There's an old idiom which states "What goes up, must come down" and Scott Weiland's career and personal life couldn't reflect this more. Let's begin with a brief history lesson. There are conflicting reports as to how Scott Weiland and Robert DeLeo originally met and formed their band Mighty Joe Young in 1985. What we do know is that their first gig was at the iconic Whisky A Go Go supporting Henry Rollings. The band's music was mostly rock but they also played a bunch of funk and even featured some yodelling. In 1989, they signed with Atlantic Records at which point, they officially changed their name. They loved the STP motor logo and wanted to use the acronym STP. After searching hard for a backronym, they tossed out some of their original names, Stereo Temple Pirates and Shirley Temple's Pussy (thankfully) before declaring themselves as the Stone Temple Pilots.
Three years later, after reworking a few of their early Mighty Joe Young songs and creating new material, Stone Temple Pilots released their first studio album, Core and from beginning to end, it was excellent. Core was a massive success and singles like Plush, Creep, Wicked Garden and Sex Type Thing are still on rotation on most rock stations over 20 years later. Suddenly Scott Weiland had become a huge rock star. After a month in the studio, STP released the follow up Core, Purple which debuted at number 1. It spawned the hits Interstate Love Song and Vasoline.
By 1995, Weiland had formed a second band, The Magnificent Bastards, which recorded a John Lennon tribute album and a contribution to the Tank Girl soundtrack. Scott also began work on the third Stone Temple Pilot album, Tiny Music.. Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop, which would prove to be a large departure from the Stone Temple Pilots sound that we were accustomed to. While things sounded great for Scott, he unfortunately was in serious relationship with narcotics. So much so, that he was sentenced to a year's probation after being caught with them on his person. Meanwhile, the rest of STP had formed Talk Show while they awaited for Weiland's return. They eventually released their fourth album, No. 4 and while it sounded more like their original STP material, the band was never quite the same. Their fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Dad was a commercial disaster and the band split in 2003. The break up was attributed to altercations backstage between Scott and the DeLeo brothers though his drug addiction also contributed to the downfall of STP.
Prior to officially splitting with STP, Scott Weiland and Slash of Guns' N Roses fame formed the supergroup Velvet Revolver. Their first album, Contraband was a massive success. Their song Slither went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2005. His comeback lasted a few years but Scott's addiction would come back to haunt him once more. He was arrested in 2007 after crashing his car while under the influence in L.A and in 2008, Velvet Revolver had to cancel their Australian tour after Weiland entered rehab once again. Tensions between the band were at their peak by this point and no one really spoke with Weiland during their UK tour. When they did, it was usually a dispute. On March 20th, 2008, Weiland announced to the crowd that this was their last tour unknowing that the band was set to fire him.
Scott rejoined STP in 2008 but ultimately his self-destructing nature caused feuds once again with his bandmates. STP never got to do the 20th anniversary tour for Core as Scott Weiland was fired from the band he helped form. There were a few attempts by Scott at a comeback and even a reunion with Velvet Revolver but they never really amounted to anything big.
"I'm half the man I used to be".
In April 2015, Scott performed one of the most bizarre sets in his career. Clearly under the influence, Weiland was neither coherent nor could he fully remember the lyrics to his songs. He later claimed that he had been clean for 13 years but as much as we wanted to believe him, everyone knew that this was a lie. He had admitted to binging on coke in late 2007 and when he was found dead on December 3, 2015 in his tour bus, small amounts of cocaine were found in Weiland's bedroom. The saddest part about Scott Weiland's death is not that it was unexpected nor that he was still relatively young at 48, but rather, everyone saw this coming but no one did anything about it.
While his death was tragic, his legacy and music will forever be with us.