While Scott Weiland’s death in late 2015 may not have been surprising to those who knew his history, it was still a sad day for the many that grew up to the soundtrack of Stone Temple Pilots and also to those who may have discovered Weiland later on, perhaps as a part of Velvet Revolver. Classics such as Plush, Creep, Interstate Love Song, and Vasoline are still played on rock radio to this day.
As has been the case with many other musicians of the day, STP’s frontman had demons that he could not overcome and sadly succumbed to them recently. Author Greg Prato, a journalist who has written for Rolling Stone, as well as 17 other books (some of which Screamer has reviewed), was able to put together a book with lightning speed. Scott Weiland: Memories of a Rock Star features nearly 30 all-new interviews with those who worked for Scott, toured with him in other bands, friends and admirers. Some of those included are Charlie Benante(Anthrax), David Ellefson (Megadeth), members of Meat Puppets, Matt Pinfield (radio host, former MTV VJ) and Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show). There is also a chapter devoted to a woman that worked as Scott’s personal assistant for a short time and a chat with the co-author of his autobiography, Not Dead and Not for Sale: A Memoir. The final chapter is an unedited interview that Prato conducted with Weiland himself in 2014.
For those names you might not recognize while sifting through the quotes, the author has included a “Cast of Characters” at the beginning of the book that you can refer back to. Similarly to how some of Prato’s other books are formatted, the chapters are divided by topics, not necessarily chronologically. Some of those topics include First Impressions, Fashion, The Performer, Personal Life, Addiction In The ‘90s.
Now, if as a reader you are looking for an in-depth history of Weiland’s life, from birth to death, that is not what you will find in this book. There are no interviews with former teachers or family members. However, with the oral history style Prato uses, it will feel like you are sitting around listening to friends/contemporaries look back on the life of Weiland in an honest manner. When someone dies, many people come to the forefront, sharing only the great things about that person. Those interviewed in this book are not afraid to tell the truth, which includes problems and disappointments. You know, real life. Some interviewees even say that they didn’t even like STP or even Weiland that much. It’s refreshing and honest and makes for a fuller picture of Weiland’s life.
Fans most likely will learn something new- some little tidbit from behind the scenes that they had never heard before, as many of those interviewed don’t seem to have shared their stories on the topic of Scott Weiland previously. This book is definitely something to pick up and put on your reading list. The entire book can be a quick read, or one can easily take their time, going through chapter by chapter and taking the time to listen to their favorite songs again while reading. There are excerpts available online, for those that want to check it out before they pick it up.
Read two excerpts here: