The Doors drummer John Densmore discussed playing with late Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland on VH1 Storytellers in 2000 in a new Appetite for Distortion interview. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Densmore’s remarks.
After all these years, what feeling do you get talking about Jim now? Do you still feel like he’s here? Has it waned on you after all these years? How do you feel about your friend all these years later still writing about him?
“Yeah, sure. I occasionally dream about him, I had one not too long ago where he was back, and he was dressed in like an Armani suit and wanted to play music. And that felt really good. Jim was – besides being an incredible wild man, the Lizard King – he had a real vulnerable side, and there was a sweetness there that most people don’t know.
In rehearsal when we were hanging out, he was open. He got caught by alcoholism. And we didn’t have substance abuse clinics, and we didn’t know he had a disease, so we didn’t know what to do. I was kind of tortured, I knew there was an elephant in the room but I couldn’t define it. But we have his music, and it’s such a gift. Feeds me all the time.”
Scott Weiland. What interaction did you have with Scott? Because he was similar to Jim in a lot of ways. Scott played with The Doors, and a lot of people thought he did a great job, and there was even talk at the time that he might do an album. So can you talk about Scott Weiland a little bit?
“Yeah, great singer. It was on ‘Storytellers’ that he performed with us, I’m trying to remember which song… It was ‘Break on Through’ and ‘Five to One.’ I think there was a lyric ‘she gets high’ and we had to edit out the word ‘high,’ and Ray [Manzarek, keyboards] was encouraging him to sing that.
And I said, ‘You don’t have to sing it, man.’ And I didn’t know that Scott had like Jim the addictive gene. I wish I had known that, maybe could have pointed him towards some sort of recovery road. I miss that guy, he was a great singer, and Stone Temple Pilots are wonderful. We played with the bass player Robert [DeLeo] on a tribute to Ray, I hope it comes out this year, called ‘Break on Thru: A Tribute to Ray Manzarek,’ it’s a film of the concert that Robert DeLeo played with us.”