Stone Temple Pilots at Jimmy Kimmel – Scott Weiland’s swan song before the slammer

MAY DAY! Weiland’s Pilots crash at Jimmy Kimmel

The mid nineties remind me of crazier days, when I had a two seater beater sports car that I drove way too fast. My friends and I wrote on our arms, riot grrrl style and picked fights with poor unsuspecting bimbos at clubs. I was doing stand up back then and moonlighting as a writer at MTV, when I could make it into the office sans hangover…you see, coming up the comedy ranks doesn’t pay well, unless you use the currency of drink tickets to your advantage; dinner was often dirty martinis with extra olives.

I was a complete maniac. A twister that even Bill Paxton would have trouble keeping down.

Back then everything seemed possible, yet it was cool to grouse about how reality bit and how some day everyone would be sorry when we had our own sit com.

Obviously things have drastically changed. Kurt is gone, Courtney went Hollywood, My Toyota bit the dust and well, I’m not drinking my dinner anymore. But since this is the day and age of the “Comeback tour” , The Re-union Tour” or the “I’m so completely fucked I’m going to dance with the stars or be watched by Big Brother, Reality Tour”. So if these guys can bring back the grunge, whether in Marc Jacobs jeans and flannels or in person, then I surely can have a couple too many. Right?

Backstage at Kimmel is always a freak show or Jackass parade. The green room is set up for debauchery with it’s free sushi and free booze, playstations, pool tables and hungry eyed groupies. I have the fortune of being friends with the writers, some old MTV/VH! pals, and the booker, Scott, so I can walk a couple blocks for a show every now and then. I don’t go that often now, unless I know the band, because frankly the crowd bums me out. That might sound like class A snobbery, but it’s just the plain truth. They’re not there for the music, they’re there to touch the band or push something on them. Hell, if I’m being completely honest, sometimes I’m there for the sushi, but I digress.

Tonight the crowd could be distinctively divided into two camps. The “Dude! STP! Sweet!” camp and the “P. Diddy in the hizzouse!” camp. It was like the jets and the sharks on ABC turf. Wildly entertaining. Though the only people who were in danger of getting cut were those who stood in the way of the food table as ravenous post grungites descended upon it like zombies on a naked co-ed.

The crowd got restless as P. puffy diddy combsey sat for two or three interview segments. He fascinates me for only one reason: the man has successfully infiltrated the music, fashion, movie and vodka industries and is worth more than Midas, but still sounds like he has to prove himself. Every interview I see him do, his bravado swagger sounds more like begging to be part of the cool crowd. It’s like a pop psychology playground, getting in that ego and playing around in all the dark corners that seep out as he promotes his latest dvd/cd/clothing line/distillery. A true example of success NEVER BEING ENOUGH if you don’t love yourself. Diddy, you now have a star on the walk of fame. I know you want an Oscar. Then what? When can you rest? When can you just take a moment and say, “That’ll do, Puffy.” True, you’d be talking about yourself in the third person, but you seem to be comfortable with that anyways.

My friend and I joined the fray when the rental gaurds cleared the green room guests to walk outside. Security is very tight in the green room. However, outside one could disembowel a few toddlers and it’s all good.  As the grunge natives and 909ers milled about outside, finally the reunited STP took the stage.

Now, I was more of a Pixies fan, Radiohead fan, Nirvana and Soundgarden fan back in the day. But it amazes me how I knew all the words to all of their songs. You can chalk that up to a steady diet of KROQ back in the day (my car tape deck was often broken) or perhaps I’m a true Pilot fan deep underneath…I think it’s the former. But watching skinny Scott Weiland, dressed like a Bret Easton Ellis Less Tan Zero casualty, slither around with a Jagger finger waghere and there combined with a weird Travolta shuffle, and it took me right back to that time when the true essence of my posse was “I drink, therefore I am.”

The brothers looked ecstatic to be back onstage playing their songs. And the crowd was going nuts…as for Scott? Scott looked like a man who was on a binge before he was headed back to prison. Yes, before he goes on his big reunion world tour, Scott is spending a few weeks in the slammer.

I honestly think that might be the best thing for him. With hundred of thousands of people screaming his name and dozens of enablers ready to help him wallow in excess, a few weeks of solace might just be the thing that keeps him alive on this tour.

After an encore, the band joined hands and bowed before the crowd as chants of STP rang out through the Hollywood air. Then the band lef tthe stage…errr, most of the band. Scottie just stood there, smoking a cigarette. The crew wasn’t sure what to do. ‘Can we strike the set with a rock star still standing on it?’ The band looked back at their lead singer and a bit of panic rose in their eyes…what is he going to do? How will this be spun on TMZ or tomorrow?

Scott just gazed out at the crowd, almost like we were the act of the night and he was the sole audience member. Maybe he wanted to get a good look at all the faces he;s been missing over the years…or maybe one of the pills just had kicked in…

Finally he wandered off stage, as one would after being spun around on a tire swing at the park. Immediately the guards went in lock down mode and all of us vip wristbanded guests were turned away at the green room door. “The Green Room is closed for the night!” an overzealous guard yelled. The subtext scrawled under his thought bubble “So the publicists can get the band in a secure location and start spinning this shit into a golden yarn of rock god proportions.”

Yeah, he was pretty fucked up.

If I come off as a teetotaler wimp, don’t write me off yet. I had three glasses of something containing alcohol and the effects will wear on my immune system for days. Every headache and every grouchy phrase I utter will bring me back to my days as a riot grrl wild child and will ultimately make me think “Jesus, I hope Scott Weiland is going to be ok.”

3 thoughts on “Stone Temple Pilots at Jimmy Kimmel – Scott Weiland’s swan song before the slammer

  1. This is the first time I’ve ever seen your site; I found this post from googling Stone Temple Pilots and Jimmy Kimmel, which I did pretty much immediately after I heard the first three notes out of Scott Weiland’s mouth (it’s rerunning tonight). Basically, I wanted to see if anyone else had had the same reaction I did. What you wrote about SW’s performance was like an instant and beautifully written summary of all the thoughts I was having and all my instinctual emotional reactions in those few seconds between the time he started singing until I clicked on this page. Like you, I was never an STP fan first and foremost; I listened to the songs that most people knew but, despite their being popular, were commonly considered genuinely good songs. Actually, right now I have one of Scott Weiland’s solo songs on my playlist. But what kind of bandYou’ve really captured that strange feeling of not-altogether-unpleasant nostalgia for a time that seems much simpler, whether it’s because I’m aging or things are changing rapidly or, most likely, some combination of the two. It’s the kind of nostalgia that makes me feel like even though I was never crazy into STP, they’re still, in retrospect “my generation’s” music, and I have a certain feeling of ownership of that time, when they first came out and everybody was comparing them to Pearl Jam. That time feels so distant to me and so different from my current life, and I felt a real, wrenching sadness for Scott Weiland, who is just as many years past that time as I am, but lives essentially the same life he did then, one it seems he has tried desperately to change for so long that his struggle with addiction is as perilous and widely acknowledged as any of the young musicians, in the grunge scene and in music in general, who didn’t make it. You told this story with enormous grace, a quality that I really appreciate and am saddened to see only very rarely in celebrity/music media coverage. I have no idea who you are because I started writing this as soon as I finished the post, but I will definitely read some more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s