Scott Weiland: A High School To Core Retrospective

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Written by Corey Hickok and Brett Buchanan

This is the first installment in Alternative Nation’s ‘Deep Cuts’ series, from Scott Weiland’s best friend and Mighty Joe Young/Swing/Soi-Disant bandmate Corey Hickok.  Alternative Nation will be launching a new section soon featuring more articles like this.  Check back tomorrow for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the recording of ‘Core’ and Stone Temple Pilots’ early shows touring the album.  Thanks to David Allin for many of the high school photos.

The year was 1984. We sat outside of Scott’s parents brand new house in downtown Huntington Beach. Scott’s mom had a very special gift in the kitchen, and could cook as good as any gourmet chef. Our stomachs were content from a healthy portion of her famous beef brisket. We sipped on hot tea and sat across from each other, discussing our future. We weren’t just talking, but mapping out our future as rock stars. I know it sounds trite, but we had decided our dedication and passion would lead us to a life of waking up every morning with music as our livelihood. We exchanged thoughts on what luxuries life would allow us as we rocked the world with our music. But at this moment, the love we had for our musical endeavors seemed to minor in a love for food.

I vividly remember Paris coming up as a place we’d go to dine at the finest France had to offer. The luxury of being able to order anything off the menu regardless of price excited us. We chuckled, and Scott had a way of shaking his leg in a back and forth motion whenever he was overly stimulated. It was a surefire sign that he was in the best of moods. Back in those days, that occurred on a regular basis.

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Scott and his family moved to Huntington Beach, CA from Chagrin Falls, OH in 1983.  He went to Edison High School as a freshman, playing football and singing in the choir. Scott would come to watch my brother Ross and I play in our band Awkward Positions, and he was intrigued by the whole idea of creating music. As that band came to an end, I asked Scott if he would like to sing for a new band I was forming. He jumped at the opportunity, and we went to play together for the first time at a drummer named David Allin’s house. There was immediate chemistry, and we started looking for a bass player, who initially ended up being Dave Stokes. When it came to picking out a name, Scott settled on Soi-Disant. It was a French name, meaning style of oneself.

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Soi-Disant perform live.

In choir, Scott was in ensemble, which was the best of the best, so he had total knowledge of how to sing professionally. He had perfect pitch, but as far as finding himself and who he was as a singer in a band, it was a process to find his voice. He had been sheltered from a lot of music in Ohio, which had a vastly different scene to southern California. I brought a lot of post punk influences into the band, and I shared them with Scott. Early Cure, the Psychadelic Furs, The Jam, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, bands with a punk energy, but with great melodies and hooks.

The Cure’s “Killing An Arab” was one of the early songs we covered.  I also remember turning him onto David Bowie, and he really liked Duran Duran. Scott started teaching me how to sing harmonies, and we synced perfectly. We could sing just acapaella, and it would sound almost like a chorus pedal. I was progressing as a singer, and he starting to find out who he wanted to be musically.

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Soi-Disant: (back, left to right) David Allin, Corey Hickok, Scott Weiland, (front) Britt Willits, and Scott Tubbs.

I was just getting to know Scott, but at the time I had a tight knit group of close friends, and on weekends I’d always go hang out with them. Scott was eager to spend more time with me, ‘Hey, why can’t I hang out with you?’ He wanted to hang out with me more because of what we were doing musically, but I only had so many friends, and it took a little time for me to consider someone a best friend.

During sophomore year, Scott’s parents found a very small amount of cocaine in his room, and they had paramedics come to our school and put him on a gurney, in front of everybody. He was put on lockdown in Orange at a place called Care Unit. They told him, ‘You have to partake in this program. You’ve got problems, so you better admit it!’ He told them he didn’t have any problems, and at the time, he didn’t. He was a kid dabbling recreationally, and he made a mistake, but it led to rumors at school. Everyone at school thought Scott had a drug problem, so I had to go around and tell everyone that he didn’t.

