Linda even started to dress in a feminine way, so a record company would recognize them and give them a deal. Christa Hillhouse confirmed that they did it saying they would go back to being themselves after getting a deal.

Trust Issues Start To Form

On 1991, February, the local news published that 4 Non-Blondes were putting the best-unsigned performance in the city. The next month, the group saw something that created multiple controversies.

“The A&R guy from Interscope Records, and his assistant Leslie Gerard were at the show and we were to all have lunch afterward with our lawyer and our manager in tow,” Hillhouse stated on her website.

She adds, “As we prepared to leave for the restaurant, Shaunna and I noticed Linda being whisked away in a limo. Linda being singled out in this way made us both take pause… I think they would have signed Linda to her own contract right then and there had she been willing.”

Linda then suggested that Wanda’s drum style didn’t match during performing ballads and she was fired from the band and Dawn Richardson replaced her place.

The Band Started To Break

More obstacles started to arise once the band started to record their debut album. Shaunna’s style also didn’t match with the band’s performance and she was fired as well Louis Meoyer, the first male member was invited to the group.

Hall then said to the San Fransico Chronicle in 1993 that Linda was letting ‘anyone come her way.’ “I had a choice. I was asked to let a session guy come in. I probably could have stayed with the group but I couldn’t do that,” she said.

She added, “I was a very young musician with little studio experience. Recording was a hardship for me but I don’t feel like I got any support from my friends. It came down to big money and an ego trip. Linda had a dream and she wasn’t going to let anything get in the way, even if it meant writing off your guitar player.”

Unfortunately, Louis also didn’t want to be with the group, and as they were searching for a new guitarist, they tumbled upon Roger Rocha.

After all the obstacles the band finally recorded their debut album “Bigger, Better, Faster, More!” They released their first single ‘Dear Mr. President’ which attracted problems. One Texas radio even refused to play it since they thought the song was a threat to President George Bush Sr, which was never the case.

“George Sr. was president at the time, and we were having a hard time getting airplay in certain places. It’s kind of funny because it wasn’t about the President in Office. It was about the hierarchy of power in government. It wasn’t specifically pointed at him,” Christa stated to Songfacts.

She adds; “I remember being really surprised when it happened. It’s a song about looking around and seeing problems and feeling like there’s someone in charge who is responsible.”

Then the band finally gained success with their single “What’s Up” which topped the charts and was placed at no. 14 in the US.

During an interview with Tape Op magazine, Perry stated that she was angry that David Tickle, their producer getting credit for the song. “The producer, David Tickle had no sense of what the song was. I went to the label and said, ‘This song sucks. This is not the song I wrote,'” she said.

“I grabbed the band during a break and we went to The Record Plant. I started moving things around. I was in the middle of vocals when David Tickle showed up. I was annoyed. We were already done with the frigging song. We comped the vocals and mixed it that night. That is the version that blew up all over the world. I’ve told the story enough that people know that David Tickle did not produce that song. It was me.”

4 Non Blonds Get Disbanded

Before the band disbanded, Linda Perry decided to leave the band and pursue her musical career as a solo artist. She was done with the playstyle that the band was showcasing and left when they were about to work on their second album.

After Linda left the band, the group also decided to quit. Unfortunately for Linda, her debut solo was a big flop and she started producing and songwriting for other artists such as  Miley Cyrus, Pink, James Blunt, Christina Agulera, and Enrique Iglesias.

The rest of the band also started to find their happiness. Shauna Hall is seen touring with George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. Roger Rocha also tours with and makes music for Goldehearts.

As for  Christa Hillhouse, she works as a web and graphic designer for her company, CHILLHOUSEmedia. Unfortunately, drummer Wanda Day passed away due to a drug overdose in 1997.

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