Scott Weiland Dead at 48

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So many of Scott Weiland’s lyrics are embedded in my psyche.  It probably has something to do with the age that I was when I first heard phrases like:

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     Scott Weiland in his Velvet Revolver days

Leavin on a Southern train

only yesterday you lied

promises of what I seemed to be

only watched the time go by

and

Driving faster in my car

falling farther from just what we are

smoke a cigarette and lie some more

these conversations kill

Because Weiland laid his emotions out there in his songs, he invited the listener to intensely experience the raw feelings emerging from his voice coupled with the powerful guitar and drums that was the band, Stone Temple Pilots. Now he has been added to the list of so many other artists we have lost due to the disease of addiction. I’ve heard that individuals whose addiction remains mostly active (meaning they may have intermittent times of sobriety) rarely live past the age of 50. About a month ago, I was having a conversation with a friend and we both expressed amazement at the time that Weiland was still alive since it had been widely reported that he had been unable to stay away from heroin. Initial reports today indicate that Weiland died of heart failure on his tour bus, and his latest drug of addiction had been crack cocaine.

Regardless of the details, he is gone, and I’m left with a mixture of sadness and appreciation for his musical legacy. Like so many of us, Weiland used substances to avoid his most difficult feelings as well as traumatic events of his past. One of those traumas was remembered by Weiland in his autobiography, Not Dead & Not for Sale, published in 2011, in which he revealed that he was sexuallly assaulted at age 12 by an older boy.

Facing up to the difficult, tragic parts of ourselves is the most courageous act we could ever attempt. There is hope and light waiting on the other side, and recovery is possible.

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