Scott called me from Care Unit, ‘Hey Corey man, can you come here?’ I went up there, and it was very emotional. I asked him what I could do for him, and he said, ‘I just need a good friend.’ I committed to him, ‘I’ll be your best friend.’ After that, not only were we partners in music, but we were best friends. I alienated a lot of other friends I had, and I was with Scott always for the rest of high school. We looked after each other through thick and thin, and always had each other’s backs.

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Our band became complete when we added a new bass player and keyboardist. There was a really talented band when I was in junior high called Tubbs and Company: Shawn, Lonnie, and Scott Tubbs. Scott would become our bass player after Dave, and Britt Willits became our keyboardist. Shawn and Lonnie would also play with us from time to time. Once Scott joined Soi-Disant, we got serious. As we started to play live, most people said it sounded like Duran Duran, but I was trying to infuse some more angst into our sound. Early songs titles included “Forever Four” and “In The Moonlight.”

Our school had banned bands from playing at lunch in 1980 after this one punk band played and the kids just screwed up the whole school. We were the first band they allowed to come back and play. At lunch when the kids would come out, we’d be playing the middle of the quad. We were definitely the high school band.

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Eventually we started playing at all of the different parties, the ‘jock’ parties. We got pretty popular, as a lot of the women started liking what we were doing (and the way we looked). A lot of the jocks started getting really jealous. We’d play these parties, and we were taking away the attention of all the girls. We got in some fights with the jocks, and Scott was a really good fighter. These jocks were messing with the wrong guy. He was one of those guys who would take you down no matter what, it didn’t matter how big you were.

There was one occasion where a few guys ganged up on Scott, and Scott didn’t forget it. Years later, when Stone Temple Pilots played on the main stage at Irvine Meadows for the first time in 1993, Scott said on stage something along the lines of, ‘It’s funny, here I am back in my hometown, and some of you guys who used to want to start fights with me now are now watching me play here. How do you like that?’

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We knew we had to take Soi-Disant to the next level, and we had to get out of the party scene in Orange County and play in Los Angeles. We played at ‘pay to play’ venues like The Roxy and the Whiskey, where you had to sell tickets in order to play. We got clever, figuring out that we could rent tour buses and then factor that into the ticket prices.

We’d have two tour buses show up in front of our high school, and mostly pack them with girls. Up to 200 kids would be driven up to LA, and the shows would be sold out. We were 17 years old and selling out The Roxy.  Music industry people were shocked that a teenage band from Orange County could manage to sell out a club in LA.

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We also would play at a 21 and over dance club in Orange County called Déjà Vu, so we all had to get fake ID’s. The guy who ran the club, Tom, let us play once a week and jam in between the DJ, and it took off. We got a whole different type of following, and it did a lot for us. Tom was such a big supporter that he paid for us to do a demo called “Divine Right.”

While we were playing at Déjà Vu, at the end of our sets we’d close with “Louie Louie.” One night, we asked if anybody in the audience knew how to play bass, and a guy rose his hand, so we invited him on stage, and he absolutely killed it. His name was Robert DeLeo. The next time we played, he was there again, and it became a regular occurrence.

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We graduated in 1986, celebrating with a trip to Hawaii. As we looked towards the future, Scott and I were determined that we were going to make it in the music industry, and Britt was on board as well. We were maturing, and wanted a new sound to take us to the next level. We had heard that Robert had a studio at his apartment in Long Beach, so we went up there to record some stuff. We also asked him if he would lay the bass down on some songs after we’d recorded our parts. We came back the next day, and our jaws dropped. It sounded incredible.

Scott and I looked at each other, and we’re like: ‘Hey Robert, would you like to be in our band?’ He said, ‘Look guys, I’m so serious about music, if I get in a band, it has to be 100% dedication.’ We responded, ‘That’s what we’re looking for.’ And we did it. We started writing songs that were in the same vein as Parliament P Funk and Sly Stone, going in a 70’s funk direction, and Swing was born.

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Robert DeLeo and Scott Weiland perform live.

