Singer Scott Weiland Dead: MORE UPDATES

[Note: The original title of this story was “Singer Scott Weiland Dead of an Overdose?,” which was based on some early, early, early reports that were fed to me. As you’ll see in the following paragraphs, the cause of death has not been confirmed, so the “of an Overdose?” part of the headline has been removed until more information is available. – AC]

Scott Weiland has died.

There was always the fear it would end up like this. The drugs. The alcohol. The bipolar behavior. The relationship issues. The domestic violence. The unwillingness to address all the problems and demons. And it finally came to an ignominious unglamorous finish in an anonymous bunk on a rented tour bus in the parking lot of a motel in snowy Minnesota. Whatever brought upon this death last night, it’s very, very sad.

Scott Weiland was on tour with his band The Wildabouts. They were scheduled to play the Medina Ballroom, an entertainment complex northwest of Minneapolis Thursday night. Bandmates found him on the bus outside a Country Inn & Suites motel around 8 pm. Cops were notified of an “unresponsive male” at 8:22 pm.  When they arrived, Scott was declared dead. He was 48.

Did his body just give out from all the years of abuse? Was it some kind of undetected health problem? Could he have relapsed again in a Sid Vicious/Shannan Hoon way? There are still a lot of questions and, let’s face it, suspicions. But at this point, we’re being told that he died in his sleep, but the Hennepin County Corner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

UPDATE: Immediate cause of death seems to have been cardiac arrest that may have been connected to an alleged crack binge in recent weeks. He’d also been drinking heavily. Weiland’s wife refutes this.

UPDATE: Scott’s bandmate in the Wildabout has been arrested on charges of cocaine possession.

UPDATE: A small amount of cocaine was found “nearby” Scott’s body.

Here’s the Facebook post:

Scott Weiland Facebook death ann copy

The same announcement appeared on Instagram.

On Friday afternoon, this appeared on the Stone Temple Pilots Facebook page.

Dear Scott,Let us start by saying thank you for sharing your life with us. Together we crafted a legacy of music…

Posted by Stone Temple Pilots on Friday, December 4, 2015

 

If you saw the Wildabouts show in Toronto earlier this week, you saw Scott’s last live performance. And if you heard the interview he did on 102.1 the Edge, you heard what might have been his very last interview.

And here’s video of his last-ever performance Tuesday night at Adelaide Hall in Toronto.

I saw Scott perform perhaps a dozen times, mostly with Stone Temple Pilots but also with Velvet Revolver and on his own. As a frontman, he was one of the best. I recall one particular show back in the 90s–one of those Blind Date gigs sponsored by a brewery–where Weiland’s command of the stage was breathtaking. With nothing more than a microphone, the clothes on his back and his charisma, his moves demanded that all eyes be on him. And frankly, you couldn’t look away. It’s hard to explain, but I left the show thinking that he was a true ROCK STAR.

Then there was the conversation with a label executive who was in charge of minding Scott for one show. He was with Scott in the dressing room as he changed from his street clothes into what he was going to wear onstage. “You could see and feel the transformation,” he recalled, “With every new piece of clothing he put on, he transformed a little more into a rock star. By the time he was dressed, he was a different person, someone on a different level, ready to perform. It was amazing to watch.”

On another occasion, I helped book a reunited Stone Temple Pilots for Edgefest at Downsview Park in Toronto. Scott arrived separately from his other bandmates–SOP in those days to help keep the fragile peace–and watched the show from the wings. Again I was amazed at his confidence and prowess as a performer. Dude was good. Certainly one of the best to emerge out of the Alternative Revolution of the 90s.

When it came to interviewing Scott, there was always a lot of trepidation going it. What Scott would you be talking to? Petulant Scott? Angry Scott? High/Drunk Scott? Bored Scott? Charming Scott? I was lucky in that I only spoke with the last two, but there was always a sense he might flip to one of the other personalities at any second. Check out this video interview I did with him about his clothing line, English Laundry. (Via Ira)

Behind it all was an army of personal demons. Drug abuse. The rehab stints that never took. The DUIs. The on-again, off-again membership in STP. The brawling egos in Velvet Revolver. The bad marriages. How long could he keep dancing with these devils before it came time to pay up? Now we know.

More as this story develops. Meanwhile, musicians are mourning Scott’s passing, including Billy Corgan who wrote this lovely euglogy. Matt Sorum of Velver Revolver had this to say. Here’s a statement from a record executive who worked with Scott. Fans are, of course, doing the same. Check out this remembrance Moe found on Reddit.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

21 thoughts on “Singer Scott Weiland Dead: MORE UPDATES

  • December 4, 2015 at 7:53 am
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    You’re a real piece of shit for spreading unfounded rumors about an overdose. only hours after his death. You must need the clicks because your content sucks.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 8:02 am
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    You have no fucking clue whether it was drugs, it might have nothing to do with drugs. Assholes to print that before he’s even cold.

