My thoughts on the passing of Scott Weiland
As I was writing down the title of this article I was still in a state of disbelief that Scott Weiland has died. It is a surreal feeling and it is so depressing because he was such a major music influence for so many people and as the original lead vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots. His signature style of singing made Stone Temple Pilots easily one of the best and most recognizable bands of the 90s.
Songs like “Plush” which is one of their earliest and biggest hits would make them a household name and put them on the map for good. Often Stone Temple Pilots would get tagged with the description of being a post-grunge band or an alternative band. For me, they simply rocked, as cliché that may sound, because that description has been used a zillion times already. But for now, I will make an exception to my rule and use that word “rocked” as it could not ring more true than ever when it came to a band like Stone Temple Pilots.
No definitions or labels were necessary to describe the kind of music Stone Temple Pilots made for anyone who knows what listening to great music is. One can say that they just made rock music that pleased everyone–from their loyal fans, the casual listeners, their music peers, and even to the most know-it-alls of music critics.
Scott Weiland had that intangible “It” and he was largely responsible for what made the band so great. Those memories of him being the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots can never be forgotten nor erased from the “memory banks” of fans like myself who were already around way back in the 90’s. I am proud I come from that era of popular music. I feel fortunate that a number of bands such as Stone Temple Pilots were my primary musical influences growing up. And most of all, I am thankful I got exposed to the music of the likes of Stone Temple Pilots rather than listening to mindless and soulless music.
Besides being one of the all-time greatest singers ever in a band, Scott Weiland was also such a charismatic frontman that he also reminded me so much of the late Jim Morrison from The Doors. Scott Weiland could not only sing and compose songs–as indeed, he had composed most of the biggest hits of Stone Temple Pilots–his magnetic personality rubbed off on his bandmates which made them look good, too.
To this day so many have tried to imitate how he performed onstage including his signature dance moves, yet we could tell the difference, and we knew who was copying who. That is why Scott Weiland was such an original as a frontman because he was and still is often imitated but he never can be truly duplicated. There is no one like him and I highly doubt there ever will be another Scott Weiland.
During the early 90s to early 2000s, it was not rare to hear a Stone Temple Pilot song being played in any of the then existing FM stations here in the Philippines which were known to play anything that was rock music and its existing sub-genres of it. Regular requests to the two FM stations at the time would pour in from callers listening to have either old or new Stone Temple Pilots songs be played on air.
Indeed, those were the days I wish I could relive again because of the superior quality of music that was prevalent and all over. The 90’s was such a glorious time to be a music aficionado because of bands like Stone Temple Pilots with Scott Weiland at the helm, at that. That voice–Scott Weiland’s–was truly something else… it was so distinctly his own, distinguishable from the rest, and he certainly knew how to use it to the best of his vocal abilities.
I would be lying to myself to say that I am not getting teary eyed reliving all those fond memories of mine… It is heart-wrenching that he is no longer with us ! I respect so much everything he has done for the music industry. Why am I so affected ? It is because Scott Weiland was and still is one of my rock heroes growing up. Which makes me ponder now… just how many of them do we still have left around? It is alarming that so many of them have died already whether from natural causes or not. Never did it cross my mind that Scott Weiland would be next in that growing list because at the time he was, in fact, busy performing and touring with his own band called ‘Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts’ when he suddenly died.
The breaking news announcing the passing of Scott Weiland will be marked as another “black day” in the history of rock. We have lost a great one–a flamboyant singer, an intense performer onstage, and one who, to the end, fought to reclaim his position as the lead vocalist for his band, Stone Temple Pilots. Indeed, and I dare say, the exhausting legal battles between him and the other three remaining original members of Stone Temple Pilots took a heavy toll on him emotionally and spiritually !
How do I know all of this?
Being such a big fan of his, I would assiduously follow any news regarding Scott Weiland. All the confirmed reports and interviews done with him particularly in the last two years all indicated he was hurting deep inside after he was abruptly kicked out by his former bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots–ironically, the very band he himself had founded.
This tragic news of his passing caught everyone off guard and now tributes to him are pouring in… even from the few who were Scott Weiland’s harshest critics. You detractors were not even half the man he was. You could never possess the voice he had even in your wildest dreams.
Perhaps, now–but rather late, isn’t it?–you can finally appreciate and acknowledge everything Scott Weiland has done for the music industry.
Scott Weiland, you will be sorely missed. Thank you so much for all the music you shared with all of us, your fans and listeners, through the years that you were the original lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and when you were fronting for the rock super group Velvet Revolver. I hope you are no longer in pain and that the inner peace you had been searching for, is finally yours to keep. Scott Weiland, you will continue to be an inspiration for all of us music aficionados. That fact will never change.
Your music will live on forever!
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