Scott Weiland Found Dead on Tour Bus
Musician and grunge rock icon, Scott Weiland, has passed away at the age of 48 after a nearly 30 year career as the singer of the hugely popular bands, Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.
His death was confirmed late Thursday evening on his Facebook page and Instagram account in a statement that read, “Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.”
He leaves behind his wife, Jamie, and his two children, Lucy and Noah from a previous marriage.
Cause of Death Still Unknown
Weiland is said to have died around 8:30 p.m. alone in the bed of a tour bus in the parking lot of the Country Inn & Suites at the Mall of America. He was set to go on stage later that night at the Medina Entertainment Center in Hamel, but sadly never made it.
Little information is known about the details surrounding his death at this time nor has the cause been released by the medical examiner. A first responder on the scene told dispatchers that Weiland was not breathing and that he appeared to have gone into cardiac arrest. Speculation over the possibility of an overdose being responsible for his death is in overdrive after reports surfaced shortly after his body was found alleging that Weiland had been heavily using crack cocaine very recently. Local law enforcement did not confirm or deny this possibility, however, an investigation is underway that should provide answers.
The following statement was released early Friday morning in response to media requests for information, “On December 3rd, 2015, at 8:22 pm, Bloomington Police Officers responded to a hotel in the 2200 block of Killebrew Drive on a report of unresponsive adult make in a recreational motor vehicle. Offices arrived and determine the adult male was deceased. Identification of the deceased adult male is being withheld pending further investigation. Additional details regarding identity will be provided by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office at a later time.”
A Loss Felt By Many
Weiland may have been known for his erratic behavior and hot temper, but there was another side to him, a side that his friends and family were privy to when he was off stage. It is clear that his sudden death is felt deeply by those who knew him personally and professionally as tributes, statements of disbelief and fond memories flood social media and newspapers.
Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction was one of the first to publicly speak out about his death in a now deleted tweet that said, “Just learned our friend Scott Weiland has died. So gutted, I am thinking of his family tonight.”
Former MTV VJ and radio host, Matt Pinfield, took to Facebook to express his sadness, writing “I am speechless…and sad at the loss of my friend, and although many of you are probably not surprised, it doesn’t make it any easier. Addiction sucks. I will miss you, Scott.”
Gil Kaufman has followed Weiland’s career for years and wrote about his experiences with the troubled musician:
“Through it all, I found a man who was intensely passionate about music and creativity and who seemed fated to live exactly as he did, burning fast and unpredictably. Every time we’d speak on the phone, or at one of his shows, Weiland would sound upbeat, focused and, he’s say, finally free of the chemical demons that defined so much of his time in the spotlight. But there was a darkness that hung over his head like a black cloud, that fear in the back of your mind that each time you got him on the line to talk about his latest project it might be the last chance you would have to hear his ragged voice enthuse about how this band was the tightest, hardest one he’d ever put together.”
Career Highs and Lows
The world got its first taste of his unique vocal ability and charismatic stage presence when the Stone Temple Pilots was originally formed by Weiland and bassist Robert DeLeo in 1985 after the pair met at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California. Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz joined the band in 1990 as the grunge rock movement was just emerging after years of big hair bands dominating the rock charts. The band didn’t have immediate success by any means as they paid their dues by playing in dive bars in California.
The tide turned for the rockers in 1992 when Atlantic Records signed them for their first major label record. Their first album, Core, was released on September 29, 1992 and was a smashing success, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts. The album was criticized harshly by the press who frequently referred to the band as “grunge imitators.” Negative reviews didn’t hinder Sex Type Thing, Plush, Creep and Wicked Garden from becoming big hits with music lovers.
The Stone Temple Pilots went on to release Purple, Tiny Music…Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, No. 4 and Shangri-La Dee Da before going their separate ways in 2002. They reunited for a reunion tour in 2008 and continued to play together around the world off and on for the next few years. There were tentative plans to record another album were made in 2012, but the plans were ultimately scrapped after tensions within the band intensified over money and Weiland’s troublesome behavior and drug use.
Stone Temple Pilots officially “fired” Weiland in 2013, which was a difficult decision to make, according to Dean DeLeo. “This definitely wasn’t a decision that was made over six months or even a year or six or 10 years. It’s been something that’s been going on for a long, long, long time and, you know, it wasn’t really so much about the band, it was more of a quality of life I think we just needed for ourselves, you know. I couldn’t do it any more. Look, if I’m gonna carry on inappropriately, there’s gonna be a thousand guys in life for my job,” he said in an interview with The Pulse of Radio.
Weiland continued to create amazing music throughout the years when in between breakups with Stone Temple Pilots. He served as the lead singer for Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008, released four solo albums with his backup band The Wildabouts and most recently joined Art of Anarchy.
Talented and Troubled
Weiland had a love affair with drugs that was made worse by his struggle with bipolar disorder and threatened to crush his career many times. His drug use varied throughout the years and resulted in many run ins with the law throughout the years, with the first occurring in 1995 for buying crack cocaine. His conviction earned him probation for one year, which many close to him hoped would spur him to get sober. His sentence had the opposite effect, driving him instead to do more drugs after taking up residency in a Los Angeles hotel where he spent two months in a heroin induced haze.
His drug of choice got him in trouble in 1998 when he was busted for heroin possession and again in 2003 and 2007 for driving under the influence. His last arrest prompted a short lived stint in rehab for alcohol and cocaine, but he decided to leave early and never finished the treatment program.
Despite reports to the contrary, Weiland has stated several times of the last few years that he is no longer using. In fact, he spoke about his addiction just this past April, saying “Overcoming my addiction to heroin was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m damn proud of the fact that the time in my life when drugs were stronger than my commitment to my health is so far behind me, and always will be.”