Remembering Scott Weiland: The Rocker's Highs and Lows, in His Words
While Scott Weiland’s cause of death is still undetermined, the Stone Temple Pilots frontman lived a turbulent life.
The rocker was 48 when he was found dead on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minnesota on Thursday. He “passed away in his sleep” while on the road with his band The Wildabouts, per a statement on his official Facebook page.
While he struggled with substance abuse over the years (as he documented in his 2011 biography, Not Dead & Not For Sale), Weiland enjoyed a great deal of success in his rock ‘n’ roll life.
Below, the highs and lows of his life cut short, in his words.
• A Troubled Childhood
Weiland’s parents divorced when he was just 2, and while his step-dad (whose last name he took) was “a good guy whose middle name was discipline,” his biological father was “a cool dude who smoked dope at night and listened to the Doors,” he wrote in his memoir.
When he was 12, Weiland was raped by a high school senior (“This was a memory I suppressed only until a few years ago when, in rehab, it came flooding back The dude raped me. It was quick, not pleasant. I was too scared to tell anyone,” he wrote in 2011, according to the Washington Post.)
Then while in the sixth grade, the rock star to-be began drinking, and his mom and step-dad checked him into a mental hospital by the time he was 16.
“Just say what they want you to say, I thought to myself, and get the hell out of here ‘I am a substance abuser,’ I said. I got out,” Weiland recalled in his book, per the Post.
How Fame Prompted Heavier Drug Use
As the Stone Temple Pilots’ debut album, 1992’s Core, took off (it went on to sell 8 million copies), Weiland admitted his drug use – from cocaine and barbiturates to heroin – escalated.
“I couldn’t imagine my life, especially now that I was entering into the major leagues of alternative rock, without at least dabbling with the King of Drugs,” he said in his book.
The Height of His Addiction
As the band got bigger, so did Weiland’s substance abuse problems. Despite their sophomore album Purple releasing to critical acclaim, Weiland was struggling. In 1995, he was arrested for the first time: for possessing crack cocaine and heroine.
“I was at the height – or depth – of my addiction Shooting coke. Running heroin Running down the 101 every third day to L.A. to score and running back,” he wrote in his memoir.
And from 1995 to 1997, the Post reports, Weiland checked into rehab 13 times.
Post-STP Career Triumphs
Weiland released his earned commendation for his 1998 solo debut 12 Bar Blues. Then in 2002, Weiland formed beloved hard rock act Velvet Revolver with members of Guns N’ Roses and Wasted Youth. The band released two albums and earned a best hard rock performance Grammy for their single “Slither.” And the singer even appeared in Rolling Stone as recently as April in a positive profile on his life with his new band The Wildabouts.
While he had been married twice before, Weiland found true love with photographer Jamie Wachtel in 2011, when the pair met at a shoot: “Something magical happened,” he told Rolling Stone.
The couple tied the knot in June 2013. “We had the most beautiful, heartfelt ceremony,” Wachtel told PEOPLE at the time. “We all cried and laughed. Scott and I are over the moon!”