LONDON - JANUARY 23: Scott Weiland of band Velvet Revolver perfoms on stage on one of their final London dates of their UK tour at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith on January 23, 2005 in London. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

Happy Scott Weiland Birthday from the great beyond. Were he still with us, he would have turned 56 years old as I type this.

 

If you’re a rock fan (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you are), you know Weiland’s history and struggles. I won’t reproduce those here. I’ll just share a few of my personal stories about the man, starting with the legendary Stone Temple Pilots Worcester gig in ’94 for the Purple tour. The highlight was midway through the concert. The band brought the lights down, left the stage for a beat, then returned to a fully-furnished living room setup at center stage, where they performed a short acoustic set before plugging back in and rocking. Weiland’s voice and stage presence in both settings was otherworldly.

 

STP has always been a tricky venture live. The quality of their performances during their heyday always hinged on where Weiland was in his cycle of substance abuse and sobriety. Luckily, he was in top form that night in Worcester. And 14 years later, when he headlined the WBCN Xmas Rave in Foxboro as a solo artist, he was as well. I remember him working the crowd in between STP, Velvet Revolver, and solo tunes. And of course, he worked his rendition of “Christmastime Is Here” into the festive set.

 

Somewhere in between those two gigs, I had Weiland call into my show for an interview. That’s when I got Scott on the downside. He was just coherent enough to carry on a conversation, but not much else. He was promoting his latest project, and overusing the term “arts and crafts” to describe it. The man said the phrase “arts and crafts” at least a half-dozen times during the interview. It was funny, but also sad.

 

A Scott Weiland Birthday Six-Pack

To celebrate the late, great frontman, I’ve shared six of my Weiland faves. Check those out below. I did the same for Sammy Hagar earlier this month.

  • "Cinnamon"

    A later-entry in the Weiland/STP catalog. Wasn’t a “hit,” but should’ve been catchy as all get-out.

  • "Fall To Pieces"

    The cool thing about being a in a supergroup is you can do pretty much whatever you want musically and folks will pay attention. Hell, Velvet Revolver brought back the power ballad!

  • "Lady Picture Show"

    From the opening riff, this one grabs me every time I hear it. And the way Weiland’s melody plays along with it? Perfection.

  • "Sour Girl"

    I just the other day told my buddy Rich Shertenlieb that I think this is a Top 5 all-time STP track. I stand by that take.

  • "Big Empty"

    Sure, “Big Empty” was on Purple. But it was also on the Crow Soundtrack. And it featured on their MTV unplugged set.

  • "Creep"

    There are two versions of “Creep.” This is the version I prefer. I hope you like it, too.

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