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If you drive past Creamery Park on Eighth Street, starting in October you’ll see some colorful new street signs. The City of Tempe is honoring the Gin Blossoms band by designating a portion of Eighth Street as “Allison Road Avenue.”
The band made the announcement of the new street designation at their June 9 concert.
“Tempe is my home and heart forever. My recording studio was on 8th St. inside Four Peaks Brewery for 20 years. There are no words for the intense pride I feel for this honor,” said lead singer Robin Wilson.
“I was born and raised in Tempe, and both my mother and father worked for the city, so this is a real honor for us,” said guitarist Jesse Valenzuela. “Tempe is a great place to call home.”
It’s the 30th anniversary of the band’s iconic New Miserable Experience album. The Gin Blossoms are credited with launching what was nationally called “The Tempe Sound.” They were among the first and best-known local Tempe bands to make national airwaves in the ’90s, along with The Refreshments (now Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers) and the Pistoleros.
Some of the Gin Blossoms biggest hits are on the New Miserable Experience album, including Hey Jealousy, Mrs. Rita, Until I Fall Away, Found Out About You and Allison Road.
New Miserable Experience sold more than 5 million albums, was on the charts for almost three years and produced five hit singles, including Allison Road.
“I have a lot of fond memories of watching the Gin Blossoms perform on Mill Avenue,” said Councilmember Joel Navarro. “They were our own Tempe band, but they also brought our city substantial national attention. The fact that this album is still being played on the radio today is a testament to their talent. The Tempe City Council is pleased to honor the band with Allison Road Avenue.”
Starting Oct. 14, people will actually be able to drive on Allison Road Avenue. Signs will be up from Rural Road to Una Avenue. This does not change mailing addresses on Eighth Street. It’s an honorary designation.
For those who want to visit other Gin Blossoms locations, head over to 115 W. University Dr. The namesake of the song, Mrs. Rita, is located there. The band also has a Walk of Music plaque on Mill Avenue and Fourth Street in downtown Tempe, where the band has often played.
“It’s a good feeling to honor the Gin Blossoms and their love of their hometown, Tempe,” said Mayor Corey Woods.
The band is touring this fall. Get a list of dates and stream New Miserable Experience.
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