We now needed a drummer, so we put out an ad in Bam magazine. We had a lot of interest, and a lot of them just weren’t any good, so we started requesting videos. We met this one guy who played great, but he had a girlfriend who was a nightmare. We played a few times, and it was always a hassle with the girlfriend, and we called him out on it. We told him that we didn’t want any outside distractions, and he was out. After that, we went back to the drawing board.

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Robert DeLeo, Scott Weiland, and Corey Hickok perform live.

One day we were sitting in downtown Long Beach, and we had just heard a drummer play over the phone, and he was going to bring us a tape. We saw him pull up in his car downstairs, and up comes a man by the name of Eric Kretz. He put on a video tape of himself playing, and he was incredible. Bruford, Bonham, that’s what we wanted, so we set up an audition at a rehearsal studio in Long Beach. Eric set up his drums, we were so excited, we’d been looking for a drummer for months.

I go up to check my mic, I have my fingers on my strings, and I started getting shocked. I literally flew at least 10 feet, almost behind the stage on the riser. Saliva was coming out of my mouth, I thought I was going to die. Eric tried to free me from my guitar, but he got jolted when he touched me. Considering we had just met, I thought that was really brave of him and showed his character.

Everyone in the building could hear me shrieking. Scott came up behind me and shouted, ‘Turn the power off!’ I jumped up in the air, in shock, freaking out. An ambulance came and took me to the hospital, and the band followed me. The doctor told me if I hadn’t been wearing shoes, or I’d been older, I would have died. It really changed my outlook on life.

After that, Eric joined Swing. We played a lot of dance clubs, and we could get away with it, because people would dance to our music. We started to get a following, but we knew we had to go up to LA. I dropped out of school at Long Beach State, and Robert, Eric, Britt, and I moved into an apartment in Culver City, while Scott moved in with his girlfriend Mary Ann.

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Britt Willits, Corey Hickok, Scott Weiland, and Erik Kretz on Scott’s 21st birthday in 1988.  Scott’s birthday was on October 27th, close to Halloween, so typically we would always try to get a limo, it was kind of a tradition.  We would dress up as clowns, sometimes like A Clockwork Orange characters.

We just started playing every club we could, with the Coconut Teaszer being a mainstay. We played with No Doubt early on, and Tom Morello’s band Lock Up. Bam Magazine also started to give us some media attention. When you were Bam’s pick of the week, you knew you were going to get signed. Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you name it. We ended up being the pick of the week.

When we played live, somewhere in the set we would do solos, and Eric would do a drum solo where he would get up from his drum set with his drumsticks and literally tap everything in the venue.  He would go tap the side of the mic stand, he’d even go into the audience.  People were like, ‘What the hell is this guy doing!?’  He’d then make his way back on stage, and slowly start to play, and then he would just go nuts.  He was so animated, the crowd loved it.

Robert would do a bass solo, and this is back when he would slap.  Everyone’s jaws would just drop, he could slap on that bass like nobody’s business.  It was incredible, and it completely captivated the audience.  Scott was really coming into his own as a frontman with Swing.  He started doing his James Brown and Mick Jagger moves, incorporating that into his stage presence.  So many times after we would finish playing we would have people go up to us, ‘You guys are going to make it.  Not only do you sound incredible, but you have the greatest stage presence.  You guys are going to be huge.’  That was a standard for us, and we felt it too, we had a chemistry on stage where we just fed off each other.  There was never a moment where people just sat there and watched us, people would be dancing, jumping up and down, they were always participating in some way.  It really helped fire us up on stage.

Our songwriting evolved as well.  When we started playing together, it was all my stuff, with Robert adding his licks to what I was writing.  Very quickly, it evolved to where Robert was bringing in ideas himself.  Robert had a great way of bringing in really catchy riffs, and my talent was to take those riffs and structure them in a song format.  As time went on, Robert wrote more and more, while I wrote less and less, but I was always helping a lot with the arrangements.  Robert is such a brilliant musician, he had so much music in his head, and just a plethora of licks.