    Reply
    • December 4, 2015 at 8:11 am
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      I didn’t say it had anything to do with drugs. The post clearly says that the cause of death hasn’t been determined. There’s only the suspicion that it might be an overdose–and that’s based on decades of behaviour.

      Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    Alan Cross Sucks Dick? Oh, I never said Alan Cross sucks dick, because my “head” line has a question mark after it. There’s only suspicion.

    Reply
    • December 4, 2015 at 9:26 am
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      Only suspicion. And given Scott’s history, this suspicion is natural. Dying at 48 isn’t normal. Whatever the cause of death, though, it doesn’t matter. One of the greatest voices we’ve heard in the last 20 years is gone. That’s a tragedy no matter how you look at it.

      However, I have amended the headline. The original was based on early, early reports of what were fed to me which now appear to be incomplete at best.

      Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 10:52 am
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    As twisted as this sounds, I hope the one little silver lining in this whole thing is that it turns out it WASN’T a drug overdose. I have his autobiography and I have not read it yet. Reading it will now be an entirely different experience, but one I look forward to.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 12:47 pm
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    Thanks for that. He was a great musician </3

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm
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    Regardless,it,s still sad!!!
    He was making a comeback!I
    I feel bad for his family.
    More things will come out as time goes on.
    I look forward to his Autobiography as well.
    Hopes and Prayers for peace in the beyond.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    I think it’s obvious for anyone, with or without information, to suspect drugs might be involved, whether it was directly an overdose, or his heart gave out from his decades of hard living.
    Regardless of the reason for the passing, the fact is we’ve lost an iconic frontman, who struggled with his inner demons almost all his life. May he now find the peace he never could in life.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm
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    It’s a good, responsible article. His death may be something totally out of left field and unrelated to his well documented demons and addictions, but it’s unlikely. A sad and tragic loss.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    I think you need to lay off the writer ..he’s simply reporting on the events to the best of his knowledge ..given life expectancy for a male is 78.80 and he died 30 years before that, given his past I think regardless if it was cardiac arrest it’s a pretty safe assumption his past didn’t help the situation…. I personally think the probility that drugs and or alcohol played some part would be over 90%..It’s a great article and gives me as a reader a real glimpse into this very talented but troubled musicians life. I think the ex band members said it well , his blessing was his curse ..well written and for those of you who like bashing the messenger get a life..

    Reply
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  • December 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm
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    99% of the time when you die of a drug overdose, the easily determined cause of death is cardiac arrest. It will likely take several weeks to run a full toxicology test to determine if there’s a drug related cause to how he actually had a heart attack. Yes it’s not right to say if it is a drug related issue, but the reactive comments aren’t right either.

    I came to this blog post because I knew there would be a story, much more in depth than the cookie cutter obituaries seen elsewhere in the media. I wasn’t disappointed, thanks for sharing Alan.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm
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    Lord Jesus Christ, people…do the fricking math. What the fuck do you think brought the cardiac arrest on – if indeed that’s what it was? Chewing gum? Water? Pretzels? What the fuck? To the dude that called Alan a – what was that again? Oh yes, a “real piece of shit”… Yeah, that was classy. Give your head a shake. You can’t honestly tell me this was shocking news?! It was never a question of “if”? It was always a question of “when?” He was very unwell. The world knew it. Regardless of what the final cause is, the point is his demons finally – and sadly – caught him. And now we’ve all lost a pretty talented dude from our realm no thanks to the disease of addiction.
    And I think a few of you need to man up/grow up/whatever you want to call it and apologize for sounding like complete and utter douchebags to Alan.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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    Addiction is not a demon. It is a disease of the brain. I wish people would stop making addiction sound romantic. A diseased brain causes a diseased life. The cause and effect are backwards in this discussion. I didn’t become an addict because I used drugs and alcohol but rather, used them because I am an addict. It’s not just semantics. It helps give people an excuse not to get clean when they can blame something external.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2015 at 7:21 am
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    I thought this guy died a while back. But I think I mix up him and the guy from Alice in Chains. Both cokeheads. Both dead from OD.

    Reply
  • Pingback: A Journal of Musical ThingsThis Was the Last Scott Weiland Interview - A Journal of Musical Things

  • December 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm
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    I just wanted to say,Alan,how well he did for in your chat with him,Part 1.For somebody struggling with various difficulties ,he did remarkably well.!!

    Reply

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