In my possession is a gig ticket from 2001 Brixton Academy –my first time witnessing a band I’d listened to since my teenage years, finally I was able to see Stone Temple Pilots. That night, Scott Weiland gyrated and owned that infamous stage, belting out classics that meant a lot to me and still do. Music is not a religion, it’s a faith.
The passing of this man cannot just be about an addiction that has ruined people’s lives, not just the addict but also the family of one. Being an addict is being alone in your mind, that no one else understands. Being an addict means a befuddled mind will always tell you that you’re okay, while your family and friends stand by and cry.
On the 4th December it was Scott Weiland’s time, the former frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver died in his sleep whilst on tour with his new band The Wildabouts. Another troubled talented rock star has been taken from the musical community……again!
His voice and lyrical prowess was an immense part of my growing up, ‘Core’ and ‘Purple’, two separate albums that showed how the band had evolved. Then there’s the MTV unplugged, stripped down songs with Scott sitting on that rocking chair effortless cradling their, our, my songs.
Debut album ‘Core’ came out in the 90s during that explosion of the Grunge concept. STP came up against the forefathers of Grunge, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana. These guys held their own, even with Beavis and Butthead announcing during a skit that Eddie Vedder had dyed his hair red (a comment made during the Plush video.) The press believed them to be a carbon copy of what Pearl Jam were already doing. The band in all honestly put out a superb debut that has classics such as ‘Creep’, ‘Plush’, ‘Sex Type Thing’ and ‘Wicked Garden’ this was a superb announcement to fans of music everywhere.
In 1994, ‘Purple’, their second instalment had evolved and helped the band move into a direction with a sound that proved they were growing, with tracks such as ‘Vasoline’, ‘Silvergun Superman’, ‘Interstate Love song’ and ‘Big Empty’, the latter used in the beautiful dark gothic movie The Crow.
An argument ensued, the same argument that happened about whether ‘Ten’ was better than ‘Vs’, now it was about if ‘Core’ wass better than ‘Purple’. Two separate entities (and I did say Purple was better). The heavy intro to ‘Meatplow’, delicate sinful tones of ‘Interstate Love Song’, the catchy verse of ‘Pretty Penny’ and the heavy but delicate ‘Silvergun Superman’, “Jealousy is a web and you kill me” and chilled lounge bar feel of ‘Big Empty’ made this a sound of their own.
There’s a love shared by all four members that cannot be denied, but issues often happen during a loving relationship and the four parted ways. Six studio albums; ‘Core,’ ‘Purple,’ ‘Tiny Music…Songs from the Vatican’, ‘NO:4’, ‘Shangri la de da’ and the final album ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ in 2010, they all included years of making up and falling out, but they always had their hearts together. Alas this is the end of an era.
Scott began a new chapter in his musical life with Rock icons Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner. They became Velvet Revolver. Two albums in and with old school rock performances proved Scott could compete on stage with anyone. But for me, my faith was still in the historic albums that Stone Temple Pilots put out. I always hoped of another reunion of Scott with the De Leo brothers and Eric Kretz, I lived in hope for this. I had tickets to see Scott and the Wildabouts at the Borderline in London, sadly that was cancelled. I prepared myself for his next tour, his next solo or his venture with a new band or the regrouping of the old. This isn’t going to happen now, this is the same as no more Alice in Chains with Layne, no more Mother Love Bone, and no more Blind Melon.
I thank you Scott Weiland for your music and the amazing live show you put on. You have left a legacy in music.
“I just close my eyes..I’m a roamin’...I’m a roamin’....”