Born Scott Kline in 1967, Scott Weiland was a walking rock ‘n’ roll car crash. Much like his fellow grunge compadre and late Alice In Chains’ frontman Layne Stayley, Weiland was a flawed musical genius who spent much of his life battling drugs and treading a path of self destruction.
He was best known for his time in Stone Temple Pilots who formed in 1989 after Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert, and realised they were both dating the same woman. While STP may have been eclipsed by the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and often dubbed “grunge imitators” during the short Seattle scene era, their debut album ‘Core’ was still a massive success in the States when it dropped in 1992, peaking at Number 3 in the Billboard Albums Chart and shifting over 8 million copies. They were never as big in the UK but they had their moments most notably in 1993 when Weiland announced his arrival on The Word by donning a dress and smearing red lipstick across his face for an explosive performance of the band’s hit single ‘Sex Type Thing’.
Like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam they also made a landmark appearance on MTV Unplugged that same year and picked up a Grammy Award for their biggest UK hit single ‘Plush’, which Weiland and DeLeo wrote while sharing a hot tub. Further success was to follow in 1994 when their second album ‘Purple’ topped the Billboard charts. But the cracks were beginning to show as success brought internal conflicts within the band and the singer’s drug addiction was becoming increasingly problematic. Weiland, who struggled with bipolar disorder, turned to heroin and addiction began to dog his musical career. In 1995 he was convicted of buying crack cocaine and sentenced to probation. He was also jailed in 1999 for violating his probation after being convicted of heroin possession in 1998, and four years later, in 2003, sentenced to three years’ probation for drug possession.
He was in and out of bands his whole life first exiting STP during their first split in 2002 after a bust up with DeLeo and then again in 2012 when he was ejected from the band and later replaced by Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, after they claimed he had been “misappropriating” their name to further his solo career. It was a similar story when he joined supergroup Velvet Revolver with ex-Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan and former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner in 2003. Again he enjoyed success with their 2004 debut album ‘Contraband’ topping the US album chart and hit single ‘Slither’ earning the band a Grammy. But the band constantly had to alter their schedule to accommodate Weiland’s court appearances and spells in rehab. They eventually fired the singer in 2008, in a bitter public split blaming the singer’s “erratic behaviour” for his exit. He would eventually reunite with the band for a one off benefit gig in 2012 but despite his desire to reform they never did.
Everyone from Alice Cooper to Krist Novoselic has been lining up to pay their respects since the late singer was found dead on his tour bus yesterday (December 3). While the cause of death is still to be revealed, it is sad to see yet another flawed musician passing away in such sad circumstances.
Here are five of his most memorable moments:
1. ‘Sex Type Thing’ on The Word in 1993
2. Stone Temple Pilots on MTV Unplugged 1993
3. Scott Weiland loses it with a fan 2001
4. Weiland teams up with the surviving members of The Doors 2008
5. Late Singer gets into the festive spirit 2010