How Scott Weiland Fueled my Sobriety


Sunday, November 29th – My friends and I were at Fanelli’s, our favorite dimly lit pub in SoHo.  Our table was full of Stella, Blue Moon, and frustration.  We talked about how we’re “too busy” and how we “don’t have enough time to get things done”.   After a few too many pints, I looked at my phone and realized that we had spent four hours in that pub.  FOUR HOURS.  On the walk towards my train, I began making a mental list of things I can cut out of my life in order to be more efficient with my time.  I can spend less time networking.  I could cut back on my workouts.  I can write less.  Though I was aware of how I just spent four hours in a bar, drinking less alcohol never even crossed my mind.

Monday, November 30th – I woke up and felt awful.  I’m too old for this.  How long can I keep this lifestyle going?  I vowed to abstain from alcohol for that week.  I even texted the friends I was with the night before and asked them to keep me accountable.  My intentions were simple: to see how I feel without drinking and if that feeling can increase my productivity.

Thursday, December 3rd – Scott Weiland died.

His death hit me hard. When I heard the news, I got chills all over my body and began to cry uncontrollably.  Every article, every headline, every tweet had a visceral effect on me.  That could have been me.  While I’ve come a long way from the girl I used to be, my past issues with substance abuse and being heavily involved in the party scene continue to haunt me. As I read those headlines, I felt like I could easily be reading my own.  I refuse to end up dead on a tour bus at the age of 48.  

I’d always liked Stone Temple Pilots’s music and often rooted for Weiland after every arrest, every overdose, and every stint in rehab.  While the media found his public struggles with substance abuse to be a joke, I found him to be relatable.  Though I never tried heroin (Weiland’s drug of choice) or sang for a band, I sure partied like a rock star – often with rock stars.

My affinity for Scott Weiland has increased over the years as he began working closely with two of my favorite bands: The Doors and Guns N’ Roses.  In 2000, he joined the surviving members of The Doors, bringing a modern rock perspective to Jim Morrison’s lyrics for VH1’s Storytellers.  In 2002, he joined forces with the members of Guns N’ Roses (minus Axl Rose) and formed Velvet Revolver.

His death reminded me of all the other talented artists we have lost over the years:  Morrison, Joplin, Winehouse, Cobain, Hendrix – to name a few.  Each of their deaths could have been prevented, but subconsciously, it’s almost as if death is what they all wanted.  While Weiland was nearly twice the age of the 27 club, he was definitely a star that burned out too soon.  That notion inspired me to write this article that was published the day after he passed.

Friday, February 19th – I’m 81 days into my recovery and it’s been 78 days since the world lost Scott Weiland.  When I hear a song by Stone Temple Pilots or Velvet Revolver, my body instantly begins to curl inwards and I grab my heart.  It’s like I’m hearing the news of his passing all over again and I’m reminded to stay clean.




One thought on “How Scott Weiland Fueled my Sobriety

  1. Mark Goodson

    My first concert was STP at the Beacon (I think it was the Beacon, maybe Hammerstein). Anyway, I’ll never forget when the megaphone came out and he pelted: “I am I am I am I am I say I want to get next to you.”
    I’m so glad to hear that good music can serve as such a positive reminder in your life to stay sober. Some associations I made with music lead me down the other path, toward a drug. I still (8 years clean) can’t listen to Pinback, for intimate reasons rather than conceptual ones.
    Tea Party Power. Good post!

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