Childhood & Early Life
Scott Weiland was born to Kent and Sharon Kline on October 27, 1967, in San Jose, California, where he spent the first five years of his life.
With the marriage of his parents failing, he was legally adopted by his stepfather David Weiland; Scott took his stepfather’s surname and moved to Bainbridge Township in Ohio to stay with him and his mother.
In Bainbridge Township, he attended Kenston High School, the local school. Even at a very young age, he showed considerable interest in singing; he was a member of the school choir and was an automatic choice for singing the solo at the Christmas concert.
At the age of 12 when in Ohio, he was raped and coerced into silence by a high school student; he only revealed this fact when in his mid-teens.
As a teenager, he moved back to Southern California where he initially attended the Edison High School located in Huntington Beach where he started his first band and became engrossed with playing in gigs and partying than in studies. He was sent to rehab after his mother and stepfather found drugs in his room.
After finishing school, he enrolled at the Orange Coast College in Orange County. It was during his college days that he became friends with Robert DeLeo, a bassist, with whom he would later team up to form the ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ group where he achieved much of his professional success.
Before he devoted himself full-time to a career in music, he worked briefly as a paste up artist for a legal newspaper, the ‘Los Angeles Daily Journal’.
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Scott Weiland first met Robert DeLeo in 1986 at a ‘Black Flag’ performance in Long Beach, California. The pair, along with Corey Hicock and David Allin, both childhood friends of Weiland, teamed up to form ‘Stone Temple Pilots’, so named because they loved the initials, STP. Very soon, Hicock and Allin were replaced by DeLeo's brother Dean, and Eric Kretz.
Their first album, ‘Core’, was released in 1992; four tracks, “Wicked Garden”, “Sex Type Thing”, “Plush”, and “Creep” went on to become major hits.
Their second album, ‘Purple’ released in 1994, also proved to be very popular with the critics and public and sold over 6 million copies; three tracks, ‘Vasoline’, ‘Big Empty’, and ‘Interstate Love Song’ were big hits.
Despite initial success, Weiland left ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ to form ‘The Magnificent Bastards’, an alternative rock band in 1995. The group made only two recordings; ‘Mockingbird Girl’ featured in the film ‘Mockingbird Girl’ and the other one, a cover version of John Lennon's ‘How Do You Sleep?’ in ‘Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon’, a tribute album.
In late 1995, Weiland came back to ‘Stone Temple Pilots’, however, the group had to cancel most of their 1996-97 shows to focus on recording and releasing their third album, ‘Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop’.
The album ‘Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop’ released on March 26, 1996, and sold 2 million copies to mixed reviews, but since then has been hailed as one of the mid-90s greatest rock releases for its radical reinvention of the image of the band. As many as three tracks from the album topped the ‘Mainstream Rock Tracks’ chart. Weiland’s drug addiction during this time while inspiring a few of his songs also got him to serve prison time.
In 1998, he recorded his first solo album, ‘12 Bar Blues’ that explored musical directions different from the usual hard rock; sales, however, were average.
1999 was an eventful year for Weiland; ‘STP’ released their fourth album, ‘No.4’; he joined ‘The Wondergirls’, a rock supergroup and recorded two songs, and also spent five months in prison for possession of drugs.
‘Shangri-La Dee Da’, STP’s fifth album released on June 19, 2001, and the same year the group along with ‘Staind and Static-X’ and ‘Linkin Park’ made waves at the ‘Family Values Tour’.
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‘Stone Temple Pilots’ disbanded in 2002 due to irreconcilable differences between Weiland and the DeLeo brothers. Weiland joined ‘Velvet Revolver’, a hard rock that had a number of former ‘Guns N’ Roses’ members.
Velvet Revolver’s first album, ‘Contraband’, released in 2004 was a major commercial success selling over three million copies worldwide; two singles achieved gold-certificate sales even though critics were hard on it. The band won the ‘Grammy Award for the Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal’ for the single “Slither”.
Velvet Revolver’s second album ‘Libertad’ was released in 2007. Encouraged by the success of ‘She Builds Quick Machines’ track, Velvet Revolver went on a tour with the Seattle-based rock band, ‘Alice in Chains’. However, due to tension with the rest of the members over their summer festival performance schedule, Weiland quit the group in April 2008.
In 2008, ‘STP’ reunited after six years and announced a U.S. tour with 73 performances; the first being at the ‘Rock on the Range’ festival on May 17, 2008.
In November 2008, he released his second solo album, Happy in Galoshes’ and also toured in 2009 to promote it.
The success of the reunion tour saw the group performing throughout 2009 in which year, it also started recording the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots’, which was released on May 25, 2010.
In 2011, the group toured Southeast Asia, playing in Manila and Jakarta and thereafter in Sydney and Melbourne to sell out shows. Weiland also released this third solo album, ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, at Christmas that year.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary of their first album, ‘Core’, STP did a tour in 2012, however, neither did they perform all the songs, nor released the announced new album, archival footage or even the coffee table book.
On February 27, 2013, STP, via their website, officially announced the termination of Scott Weiland and hired Chester Bennington of ‘Linkin Park’ as its lead singer. There was controversy, of course, with Weiland claiming he was still a band member, and the band could not be called STP without him.
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In 2013, Weiland formed his own group, ‘Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts’, performed at various shows and released his fourth and final solo album, ‘Blaster’ in 2015.
Personal Life & Legacy
Weiland married three times; both his first marriage to Janina Castenada and the second marriage Mary Forsberg, a model, with whom he had two children, ended in divorce. His children, Noah and Lucy and his third wife, Jamie, a photographer survive Weiland who died at the age of 48.
He died due to drug overdose on December 3, 2015, in Bloomington, Minnesota, while on tour with 'Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts'.
Scott Weiland’s career and life were as triumphant as it was tumultuous. He had on stage presence that was dynamic to say the least and gifted with a unique voice that won him worldwide acclaim as also criticism for copying grunge stars, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.