“Ole Dixie” was a fun little country song we did, completely different from anything we ever did. Scott’s biological father Kent and stepmom Martha listened to old school country music, so he was a fan growing up, as was I. We were really into Dwight Yoakam as well at the time. One time we were goofing around in the studio, and we decided to slap it on the end of a demo.  We also did two really funky songs called “Dirty Dog” and “Love Machine.”  For “Love Machine,” we hired a woman to do backing vocals to get that 70’s soul sound, and we actually all did backing vocals on that song.

We really loved funk, but there was only so much we could do in that genre.  Our sound slowly moved in the 70’s rock direction, rather than our funk and 60’s soul influences.  Scott really started getting into The Doors and Jim Morrison.  When Scott would really get passionate about an artist he admired, it somehow became a part of him, and his own unique voice.

As we transitioned into a more rock sound, we didn’t have any more keyboard parts for Britt to play, so we let him go. We then changed our name to Mighty Joe Young as part of this transformation of our sound.  This is when there started to be some tension in the band, as there became a desire to have an anthem type lead guitar sound with what was going on with MTV at the time, with big solos. That type of playing just wasn’t in my musical makeup, and I didn’t see why I should change my style.

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Scott Weiland, Eric Kretz, and Corey Hickok perform live.

Two songs we worked on that were in our new rock direction were “Piece of Pie” and “Fast As I Can” (completely different songs from the tracks that later appeared on Core and Stone Temple Pilots).  “Piece of Pie” called for a lead, so Robert said: ‘Corey, we’ve got to do a lead for this song. I’ll tell you what, let’s get my brother Dean up here to just play the lead on it.’ Dean was this monster guitar player, but he was a foreman at a construction company, making great money.  I’d met Dean, we’d had fun with him riding jet skis down in San Diego, and he’d come to a few shows. He ended up coming in and playing the solo, and it was brilliant. After that, there was talk of Dean joining the band and making it a 5 piece, with me doing rhythm guitar and backing vocals. I said no.

I felt what we had been doing up to that point was great, and that we didn’t need anything else. Looking back now in hindsight, I see that what Dean brought to the band is everything they needed to get to the next level. But at the time, I felt a little differently.

Scott said, “Corey, we need this.” At the same time, Robert was progressing as a a bass player and musician at an incredible pace, Eric was so on the money, with the best chops, and then you had me, and I wasn’t progressing nearly as fast as them as a musician. There was some tension there, and I understand that. I also had a great job opportunity back home in Huntington Beach at the time too, so I was really at a crossroads. They could sense I wasn’t as dedicated as I once was.

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Robert DeLeo, Scott Weiland, and Corey Hickok perform live.

It was a difficult decision, but I told Scott that I was leaving Mighty Joe Young. We both cried. Since the beginning of high school, he had never played in a band without me. He felt like a part of his whole experience as a musician was gone, but he was definitely in great hands. Dean’s a monster musician, with the synergy between he and his brother, and Eric, they were a force to be reckoned with.

I told Scott, ‘My Dad’s offering me a business, I understand the pressure, bring Dean in. I’m done, but I’ll always be your best friend.’ Scott looked me in the eyes and told me, ‘Corey, I want you to know this. If I don’t make it in music, I don’t know anything else I’ll be able to do. You might have to support me someday.’ He was 100% serious. This was all he ever wanted. Since we began this journey, I saw something change in him, his whole demeanor changed as soon as he sang in a band situation. He never looked back. It’s what he was meant to do.

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Mighty Joe Young after Dean joined the band.

After I quit, Dean joined Mighty Joe Young on a temporary basis, but was hesitant to join full time because of the great job he had in San Diego, so they put out ads looking for a new guitar player. They started auditioning guitarists and were just laughing, the same thing that happened when we were looking for drummers a few years prior.

As Dean was beginning to play with the band though, the chemistry was undeniable. Just as I was leaving the band, “Wicked Garden” was being written. “Where The River Goes,” “Only Dying,” and “Naked Sunday” were also early songs they did with Dean. After a month or so, Dean finally agreed to join on a full time basis. He was the icing on the cake for the band, and I became their biggest fan. I was there for their early shows, the day they were signed by Atlantic Records, when they were writing and recording the songs from Core, and as the Grunge scene exploded.

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Mighty Joe Young’s original 1989 logo.

