Today is December 4, 2015. It has been a very weird day, full of weird emotions. Last night while on Twitter I came across a tweet from Dave Navarro that former Stone Temple Pilot frontman Scott Weiland has passed away. At first I didn’t believe but then the news stories started to come in. It was true, Scott Weiland was dead at the age of 48.
I was heartbroken by this news. I have always been a fan of STP but more importantly I am a huge fan of Scott Weiland. The work that he did with Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Scoot Weiland and The Wildabouts as well as his solo work, it was all amazing. The imagery that he portrayed in his lyrics were like none other before or after him.
I remember the first time I saw Stone Temple Pilots live. It was June 23, 2000 at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey. At this point I was familiar with the bands music. I mean, who wasn’t? K-Rock in NYC and more importantly Matt Pinfield payed them on heavy rotation. I just remember the lights going dark, a single spotlight hits the stage and there, standing on one of the monitors, was a scrawny dude with no shirt and leather pants holding a bull horn. The crowd went nuts. There he was, Scott Weiland! He slowly raised both hands to his mouth. Put the bullhorn in front of his mouth and the microphone in front of the bullhorn. Then it hit
“I am smellin’ like the rose
that somebody gave me on
my birthday deathbed
I am smellin’ like the rose
that somebody gave me
’cause I’m dead & bloated”
House lights went up and the band played ‘Dead and Bloated” to kick off their 60 minute set. They played all their hits – Interstate Love Song, Creep, Big Bang Baby, Plush, Big Empty, Sex Type Thing, Cackerman, Wicked Garden, Lounge Fly etc. I was captivated.The way the band played, their chemistry. The way Weiland flamboyantly danced around the stage. The man knew how to work his audience and it was fun to watch.
K-Rock made them a DFP staple, appear the following year as well as closing out the last DFP on May 31, 2008.
To anyone who knew the name Scott Weiland, it was no secret that he struggle with personal demons and substance abuse. These demons lead to him splitting from the band in 2002 and along with former members of Guns’n’Roses, forming Velvet Revolver. For me, lyrically there was very little difference between STP and Velvet Revolver, though their sounds were drastically different. In 2008 STP re-united, released a new album but ultimately split again in 2013.
To a lot of people it was only a matter of time until the drugs, the alcohol, the demons caught up with him. Yesterday the world lost an amazing artist who helped define a generation of music and created some of the most iconic songs of the 90’s.
R.I.P Scott Weiland