All photos taken by Brett Buchanan, outside of second to last photo by Jamie Weiland
‘I wanna know what the rents like in heaven
I wanna know where the river goes.’
For Scott’s kids Noah and Lucy. For the entire Weiland family.
This is an article I always feared I’d have to write. It absolutely gutted me to have to write about Scott Weiland’s downfall the last few years. I wanted him to live and be happy, clean and sober. Fuck the music, fuck the tours, fuck the drugs, fuck the alcohol, I wanted this guy to be there for his kids: Noah and Lucy. For all the great music this man has given me to get me through my darkest times, I wanted to see him be happy with his kids. My heart broke for them first and foremost when I heard the news that Scott had died on his tour bus last night. I can’t get the image out of my head of them on stage at one of Stone Temple Pilots’ final shows with Scott Weiland in September 2012 in Irvine, CA (as seen above). Scott seemed so proud of his kids, the biggest smiles I ever saw from him at the 10+ concerts of his I attended were when his kids joined him on stage.
Scott, Lucy, and Noah Weiland at STP’s show in Irvine, CA on September 22, 2012.
I was also at a Stone Temple Pilots concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles in October 2010 where Noah joined his father on stage for the intro to “Dead and Bloated.” It is one of my fondest concert memories, just watching the love between a father and son expressed through music. I exchanged e-mails with Scott’s ex-wife Mary both times when I posted stories with my photos (I interviewed her in 2009), and she said that Noah was so proud to be featured on a site with his favorite musicians. To think that Noah and Lucy will now have to grow up through their teenage years without a father is just devastating.
Scott, Lucy, and Noah Weiland at STP’s show in Los Angeles, CA on October 29, 2010.
Scott’s cause of death is not out yet, and I will not speculate on how he died, but we all know Scott fought a long battle with drugs and alcohol regardless of what caused him to pass away. My stepfather died two years ago from drinking, he had cirrhosis of the liver. He knew he was dying, and he would not quit drinking. Constantly lying that he was drinking less, hiding liquor in his golf bag, until he was no longer physically capable of golfing. Near the end, he was broken, a complete shell of himself, and his death was tragic and completely devastated my family. Addiction leads a path of destruction. Scott Weiland had a quote in his 2011 memoir Not Dead & Not For Sale that he wrote during a sober period that related to me a lot personally.
“For years I’ve known goddamn well that I’m a drunk, but who wants to admit that? After kicking the strong stuff, why couldn’t I have a little drink now and then? What harm was there in a small indulgence? The answer was serious harm – potentially fatal harm. For me, putting a drink in my mouth is something like putting a lead blanket over my heart. There’s been so much pain in the past few years that I’m afraid to feel, or commit. I pray that this will end. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want to be able to love again.
The dream of every drunk – to be able to manage their drinking – is one that has died hard for me. My prayer is that, once and for all, that dream is dead. So I’m back to counting days. It’s nearly been two months since I’ve had a drink. By the time you read this book, my hope is that it will be six months.”
Stone Temple Pilots performing at the Hollywood Bowl on June 24, 2008
When I met Scott Weiland one month ago today to conduct his final in-depth interview for Alternative Nation, it was a dream come true to finally speak to one of my favorite singers. Scott was candid with his answers, and we were able to come to an understanding over his issues with my reporting on him, but there was something about him that night that saddened me. I didn’t know the guy personally, but after reporting on him for 6 and a half years and being a devoted fan, I no longer saw the vibrant charisma and passion that was beaming through his eyes when I saw him with STP at the Hollywood Bowl in 2008 (the greatest concert I have ever been to). After seeing him, I wanted to help the guy any way I could, so I mentioned to Scott’s manager that I noticed he had a lack of a social media presence, and said that if he needed any help to let me know. Scott’s manager quickly gave me access to his social media accounts, and the next thing I knew I was his social media manager. This wasn’t about money, it was about trying to show one of my favorite singers how much love there was out there for him still. I was still rooting for him.
I shared photos that the tour manager was sending in, photos from fans, posted quotes from Scott, shared vintage photos, and the outpouring of love for him was still there after everything he had been through the last few years. I had looked forward to sharing this love from fans with Scott at his show in Los Angeles later this month, but unfortunately it never came to be. Instead, last night as my body was trembling from shock, I had to choose the photo for his official death announcement.
While Scott’s death was obviously not the same as the death of a family member, I’m sure other fans felt the same emotions I did, especially the ones who have made it through crippling depression with the help of Scott’s music. Despite the fame, at heart he was one of us. A troubled soul just trying to find peace, who felt love, pain, and heartbreak the same way we do. When we heard him sing, he was our voice, and made us feel like we weren’t alone. To know that voice has been silenced and and he didn’t find the happiness that eludes many of us is heartbreaking.
Despite this, we will always have the music, much like with Scott’s contemporaries Layne Staley and Kurt Cobain. His music will be here for generations after we are gone, without all of the heartbreak and tragedy we had to deal with. Rest in peace to one of the greatest singers of our time, Scott Richard Weiland, and God bless the entire Weiland family.
‘If you should die before me ask if you can bring a friend
Pick a flower, hold your breath and drift away.’