I get it.  Sorta unexpected and sorta not, but I’m still processing the news that one of my biggest musical influences is gone.  When I read the news this morning it took me ten minutes to take it in.  It hit only when I relayed it to my wife. “Scott Weiland died”.  It affected me in a way I can’t express.  It’s easy to say gutted or devastated, but that’s not quite it.

There’s a real sadness.  I haven’t felt that way about anyone that I never met or knew personally.  As sad as it sounds, he was a constant in my life.  I listened to his music through the years when I was discovering who I was.  Musically, I was inspired.  His lyrics, both poignant and preposterous, were entwined in melodies that were as sweet, syrupy, and sickly as …well, syrup.  And I soaked it in.

I saw him perform only twice.  With Stone Temple Pilots in 2001 and Velvet Revolver in 2005.  Both times he owned the stage with a boundless energy.  A true force of nature.  Over the last few years there’s been signs that his voice was gone.  Ejected from his bands for erratic behavior and suchlike he was flirting with self-parody and shedding credibility like it was going out of fashion.  Still, I was rooting for him.

I wrote note so long ago: “I’ll keep the Weiland praise fairly brief here, but I will say that he’s one of the most creative vocalists of that whole 90’s alternative rock thing. He’s got an ear for melody. Seriously, when he shed the masculine meat suit he wore on Core, he threw himself in with the best that the ages have given us. Maybe it’s his glam and pop influences, but his melodies, phrasing, and timing separated him from the other angsty front-men of 90s alternative rock. He was in the company of the likes of Belafonte and Sinatra as well as Morrison and his hero Bowie. Now, over the years, he may have lost some of his dynamism (drugs and alcohol clearly taken their toll on his vocals), but he’s still one of the very best in this guy’s eyes”.  I didn’t expect that just a few months later I would be saying he was one of the very best.

Recently he’d been talking about healing wounds and building bridges. There were reports of his tour, band, and performances getting better and better.  He was again embracing music at grassroots level.  He seemed excited about The Wildabouts and I honestly thought he was turning it around.  Getting back on top.

He wrote in his memoir that “the opiate took me to where I’d always dreamed of going. I can’t name the place, but I can say that I was undisturbed and unafraid, a free-floating man in a space without demons and doubts”.  Maybe those demons and doubts caught up with him.

Anyhoo, I hope he’s found peace and that his soul finds a home in the universe.

“keep seeking with the spirit of love”

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21 thoughts on ““I’ve been walking a lonesome highway, I felt as though I had no home”

  1. I just back from rhe Record Store where I purchased the new Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts album.
    The clerk said “Have you heard this? It’s awesome.”
    I asked her if she had heard the news. She looked back at me with open mouthed and I could see her quivering. She said she felt like crying and said she had to call her mom. I felt like crying too.
    Suffice it to say you are not alone. I will be posting a few solo Scott Weiland posts if you feel up to checking them out.
    Give your family a hug and listen to some Scott. Sorry it hit you so hard.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, fella. I listened to Blaster and Purple yesterday. About all I could handle … Big Empty had one off those moments attached to it. Y’know – it sinks in and you realise that you aint gonna hear new music from Weiland.

      That Wildabouts album is a goody. Not quite Weiland at his best, but it’s one of the most enjoyable albums he has put out. He had put out.

      I’ll check out the solo Weiland posts for sure. I covered Blaster back in April, I think – should you be interested in my own thoughts on that one.

      Like

  2. Very heartfelt tribute, J. He really did find his stride after ‘Core’. And I think STP were unjustly compared to their contemporaries. After ‘Purple’ they definitely found their own sound.

    I did get to see STP live in 1998. He was healthy and the band were tight as hell. Great show(it helped that Cheap Trick opened for them.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, J. As we’ve discussed before, the three album run of Purple, Tiny Music …, and No. 4 is incredible. Truly great albums that really seperated them from the bands they were being compared to.

      STP around about then would have been at their peak, eh? Weiland clean and refreshed after a great solo album. Just before No. 4 … which was their last great album.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so bizarre, that just yesterday you were getting me into that 12 Bar Blues album.

    J, I knew you would have some amazing words for us, so I have linked to this article. Cheers, Mike

    Like

  4. This is a great write-up, J. Right from the heart of a fan.

    I got to see him live only once, in 94 on the Purple tour. Great show. I hadn’t followed along with everything since, though I heard bits and pieces here and there.

    Sad news indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, Aaron. I think Purple, Tiny music …, and No. 4 are wonderful albums. I was listening to Purple yesterday, though I couldn’t make it beyond Big Empty 😦

      Like

  5. Not sure it is accurate to say I ‘liked’ your tribute, J, but I appreciated the thoughtfulness and humanity.
    It is cosmically ironic, isn’t it, that we can find solace and deep resonance in music made by troubled souls. Maybe because we are none of us untouched by troubles.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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