Scott Weiland [1967 – 2015] – Half the man he used to be
By Faizul Khan
By Faizul Khan
Cocaine-crazy Scott Weiland is no more at age 48. Best known for his enigmatic performances, this American singer-song writer was the troubled front man for the bands Stone Temple Pilots (STP), Velvet Revolver, and Wildabouts. He suffered from both addiction and severe bipolar disorder during his heyday. And probably the chorus of Creep is a testament - I'm half the man I used to be, This I feel as the dawn It fades to gray. Fans say this is why his vocal tones both swam and sunk, at times simultaneously, creating a multitude of emotions and resulting in one of the most versatile songwriters of the 90s. Early critics shrugged him off, saying Scott's band STP made a late entry in to the grunge revolution and that his compositions were derivative of his better-known contemporaries — Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) being the most prominent. But the notion reversed as STP’s debut studio album Core (1992) screamed multiple massive hits in the US and worldwide — “Plush”, “Dead & Bloated”, and “Creep”, to name a few. Times were strange in South-Asian Bangladesh. We had just witnessed the downfall of a tyrant government. We were teenagers, the concept of emotion sickness just having begun to trouble our fickle minds. The grunge uproar and lyrics from the Seattle rock scene made turbulent contributions in our heavily Metallica and Megadeth-sedated angry rock psyche. STP's somnolent aggression of grunge song, starting as they did with soft acoustic riffs, growing heavy and majestic, flirted and resonated with our exhilarating existential crises.
STP survived their chaotic birth when Scott and bassist Robert DeLeo got introduced at a Black Flag concert and soon realized that they were both dating the same woman. Putting this uncomfortable difference aside, they formed Mighty Joe Young, which they later renamed. The duo bonded extremely well and it is said they wrote their debut hit Plush while sharing a hot tub. The rest is history. The inaugural album sold 13.5 million copies in the US alone, and made several of the songs anthems for a disaffected generation.
Today, fans from around the world are weeping as they post “RIP Scott Weiland” on their social networks. He passed away in his sleep on December 3, on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota. They are reminiscing Weiland’s psychedelic wisdom, he who sometimes used a megaphone during live performances — an act which was at first subversive and later often imitated. Many believe his vocal compositions were never the same in the STP albums. It's tough to give individual albums their unique vocal lines and Scott did that under the influence of various chemicals and the demons of his own genius. When he released Interstate Love Song in 1994, my musician brother and I would listen to the track for hours. After Scott's death, my brother wrote: “He created awesome melodies on top of the weirdest chord progressions on earth: that's what defines a great vocalist.” I can do nothing better than say Amen! to that.