Saturday, January 16, 2016

Scott Weiland

In what I would perhaps call the least surprising turn of events ever, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and an underrated solo career was found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota the day after I went on my holiday hiatus. As far as I'm concerned, most celebrity deaths are sad but inevitable--we all grow old and die, or fall victim to freak accidents, or what have you. And I would tend to include Weiland's death in that category, except his life's work had such an impact on me that I feel compelled to comment on it now.

Some of you are undoubtedly aware of my long-standing fascination with Weiland. He served as both role model and cautionary tale to many, and among my many connections on Facebook, a handful mourned the loss, citing STP and Weiland's voice as essential to the soundtrack of their lives. Two of my friends made sure to text me and ask if I was all right after receiving the news, and two others made contact with me to discuss the event.

Personally, Weiland left a long trail of destruction behind him, and in some cases, he did so professionally, as well. This is not a news flash in any way; Weiland was probably as famous for his struggles as he was for his music. Yet people have been lining up to eulogize him: the front page of was basically one big Scott Weiland tribute site in the week following his death, Craig Jenkins over at Noisey wrote an excellent article about Weiland, and Billy Corgan also had kind words to share.

I don't think I can add much of anything to the conversation, having been only a fan and not a contemporary or even acquaintance of Weiland's. But I can say this: to me, Scott Weiland's voice sounds like home. Maybe it's because he and I both grew up in the Midwest, and so I literally hear the speech patterns of my people in his singing style. Or perhaps it's because I've been a fan since I was 14 years old, which amounts to about half of my life.

In the absence of any meaningful contribution, I'll leave you with this, one of my favorite Stone Temple Pilots songs and a testament to Weiland's vocal ability:


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