When it came to contemporaries, Scott had never heard of a band called Pearl Jam when he was writing Core. We were fans though of Alice In Chains when they came out, and Scott had great admiration for Perry Farrell, he thought he was mesmerizing and an amazing frontman. He loved Jane’s Addiction.

One thing that Scott became iconic for was his use of the bullhorn on stage, and there is a great story behind that. We were over at our buddy Gary Menke’s house one day, and Scott goes into the garage and sees a bullhorn. He says, ‘I want to start playing with this!’ Some time after that, I’m hanging out at Gary’s house, and Scott is on MTV. Gary says, ‘Hey Dad, you were asking where you megaphone was, there it is!’ His Dad Dale goes, ‘What the hell? I want my megaphone back!’ Word got back to Scott, so he wrote: ‘I heart Dale Menke’ on it. Dale let him keep it.

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Scott with his trademark bullhorn at a July 1993 concert in Berkley, CA

As Mighty Joe Young became Stone Temple Pilots, I remember feeling that everything I knew we were going to be, was going to be. With any type of career that takes drive and ambition to achieve, there will be naysayers. Whether you want to be a fireman or a doctor, then you get older and you find out it’s ‘1 in 10,000.’ When we were young, we had these people saying: ‘Do you know that 1 in 10,000 people make it in the music industry? Grow up! How are you going to make it?’

We said, ‘We’re the 1 in 10,000.’ Nothing ever penetrated Scott’s mind, he was laser focused. The chills I get remembering being at our 20 year high school reunion when they put the class of 1986 video on, and all of a sudden it shows me and Scott. We’re saying: ‘In 10 years, we’re going to be dominating the world, the biggest band in the music industry.’ Scott did it.

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Scott’s 1986 high school graduation photo, with his note to Corey.

When STP released Core in 1992, our local metal station KNAC picked up “Sex Type Thing,” but KROQ said it was ‘too heavy’ for the station. It became the number 1 song on KNAC. “Plush” was the next single, at the time STP were touring in an RV, and that song became a smash hit on rock radio. KROQ think they’re always the ‘hottest’ on alternative, but they had to swallow their pride and play STP after every station across the country had picked up “Plush.”

Once Scott became famous, and I was just a normal guy, every time I would see him, my goal was to try to take him out of that realm, because he called me so many times on the road and we had some very heartfelt conversations. Scott started to go into restaurants, and guys would come up with their shoes, and they’d put them on the table: ‘Hey, will you sign my shoes?’ For awhile he’d be like, ‘Okay, but that’s kind of odd.’ Then it got to a point where he couldn’t be seen in public.

He called me on the road, ‘Corey, I’m coming home, I want you to be at my house.’ Scott had just bought a home with his wife Janina, who is a great woman. She was there for Swing, Mighty Joe Young, and everything. So I meet Scott, we’re sitting at his beautiful house, and Scott tells me, ‘Corey, this is what I always wanted, but I feel like a puppet. I’m being torn. At 8 o’clock I do an interview, 8:30 pictures, then 9 another interview, then 10 I’m going to MTV.’ It was just a lot, and it was times like that that I would help ground him, and help him understand that this is what we were working for, and to just roll with the punches.

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Scott during STP’s early days.

We would see each other off and on because of Scott’s touring schedule, but when he would be in town, we would get together. I was over at his house one day in 1998 in Pasadena, and he told me he had a solo record coming out, 12 Bar Blues. He played “Barbarella” over his great sound system, and gave me an acoustic guitar and asked me to play along. He said, ‘I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you come and play with me? I’m going out to play David Letterman in New York, do you want to play?’ I said sure, and he invited me to rehearse with his solo band. Daniel Lanois was there, Martyn LeNoble, and Victor Indrizzo. The guitar tech gave me Dave Navarro’s 12 string to play, it was a lot nicer than the guitar I brought. We started playing “Barbarella,” and Scott stops the song halfway through and tells Daniel than I am going to be singing backups, like I used to in the olden days.

