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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scott Weiland's New Bio Goes (Just Barely) Behind the Music: "Do like horses on trails. Don't like motorcycles on the L.A. Fwy"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 5:56 AM

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Instead, most revealing are the little asides, like his list of Do's and Don't's: "Do like horses on trails. Don't like motorcycles on the L.A. Fwy. Do like dressing well, as if you haven't put any effort into it. Don't like men that dress like cads."

Or under the subhead "A Song I Need To Write": "It concerns a stripper I dated after I had broken up with Jannina and was on the outs with Mary [Forsberg, his second ex-wife]. [The stripper] fell on her knees to pleasure me. A half hour later she was throwing plates at my head. I have the title -- 'Flame Thrower' -- but the melody remains locked up somewhere in my imagination." Now that's interesting.

Make-ups and break-ups -- with lovers and bandmates alike -- dominate the narrative, as do candid stories about the high highs and low lows that come with his addictions to heroin and coke: "Chills, heat, sweat, shakes. I was puking and shitting my brains out" is a refrain in Not Dead & Not For Sale as familiar as those from Core (so named, see, because the band "wanted to get to the essential elements of what were were all about -- the core of our music").

A quick and easy read, many of the book's sections are just a couple of pages long, the text further broken up by lyrics and snapshots. Whether it's worth the $15 price tag is debatable: If you already own Thank You, STP's excellent greatest-hits album, you can pretty much deduce the back-stories because there they are, right in the lyrics themselves. To that end, whether a listener finds pleasure in simple songs or if she'd rather puzzle through the intricacies, music's power comes from what the audience brings to it. Here, there just isn't that much to puzzle through.

Though maybe that's a good thing. Because so many of Weiland's lyrics are about battles between vices, or, in the case of "Sour Girl," this girl or that one (it's about his now ex-wife Mary, not Jannina), I'll switch up the girls just one more time. That way "Sour Girl" can remain my favorite Stone Temple Pilots song, leaving open the possibility that, inexplicably, it's written about me in college, when I heard it on the radio -- and loved it -- almost every single day.

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