Scott Weiland, among one of the great voices to emerge from the grunge era, is deserving of more than a brief mention and a headline on this sad day of his death. The man suffered and battled, much of which was done in the spotlight and then only to be prosecuted and condemned. But those who “know” knew better than to tear down a troubled man, as Velvet Revolver former bandmate, Duff McKagan, knew:
Sometimes there’s certain people who’ve just gone too far and you can’t fix it.
Duff knows, because he has battled his own addictions, as has Slash who said on his Facebook page:
We experienced a good chunk of life with Scott, and even in his darkest times, we all had hope and love for him. His artistry will live on, of that, there is no doubt.
Scott Weiland, best known as the come-and-go frontman of Stone Temple Pilots, formerly emerged in 1992 with the release of STP’s debut album, Core. Although the album, and consequently the band, was condemned by critics, citing it as a third-rate grunge album, it hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #3 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Platinum 8 times over.
The big hits on Core include “Plush,” “Creep,” and, possibly the prophetic, “Dead and Bloated.” While these were great songs, early fans knew that the these were only parts of a greater whole. When listening to Core, you can’t deny the carnal intensity delivered by “Sex Type Thing,” the deep retrospection caused by “No Memory,” the funk-driven grunge of “Naked Sunday,” the crazy, almost Jim Morrison style of “Wet My Bed,” or the bluesy groove and deep pocket of “Where the River Goes.”
But, with STP, the hits didn’t stop there. While nothing would top STP’s Core, they still had huge success with 1994’s Purple. The album debuted at #1 and spawned the hits “Big Empty,” “Vasoline,” and “Interstate Love Song.”
A little nothing-to-do personal reference from me. Both of these albums peaked while I was serving in the Army, so, in a way, they are part of my soundtrack for that part of my life. I remember being in my advanced individual training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and introducing the Core album to a cute little latina, Torres, and telling her that “these guys are going to be huge.”
Then, at my first permanent duty station at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, one of my roommates declared “Big Empty” a cigarette song. So, whenever the track came on in his classic Duster, we’d light up our Camels and enjoy the soothing jam.
So, there’s that.
As mentioned, Weiland was plagued with addiction problems, which led to numerous arrests, difficulty maintaining a workingand roll lifestyle, and a few bouts in rehab.
STP were on-again, off-again like a dysfunctional couple, and along the way Weiland ended up joining Velvet Revolver, which prominently featured members of Guns N’ Roses: Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum. The supergroup released two albums and, despite their mediocre success, won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the “Slither” track.
Unable to keep things together, Weiland forged ahead with several other projects, including his last with The Wildabouts. While on tour with The Wildabouts, in Bloomington, Minnesota, Weiland was found dead on the tour bus. Cocaine was by his side, according to Bloomington police.
The cause of his death hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I might speculate that Weiland committed suicide. Someone with his addictions and experience with drugs knows his limits. Sure, accidents happen, and if this turns out to be an overdose, then it is an accident, but I don’t think suicide should be ruled out.
R.I.P. Scott Weiland. Your soul suffered; may it find peace.
Rock Hard \m/