Jonathan Melvoin

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Jonathan David Melvoin
A closeup of Jonathan Melvoin—a middle-aged Caucasian male with short curly brunette hair.
Melvoin in the music video for The Smashing Pumpkins song "Zero"
Background information
Born(1961-12-06)December 6, 1961
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJuly 12, 1996(1996-07-12) (aged 34)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, pop
InstrumentsKeyboards, piano, drums, percussion, vocals
Years active1980s-1996
Associated actsThe Smashing Pumpkins, The Revolution, Wendy & Lisa

Jonathan David Melvoin (December 6, 1961 – July 12, 1996) was an American musician, active in the 1980s and 1990s.

Early life[edit]

He was the son of Constance (née Ives) and Mike Melvoin, keyboardist for The Wrecking Crew, and brother of twins Susannah and Wendy Melvoin of Prince and The Revolution. He first learned to play drums at the age of five.[1]


Melvoin performed with many punk bands in the 1980s, such as The Dickies. He was also a member of The Family, a Prince side project band which produced the original recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U",[2] "Screams of Passion & Mutiny" and made musical contributions to many Wendy & Lisa projects, as well as to Prince and the Revolution's 1985 album Around the World in a Day. He also played drums on "Do U Lie?" from the 1986 Prince & the Revolution album Parade. At the time of his death he was the touring keyboardist for The Smashing Pumpkins during their worldwide tour for the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.


Melvoin died at age 34 as the result of a heroin overdose. Melvoin injected high purity heroin that was intended for snorting, and had previously consumed alcohol, which can lower the body's drug tolerance.[3] The Smashing Pumpkins were not invited to Melvoin's funeral.[4] Several songs were inspired by his death, including the Sarah McLachlan song "Angel", the Wendy & Lisa song "Jonathan" (as Girl Bros.), and Prince's "The Love We Make" from the album Emancipation.[5]


  1. ^ People Staff (July 29, 1996). "The Night the Music Died". People. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Goldman, John J. & Hochman, Steve (July 13, 1996). "Heroin Linked to Death on Smashing Pumpkins Tour". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Bansal, Sachin (1998–99). "The Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Era: 1996". The Smashing Pumpkins Chronology.
  5. ^ Giles, Jeff (November 29, 2017). "Prince Mourns a Drug-Related Loss with 'The Love We Make'". Diffuser.

External links[edit]