The next thing I know I’m flying to New York with Scott. When we get to David Letterman’s studio we were told we had to cut the song down, which complicated the arrangement and the beginning of the song. A person who worked for Letterman told me, “We’ve decided we’re going to put a click track in your ear, not the drummer’s ear, and when David says ’12 Bar Blues,’ on ‘blues’ you’re going to have to hit the first note to a click track.” So I hit the first note and it starts the drum track for him, and if I make a mistake, I butcher the whole song on live TV. We do it, and I pull it off, but it was quite the experience.

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Scott and his brother Michael before Scott’s interview on Howard Stern to promote 12 Bar Blues.

While we were in New York, we got wined and dined by Atlantic Records. At the restaurant, I go to the bathroom, and a guy walks up and asks me: ‘Hey, you’re here with Scott? Could you introduce me to him?’ It was Ben Stiller. So I introduced them, and Ben asked Scott to do a song for ‘There’s Something About Mary.’

Scott then asked me to join his band and come out on tour for 12 Bar Blues with him. This was my dream, but when I got to New York and I saw the schedule, getting up at 7AM, then going to Howard Stern at 7:30, and just being there for 3 days, it was so rigorous. For the first time I saw first hand what it does entail to be a rock star like Scott, and there really is a part to it that can definitely take a toll on you. You really need to have a foundation of some sort, because it can be very cold.

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Corey and Scott backstage at a June 2010 Stone Temple Pilots show in Irvine, CA.

After that, I would still see Scott off and on depending on his schedule. In 2009, he called me and said, “Corey, I need you to come up to LA, I’ve got the guys from VH1 Behind The Music here to do an interview with you.” I spent 2 hours with VH1, and the director thanked me for filling in the gaps from when Scott moved to Huntington Beach. It never came out. Apparently there’s so much red tape legally because of the many different musicians Scott worked with, that these guys all have their own publishing deals. They definitely have enough though to release the Behind The Music special.

Later that same year, Scott and I had one of our most memorable experiences as friends when we went to a Notre Dame football game. Scott’s dad David played football at Notre Dame, so Scott was a lifelong fan of Notre Dame’s football team. Every Saturday, no matter what, he was going to watch the game. In 2009, the coach Charlie Weiss heard that Scott had defended him on the internet, when a lot of people were calling for him to be fired. Charlie called Scott and asked him to come to the alumni game, and Scott asked me to go with him.

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Corey, Notre Dame’s athletic director, Scott, and Derek Mayes at a Notre Dame football game in 2009.

We stayed at the university hotel, and when we went into our room, and Scott was like a kid in a candy store, shaking his leg with excitement like he did when we were young. We’re talking about a rock star, where nothing surprised him any more. We met Charlie, who told us he wanted us to come on the field, and even let us park in his personal parking space. At the game, Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown came up asked for pictures with Scott.

At one point, Scott decided he wanted to go up to the college section and hang out with the kids. After the game, we ended up playing beer pong with some kids at a bar, and it wasn’t about drinking, Scott drank less than me, it was about Scott’s love for the school. We were invited to a house by seniors, and Scott was so appreciative of everyone we met. He loved the campus, and he wanted to be a part of it. We had the most amazing weekend. He was the old Scott. Scott left such an impression on everybody there, that the alumni director texted me the night Scott passed, 6 years after we’d met him.

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Scott and Tim Brown at the Notre Dame game in 2009.

As the years went on and I would see Scott in between tours, and in a beautiful way, I almost felt like a rock for Scott. He got to the point where he was around so many different people. As you become famous, you become this magnet that everyone attracts to. Everyone wants to cling to you, and they all start to become your best friend, and you don’t know their true motifs.

All of a sudden I’d see these new people, and I would be the same old Corey. I would see some uncomfortable stuff, and things I didn’t approve of, and I would be the first one to say something. They would be shocked: ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?’ I’d respond, ‘Yeah, I’m looking out for my best friend.’ It was a back and forth thing, where Scott would want to be around certain people, and then times where he would spend more time with me.

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Corey with one of his favorite photographs of Scott in January 2016.

