Scott Weiland’s memoir Not Dead & Not For Sale ended before it really started, much like his life. The story of his brief time with us, which tragically ended earlier this month, was penned three years ago, during one of his more sober moments. A drug addict for most of his adult life, Weiland had tremendous difficulty staying clean. And in the end, he succumbed.
As frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, and other side projects, Weiland was an incredible songwriter, penning intensely personal lyrics, and a riveting performer on stage. But that passion and spark are muted on the pages of his autobiography. While Weiland freely discusses his struggles with substance abuse, marriage, and band mates, it’s all sort of matter of fact.
He sums up his bad boy behavior in one word – loss. He references the loss of his father when his parents divorced, the loss of his step brother to a freak accident and the loss of his younger brother to a drug overdose, and the loss of his wives through divorce. There’s an allusion to rape at the hands of another male when he was a teen and to a stay at a mental hospital when his parents found out he was getting high in college. A family history of alcoholism is also mentioned. Add all these things up and you understand how drugs were the answer. But the question remains: Why didn’t any of those countless visits to rehab work?
Apparently there is no definitive reason why Weiland ended up dead on a tour bus other than that he overdosed. Perhaps he couldn’t ever really deal with his demons on the level he needed to in order to remain self-disciplined. This book barely scratched the surface of what was rolling around in his head and one has to wonder if he was truly in touch with the causes of his insobriety.
If you’re a fan of Weiland and looking for some solace in the pages of this book, you won’t really find any. Go to Youtube and listen to STP’s "Interstate Love Song" or Velvet Revolver’s "Fall to Pieces." I suspect you will find that far more insightful and comforting. The lyrics tell Scott’s story far better than this book.
Rest in peace.