Scott Richard Weiland
Compiling a list of adjectives to describe Scott Weiland is no easy feat, but in light of his recent passing I feel compelled to do so. The beleaguered soul, forever destined to be remembered as the troubled frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver was many things: vocalist, lyricist, music video chameleon, husband, father, addict, rape victim, but above all else he was a bona fide rock star, gifted with immeasurable talent and unparalleled stage charisma. Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of cosmic prerequisite of pitfalls and trappings that all too often seem to curse the lifestyle of immensely talented performers.
For a moment, let’s forget all the negative connotations and remember what made Scott Weiland a permanent part of our musical landscape. Not only did he possess one of rock music’s most unique and instantly identifiable voices, he also had an amazing ability to assemble a group of ordinary words into profound poetry. His body of work is both enigmatic and contrasting, including hits “Interstate Love Song,” “Sour Girl,” “Plush,” and “Slither.”
I was lucky enough to witness Scott Weiland’s brilliance twice during his tenure with STP; once in 2002 while standing ankle-deep in mud during the band’s turbulent Shangri-La-Dee-Da era, and again in 2008 during the band’s reunion tour. Both shows are permanently etched in my memory as two of my all-time best concert experiences, showcasing on-point and captivating performances by Weiland, which made all of us in attendance feel lucky to be in the presence of greatness.
In retrospect, it’s almost unfathomable to comprehend all Weiland was able to accomplish despite his obstinate addictions in addition to his all too obvious bi-polar diagnosis; sold-out live performances, multi-platinum albums with both Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, four solo albums, a side project collaboration with Art of Anarchy, and his final incarnation as Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts.
Sadly, some artists are born destined to shine with a white-hot intensity, sustainable only for a brief flicker in time. Scott Weiland, the embodiment of an unadulterated rock star, was one such artist.