I want to conclude by saying I’m truly blessed to have had a part in Scott’s musical journey, and will hold it close to my heart for the rest of my life.  Scott was a slice of the rock and roll revolutionary pie. He is a prominent voice for more than a generation, and his music has become the soundtrack of many of his fans lives. His ability to constantly reinvent himself and his voice inflections catapulted him to a level few have reached in rock and roll. How many musicians can you think of off the top your head that have been making music and remained relevant after 25 years? Scott will always be remembered as the “miraculous melody maker,” with his ability to write songs that stand the test of time.

Figuratively speaking, it was as if Scott was able to tap into a sacred realm of music, and it was the fans who got to reap the rewards of his rare findings. In time, I believe more of Scott’s contributions to music will be recognized as a major footprint for this generation. As a great friend, I’m terribly saddened he’s gone, but rest assured, he’s up in Heaven and playing among the best of them in peace. As his loyal fans pay their respects, I know Scott is looking down and proud of all of you for your heartfelt sentiments. On behalf of his close friends, we thank you for the love and support of a one of a kind, beautiful soul who will forever be remembered.

God Bless,

Corey Hickok

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Scott performing with Soi-Disant.

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From left: Scott, his high school sweetheart Heather Chapman, Geneva (David Allin’s girlfriend), David Allin, Ron Kaufman, and Corey Hickok.

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Scott with Ron Kaufman, our other great friend. At one time people called us the Three Musty Queers. All in fun of course. The three of us spent a lot of time together throughout high school and beyond.

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Ann Wilkens, Heather Chapman, Ron Kaufman, Corey Hickok, Claudia Stange, Geneva, and Scott.  Ann Wilkens is now the executive producer for KROQ’s Loveline.

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Scott, Heather Chapman, Robin Campbell, David Allin, Geneva, Corey Hickok, Ron Kaufman, and Liana on our 1986 high school graduation trip to Hawaii.

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Scott on the high school graduation trip to Hawaii.

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Scott and his first love Heather Chapman.

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We all went to a ‘Dynasty’ party in high school. This is Scott with Robin Campbell, David Allin’s cousin.

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Scott and David Allin.

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  • Ann Anderson

    Wonderful article and pictures. Thanks for sharing the story and memories.

  • larry cornwater

    God bless Core Hickok.

  • Guido Bortesi

    I loved the pictures.

  • Raj

    Very cool, great article and photos. I wonder what STP would have sounded like if Corey Hickock remained as the guitar player. I feel like Corey understood Scott better than anyone else even though Scott spend more time with his STP band mates, Corey was always there for him, it was very cool of Scott he always kept in touch with Corey and invited him to play with him. It is apparent Corey looked out for Scott’s best interests.

    • Alternative Nation

      It would have been interesting to hear Scott and Corey play more together on Scott’s solo stuff, but the vibe I got from Corey, as you can read in this article, is that the music business just wasn’t for him, as he turned down the opportunity to be part of Scott’s solo band permanently. He seems very happy in where he is in life from talking to him, zero regrets, while proud of what he did do with Scott.

      • livininomaha

        Than you Brett for adding this insight into Corey’s current feelings about leaving the band early on. It’s great to hear that Corey has no regrets.

  • Felonious Punk

    Lolololol @ Brett watermarking all the unreleased photos with those big AN logos

    • Alternative Nation

      The watermarks will look better for tomorrow’s photos from the recording/early live shows from ‘Core’ that Corey gave me, as I was able to have someone do it all for me. I really needed to get this up tonight though since I’ve been told by a few people that a big Billboard story is coming out very soon. I will release these photos over time though on Scott’s social media though with much smaller watermarks, ones that probably only mention Corey and not Alternative Nation.

      • Felonious Punk

        I wasn’t criticizing you or anything; I think it’s both clever and fair to protect your scoop from the “big business” news sites like Billboard and Rolling Stone, who don’t give a shit about the musicians they cover and only want the site traffic they generate.

      • Up2HighHell

        Can you explain more about the Billboard story rumour?

        • Alternative Nation

          There’s an in-depth Billboard story coming out within the next week or so, and we thought it was important to get our article out there first to tell a really positive story about Scott’s life.

