Scott Weiland: 1967 – 2015
The music world suffered a great loss Thursday night (Dec. 3) as Scott Weiland was found dead aboard his tour bus in Bloomington, Minn. The musician was on tour with his band The Wildabouts in support of the group's 2015 release, Blaster.
Born Scott Richard Kline on Oct. 27, 1967 in San Jose, Calif., the future singer would later claim the name Weiland after his adoptive stepfather. His family eventually moved to Bainbridge Township, Ohio, during his youth, but he returned to Huntington Beach, Calif., as a teenager and later attended Orange Coast College.
In 1986, he met future Stone Temple Pilots bandmate Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert. Eventually they formed a group with Weiland's childhood friends Corey Hicock and David Allin rounding out the band. Eventually the lineup would change to include drummer Eric Kretz and Robert's brother Dean. They initially performed under the name Mighty Joe Young before eventually deciding upon Stone Temple Pilots for a moniker.
The band broke big in 1992 with their major label debut disc Core. Weiland immediately captured the imaginations of fans with his swagger-filled vocals and his natural stage presence. The album would yield their first major rock single, "Sex Type Thing," but really took off when the band issued both a rock and an acoustic version of their second single "Plush." Other Core songs that have stood the test of time as favorites included "Wicked Garden," "Creep," "Dead & Bloated" and "Crackerman."
As the band were preparing their second disc, they got a little extra promotion when their song "Big Empty" proved to be the big song from The Crow soundtrack. That gave them a great springboard for 1994's Purple album. The band dominated the airwaves with the songs "Vasoline," "Interstate Love Song," "Unglued" and "Pretty Penny."
While seemingly on top of the music world, Stone Temple Pilots began to have issues heading into their third album. In early 1995, Weiland was arrested for heroin and cocaine possession and sentenced to one year's probation. Tensions began to grow and the other members of the band put together a side project called Talk Show. Eventually the band reconciled for 1996's Tiny Music … Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop album. However, the disc did not get as much exposure as expected as Weiland's drug problems continued after the album's release, forcing the band to cancel most of their touring. However, the disc still yielded such rock radio hits as "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart," "Big Bang Baby" and "Lady Picture Show."
After the album, Stone Temple Pilots went on hiatus as the band members forged ahead with their Talk Show project while Weiland served up his first solo album, 12 Bar Blues. The Weiland disc achieved modest returns, though it did generate a pair of underrated singles -- "Barbarella" and "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down."
Stone Temple Pilots resumed work after both projects ran their course, offering the No. 4 album in 1999. The disc was best known for the singles "Down" and "Sour Girl." However, touring was once again curtailed as Weiland was serving five months in jail for drug possession. In 2001, the group released their fifth studio album, Shangri-La Dee Da, which failed to generate much heat. The songs "Days of the Week" and "Hollywood Bitch" earned the most airplay. Things again began to strain behind the scenes, and by 2002, the group decided to split.
Weiland's newfound freedom put him in the right place at the right time as Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum were looking for a vocalist for their new project. The trio, joined by guitarist Dave Kushner, eventually gave Weiland a try and Velvet Revolver was born. The band turned heads with their first single "Set Me Free" for the soundtrack to the movie Hulk, then covered Pink Floyd's "Money" for the film The Italian Job. With buzz growing, the group eventually released their debut disc Contraband in 2004. The high energy rocker "Slither" and the rock ballad "Fall to Pieces" proved to be major hits for the band and the disc debuted at No. 1.
The band's second album, Libertad, arrived in 2007, featuring the songs "She Builds Quick Machines" and "The Last Fight." However, trouble once again followed Weiland, with the group at odds with the singer. That led to a tumultuous split, shortly followed by Weiland's announcement that he was reuniting with Stone Temple Pilots.
STP enjoyed a successful reunion tour in 2008, but when it came time to write for a new studio album, there were conflicts behind the scenes. A self-titled disc arrived in 2010, yielding three more radio hits -- "Between the Lines," "Take a Load Off" and "Cinnamon," but troubles were developing again with the band suffering from tardiness at a few performances. In 2012, a conflict between Weiland and the group over plans to tour in support of the 20th anniversary of their Core album led to the group eventually firing Weiland. In 2013, the group announced the split, and named Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington as their new vocalist. Lawsuits followed on both sides, with Weiland eventually returning to his solo career, fielding a band called the Wildabouts.
As a solo artist, Weiland issued the aforementioned 12 Bar Blues, followed by 2008's "Happy" in Galoshes, a 2011 Christmas album and most recently his 2015 release Blaster. The rocker also lent his vocal pipes to 2015's self-titled album by Art of Anarchy, though he claimed not to be a full-time member of the group.
In addition to his career onstage, Weiland also founded Softdrive Records and dabbled in the clothing world, launching his Weiland for English Laundry line.
Weiland had married three times. His first marriage to Janina Castaneda took place in 1994 and the couple split in 2000. Later that year, he wed model Mary Forsberg. They had two children and their union lasted for a better part of the 2000s. In 2012, the rocker got engaged to photographer Jamie Wachtel and the couple wed in June 2013.
There's no denying that Weiland was a great talent. His baritone vocals powered many a great song over the years and his variety of projects showed his amazing range. As a performer, Weiland commanded the stage with the best of them. He would slither and slink along, adding to the aura of each song, and made great use of his megaphone while performing. Sadly, his substance abuse issues thwarted the momentum of his career on multiple occasions and the rocker also revealed that he struggled with bipolar disorder. But when Weiland was at the top of his game, there were few better. Scott Weiland will be missed.
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