Scott Weiland, the embattled former frontman of the rock band Stone Temple Pilots, died yesterday while on tour with his new band, Wildabouts. The official story is that Weiland died in his sleep, but he has had a long history of drug abuse and of course there is speculation that drugs were a factor. Weiland was 48 years old.
In 1995, at the height of STP’s popularity, Weiland was arrested for heroin and cocaine possession and entered into rehab for a short time. He continued to use however and the band was forced to take a hiatus after releasing their third album. It got worse for Weiland has he was arrested again for heroin possession and he even overdosed in July of 1999.
After another rehab stint, the Stone Temple Pilots released two more albums before a more permanent breakup. Weiland was arrested a couple more times but he claimed he had not used heroin since 2002. The stone Temple Pilots reunited in 2008 after Weiland supposedly got clean and released one album in 2010, but the reunion was short lived and Weiland was kicked out of the band. Weiland outlived contemporaries Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Layne Stanley of Alice in Chains, and Bradley Nowell of Sublime but 48 is still too young.
The Stone Temple Pilots burst onto the music scene in 1992 with their debut album, Core. Critics called them a cheap imitation of the Seattle grunge bands like Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, but listeners didn’t seem to care. The album was a success and included hits like “Creep”, “Wicked Garden”, and the 1994 Grammy winning “Plush”
The succes continued with their follw up album, 1994’s Purple. This album gave STP not one, but two number one hits in “Interstate Love Song” and “Vasoline”.
STP was on top of the world now but they weren’t done yet. Their third album, “Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop”, would come out in 1996 and many believe it to be their best work. This time their album spawned three number one singles, “Big Bang Baby”, “Lady Picture Show”, and “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart”.
Weiland’s addiction got the best of him after the release of the album and the band took a hiatus. They returned with two more albums, 1999’s “No. 4” and 2001’s “Shangri-La Dee Da”, but the band wasn’t the same.
The Stone Temple Pilots broke up in 2003 but Weiland would be back with a new band that year. He joined with the former members of Guns N’ Roses to form Velvet Revolver. Their first album, Contraband, was released in 2004 and included the mega hit “Slither”.
After the success of Contraband, fans were all left wondering when the next album was coming out. However, after Contraband, many members of the band, including Weiland, starting drinking and using drugs again. The other members got clean but Weiland didn’t. He grew paranoid and believed that the other members were going to reunite with Axl Rose. It was a miracle their second album, 2007’s “Libertad”, got recorded at all. It wasn’t any good though.
Weiland’s drinking got worse and his relationship with the band deteriorated. Weiland quit the band in 2008 before they had the chance to fire him. Shortly thereafter he was back with Stone Temple Pilots for a reunion tour followed by a new album, 2010’s “Stone Temple Pilots”. The self-titled album brought them back to the top of the charts with “Between the Lines”.
The band hoped to make it a permanent reunion but the band grew sick of Weiland on their 2012 tour. Weiland was fired form the band in 2013 and replaced by Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Weiland quickly formed a new band, the Wildabouts, and they released their first album earlier this year. Weiland was found dead in his tour bus shortly before he was set to play the first show of a tour with the Wildabouts.
Scott Weiland, you are not half the man you used to be. You’re now zero percent of him.