          • Victor Charlie

            The press wasn’t very kind to Scott when he was alive so you can only imagine what they will say about him after he has passed on.
            Whatever that is their own negative energy they have to deal with.
            Scott was an amazing bright light for so many who left behind a huge shadow in this world as you and Corey have reaffirmed to us once again.
            In the end that is all that that really matters.

        • Martha Bartha

          Its only a rumor.

      • Jack

        G’day, sorry wasn’t sure how else to get in contact, this is a really cool piece, a great read, but the photos are no longer showing up, only the text placeholders. Is it possible to have them reinstated..?

  • Robert Brooks

    Thanks for the story

  • Jesse Bukal

    Thanks Corey and Brett. This was really cool to hear.

  • Seahorse1020

    Thanks Corey.

  • Lani

    Thank you Corey for sharing with us. I loved reading this and checking out all the pictures.

  • tenatown

    Thank you for sharing this – it’s meaningful and inspiring as well as a testament to the importance of friendship in this crazy life.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    It’s good way to remind him.

  • Chris Stewart

    Great piece Brett. Also thanks to Corey for sharing all his stuff and memories. I have to say this piece is the first time someone made Scott look human. This to me is better than anything Rolling Stone or any other rock publication will put out as retrospective to Scott. Once again great job Brett!

  • Shelley

    I am so impressed with this colaboration, Bret9t it is evident that you have a huge respect for Scott. Corey has been keeping all this close to his heart and its so wonderful that it was shared with so much care. Thank you for honoring Scotts memory so well, he was a special person and it brought back so many memories for me as Coreys older sister…Scott was like a little brother to me. Corey you did such a beautiful job..your love for Scott is so evidant here. You are a special human and such an anchor in Scotts life. You were blessed to of had each other.

    • Jesse Bukal

      Shelley, You and your brother Corey have my deepest condolences. I am sure Corey did everything he could to help Scott while he was with us. You all are in my thoughts.

  • SFRAIDERS

    God bless you Corey! Thank you for sharing with us your experiences with Scott Weiland the person! We fans will always miss the artist! But my condolences to you for losing your best friend! You were a true friend, and you guys shared a special bond! We ALL miss him! Prayers go out to him, and to you too!

  • Pingback: Behind The Scenes Of Stone Temple Pilots' Core()

  • AOKRCEO

    THANKS!!!

  • livininomaha

    These posts from Corey are outstanding. It’s left me wanting to hear more from those who knew Scott when…, including his high school choir instructors. Scott took what he learned from them and ran with it to say the least. It’d also be great to hear from his high school sweetheart Heather Chapman; the woman he lived with in Los Angeles Mary Ann; the other high school friends and bandmates mentioned in this article; and, of course, Janina.

  • michael

    Great piece of writing, Corey.

  • SourGirl

    So glad that Scott had such a wonderful lifetime friend in Corey. Thanks for sharing your memories, Corey and God bless.

  • Victor Charlie

    Amazing stuff .. thank you Corey !

  • dakotablue

    Really enjoyed reading this and looking at all the photos–thank you.
    The part about trying to entice Dean to join by holding auditions reminds me of the way AIC got Layne to commit as their singer–they auditioned all sorts of horrible singers until Layne said OK, enough, he’d do it to save them from those other guys!

    One sad part is that Scott started getting hassled about drugs when he was only a sophomore in high school, and wasn’t strung out or even close. That makes more than 30 years of drug grilling, more or less.

  • nomad

    I finally got around to reading this. Great stuff!
    Those Mighty Joe Young guys were rocking the Duran Duran hair!

  • Martha Bartha

    Hard to believe its the same guy!

  • Jack

    The photos aren’t showing up – Can someone take a look..? The embedded videos are still there, but I only see text placeholders where the photos should be…

  • Jack

    WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE..???!!! This is one of the best Scott Weiland pieces I have ever read, how can it have been abandoned after 2 months..?? HELLO..??? ADMIN..??????????

  • Queen Of Uncool

    <3