Third Eye Blind perform onstage during Concerts In Your Car's Drive-In Concert at Ventura County Fairgrounds and Event Center on July 25, 2020 in Ventura, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

In the early-1990s, a San Francisco-based singer/songwriter named Stephan Jenkins dreamed of making it big in music. He began writing songs and formed a hip-hop group called Puck and Natty (later, Puck and Zen) with Detroit rapper Herman Anthony Chunn, a.k.a Zen, in 1992. That same year, one of their songs, “Just Wanna Be Your Friend,” landed on a soundtrack album for the hit TV show Beverly Hills, 90210, but Puck and Natty/Zen didn’t last much longer than that. However, Jenkins had already made some valuable connections in the recording industry.

From Rap To Rock

By 1993, Stephan Jenkins had decided to put together a rock band. He formed Third Eye Blind with guitarist Kevin Cadogan. They played small gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area over the next couple of years until they were signed to contract by Elektra Records in 1996. The band’s deal with Elektra was later reported to be the largest publishing deal ever for a previously unsigned artist.

Third Eye Blind released their self-titled debut album in 1997. The band’s lineup consisted of Jenkins (vocals, rhythm guitar), Cadogan (lead guitar), Arion Salazar (bass guitar), and Brad Hargreaves (drums). Shortly after the 1999 release of the band’s second album, Blue, Cadogan was let go from the band over a contractual disagreement.

More Changes For Third Eye Blind

After that, the band continued, but with many personnel changes and long gaps between album releases over the next 15 years. Stephan Jenkins has written or co-written every song on the band’s five studio albums and one EP. Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves are the only two original band members still in the Third Eye Blind lineup. You can see them on tour this summer.

The Throwback Threesome below is taking us back to the ’90s with Third Eye Blind!

  • Semi-Charmed Life (1997)

    Lead singer Stephan Jenkins began working on this song when he was one-half of the rap duo Puck and Natty with Herman Anthony Chunn in the early-1990s. Chunn reportedly came up with the guitar riff and was paid $10,000 for the rights. Jenkins and Chunn went their separate ways and “Semi-Charmed Life” would go on to become Third Eye Blind’s first single and biggest hit, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping both the Pop and Alternative Airplay charts. The song describes a drug user’s descent into crystal meth addiction, although the phrase “crystal meth” is obscured on the radio and video edits. According to Songfacts, the “doot doot doot” part of the lyrics was inspired by Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” The video was shot in the band’s hometown of San Francisco.

  • How's It Gonna Be (1997)

    Released as the third single from Third Eye Blind’s 1997 debut album, “How’s It Gonna Be” made it to number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The wistful song features guitarist Kevin Cadogan playing an autoharp. The antique instrument offers a vintage, nostalgic sound. You can see glimpses of it in the video.

  • Jumper (1998)

    The fifth and final single from Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut addresses issues that we’re still dealing with today. “Jumper” is about someone committing suicide as a result of being bullied over his sexuality. Ultimately, the song calls for an understanding and compassion for one another. The message must have resonated with fans as the single reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Watch for the late model Anna Nicole Smith in the video. She had been a friend of drummer Brad Hargreaves and was visiting the set on the day of shooting.

Sign me up for the K104.7 email newsletter!

Your favorite station is giving you exclusive access to some great content. Become a K 104.7 VIP Member and get exclusive access to music news, contests, quizzes, and MORE!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.