Reasoning with Madness
"This is a barbaric yawp, and it will be sounded over the roofs of the world."
Like most who heard of the tragic death of Scott Weiland, frontman from the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, I was pretty crushed, but not surprised, given his addictions he battled throughout his life. And while I was openly critical of him at many times for his behavior throughout the years, I was always a fan of many of his contributions musically, especially STP and VR. The Stone Temple Pilots were a significant force of my teenage years, when I was just starting my journey into rock n roll myself.
At first they seemed like a copy cat of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, at least on that first album, "Core". The first time I heard "Sex Type Thing" on the radio, I thought it was a new Alice in Chains song. Despite the derivative nature, it was still a great record, start to finish. After that, they stomped out and grooved right into their own clever, glammy sound over the course of four more rock solid albums, each with that STP-sound but every one, seething with their own vibe. I remember learning several of their songs on guitar over the years, mainly to understand the weird chords and tunings they used, but also because I loved their songs. They were simple but super fun and catchy. I will always be a sucker for headbobbing grooves, of which the Pilots had many of...
Then came Velvet Revolver, which at least at first, seemed a bit weird and a little contrived...the name clearly playing off both Stone Temple (Velvet) and Guns N Roses (Revolver). I was skeptical, considering I was a HUGE GnR fan, and I worried it would be ruined by changing the chemistry...without Axl, it just didn't seem right. But I was wrong. Each listen of both their albums grew on me more with each listen and still do today. They became a staple in the rock radio world that I inhabited, because the songs were very well-written and had everything you could ask for in a rock band.
The one and only time I'd ever got to see Scott Weiland in any of his bands was the day I saw him and the Wildabouts at Rock on the Range this past summer. I was hoping to interview him that day, as he was scheduled to be there.
As far as I remember, though, he never appeared in the press tent when he was scheduled to, or at all. But then again, that was a pretty common thing with many of the bands as it got so hectic in there at times that it was hard to even understand what was going on or who was there at any given time, unless it was a super big name. In such a case it became silent as everyone took notice of their arrival, which surely would have happened if Scott walked in that day.
But I got to watch some of his set from side stage. I remember thinking he sounded pretty good, but he seemed out of it, shaky and fucked up on stage. He looked almost confused and disconnected and not that into it, like a scared, lost little kid. It was sad, looking back.
Soon after he took the stage, an enormous rain storm blew in and soaked him to the bone. Just as soon as the set ended, so did the rain. In the back of my mind I thought to myself briefly, "That's the Gods telling him to get clean."
RIP Scott Weiland.
You gave us some great tunes over the years.
I'm sorry the demons got the best of you. Here's to hoping that you are indeed, finally, resting in peace.
Who Am I?
I am Ahab.