Stone Temple Pilots’ original manager Steve Stewart has provided Alternative Nation exclusively with his tribute to his friend Scott Weiland. Stewart managed STP from 1990 to 2000:
I’ve known Scott since the mid-80s, when my band and his band played gigs together in Orange County, CA. As we grew up, his path took him to further iterations of the band, from Soi Disant to Might Joe Young, while I went to school, and went on to work in the business side of music. Our paths crossed again in 1990, when he and Robert DeLeo asked me to lunch, and asked me if I could help get them a record deal. I was working for Ice T’s manager, and had made some contacts in the industry. Almost two years later, we had a deal from Atlantic Records on the table. I worked with Scott and the band through their next four records, and had a ringside seat for what became one of the most unique stories in modern rock, and the end of an era in the music industry.
What always struck me most about Scott was how alone he really was. For all the people and things he had around, I always felt he was somehow separated from people. Sometimes, all he wanted was someone to sit with him – I remember one late night a long time ago, when we were facing a long night on a bus, after a gig. The bus was filled with maybe 12 people, all of them asleep after working all night. Scott was in the front lounge, behind the driver, and I was sitting up front, watching the road. As I got up and started toward my bunk to grab some sleep, he looked up from the video game he was playing and said, “Will you stay with me? I don’t want to be here alone.” I thought that was an odd thing to say, as there were a dozen souls within 15 feet of him. This has always stayed with me, and I saw other examples of this through the years of how much he needed someone to share the journey with. Even though no one could ever really satisfy that need, I think it was something that he always yearned for, and maybe, never found.
I could always see the little boy in him, looking for his dad’s approval. Though the years and the trappings of fame often obscured it, every once in a while, I’d catch a glimpse of it through that momentary little smile he’d shoot me after he nailed something. Those were the instants when he was truly proud of himself, and that was the Scott I’ll always remember.
I thought he’d always beat his demons, and maybe in the end, he finally did. My prayers are with his family and children.