The rock world lost a unique, yet enigmatic talent when Scott Weiland was found dead on the evening of December 3rd 2015 on his tour bus in Minneapolis, MN, ahead of a scheduled performance with his band. He was 48 years old. Weiland was on tour with his band Scott Weiland And The Wildabouts, and was found by his tour manager, right as he was to appear on stage to perform.
Weiland, born Scott Richard Klein in San José California in 1967, adopted his stepfather’s surname as a boy; a name that he would become synonymous with as an adult. Weiland shot to fame in 1992 with his band Stone Temple Pilots on the strength of their début album, Core (Atlantic). Initially dismissed as Peal Jam copycats by some critics and fans specifically because of Weiland’s voice, STP went on to become one of the most respected, best-selling, and original bands of the Grunge/Alt-Rock movement of 1990s. After an acrimonious split with STP, Weiland formed the super-group Velvet Revolver in 2003 with members of Guns `N Roses and had two hit albums before going on hiatus, which included his firing from the band. STP and Weiland had reconciled several times over the years, but he officially fired in 2013 and was not in the latest incarnation of the band which toured in 2015. Weiland also has several solo projects and other bands over the years including The Magnificent Bastards, producing a well-received Christmas album in 2014, recorded many distinctive cover songs, and participated in the disputed Art of Anarchy album in 2015.
An autobiography was released in 2011, Not Dead & Not for Sale, co-written with David Ritz. With many public feuds and an openness about his issues with drug addiction and mental illness, he opened up a controversial dialogue about these topics. Known as a musical chameleon throughout his career, he often adopted a style that served the song first, often leaping out of his own comfort zone talent-wise. He was unusually gifted at harmonizing his own tracks, a credit to his self-trained ear. Above all he ought to be held in high regard for his dusky and flexible baritone and tenor voice, his interesting melodic choices, philosophical lyrics, wild stage performances, and bold charisma.
WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES