December 8, 2015

"December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died."

"It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others," writes the ex-wife of the now-dead Stone Temple Pilot.
The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago....
[S]omeone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again – because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click "add to cart" because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.

Many of these artists have children. Children with tears in their eyes, experiencing panic because their cries go unheard. You might ask, "How were we to know? We read that he loved spending time with his children and that he'd been drug-free for years!" In reality, what you didn't want to acknowledge was a paranoid man who couldn't remember his own lyrics and who was only photographed with his children a handful of times in 15 years of fatherhood....
Over the last few years, I could hear his sadness and confusion when he'd call me late into the night, often crying about his inability to separate himself from negative people and bad choices. I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up.

Noah and Lucy never sought perfection from their dad. They just kept hoping for a little effort. If you're a parent not giving your best effort, all anyone asks is that you try just a little harder and don't give up.....

22 comments:

Limited blogger said...

That is some raw emotion from Mary Weiland. She has a right to say it, and I'm glad she did. The damage you leave when you can't control your addictions is devastating.

I loved STP. I couldn't believe how talented Scott Weiland was. Can you imagine how good he would have been sober? I last saw STP in 2012 at Bethel Woods. The band couldn't have been tighter; Scott was barely hanging on. It was a great show, but it seemed like Weiland was about to blow up at any moment.

Sebastian said...

@LB: "The damage you leave when you can't control your addictions"

Can't? Won't? Don't want to? Because, all things considered, they just matter more? Because it's about you, not those kids, wherever they are?

Joshua Barker said...

Alcoholism and Drug addiction are a disease. We are all responsible for our own choices, but addiction is not as simple as saying "Try harder"... And there are many forms of addiction besides drugs and alcohol (food, pornography/sex, gambling, smoking, anger/violence, etc...) Many people struggle for years alone and in shame with their addictions, and there can be many factors that contribute, including childhood abuse, genetic deficiencies, dysfunctional environments... Its easy for those who have not truly struggled with addiction (of any kind) to point fingers and say a person doesn't want to change. Most people I know who struggle (including myself) would give pretty-much anything to be free...

robinintn said...

'You might ask, "How were we to know?.."'. More likely I might ask, "Why am I to care?"

tim maguire said...

Sebastian, that's why it's called an addiction. You're thinking of habits.

cubanbob said...

Musical talent aside, he was an asshole. I feel bad for his kids but the question is why did this woman ever marry him and have kids with him? Edgy and exciting I'll give you is fun for dating and screwing but when it comes down to actually planning to live the rest of your life with someone and have kids with them people like this are the second worst possible choice.

Curious George said...

"Joshua Barker said...
Alcoholism and Drug addiction are a disease. We are all responsible for our own choices, but addiction is not as simple as saying "Try harder".

No but it still is a choice. I get tired of these homages to celebrity addicts...Belushi, Chris Farley, et al. In the end they choice their fates because they choice to use.

Gahrie said...

This.

I have never understood the glorification of Cobain either. He left a daughter behind.

Your Husband said...

They did make bad choices in beginning to use but once the addiction takes hold its damn near impossible for an addict to 'just quit'. We can't just expect them to show more self control. If that's all it took to overcome addiction it wouldn't drive people to suicide like it does.

"In the end they choice their fates because they choice to use."
While technically correct, is there no room for mercy? I can't imagine any addict having a perfect knowledge of the hell they were choosing when they first started using. All they knew was that it was fun and they, like every other addict on planet earth, lied to themselves about being able to control and stop it any time they wanted. Let's show some compassion even to celebrities.

Coupe said...

Every Saturday, my mother wanted a break from us kids, and my father would take us for a ride in the car to the back-roads and places out in the country. For years I enjoyed the memory's of these rides.

It finally dawned on me what was actually going on. Dad would take us to places where we could play, and then he would go into the nearby tavern and drink.

One of these places was the old B-17 bomber gas station in Milwaukie, Oregon. We would climb up the ladder and fly the B-17 from the cockpit, or crawl all over it. Our favorite was spinning around the tail gunners position, which since there was no longer any gun, you would find yourself outside the plane holding on for life.

Later, dad would collect us up, and we'd make our way back home. Dad would pass-out on the couch snoring, finished off and smelling of booze. We'd wait for the right moment when he rolled over, and steal his wallet. Pulling out enough money to take our bikes and go buy candy and soda pop at the corner grocery store.

Mom, would be in the kitchen cooking, or ironing. Like she always was. Resigned to living with a drunk. Well, until she was resigned no more, and threw the bum out.

He died about 20 years before his obituary was written.

Mattman26 said...

Choice, disease, tomato, tomahto.

The fact remains that it's sad when talented people self-destruct.

When Amy Winehouse was doing it, I sort of chortled and enjoyed the music like everyone else. When I saw the movie "Amy," it dawned on me (and it probably shouldn't have been news) that she was fully human, sweet and sour, talented and flawed, and that it was incredibly sad that she met the end she met.

I'm guessing ditto on Scott.

Snark said...

Addiction is a 'choice' in the same way that sitting still while a woodpecker hammers on your head is a choice. Sure, you could choose to sit there and endure the pecking, but the urge to escape it in the moment is overwhelming for people coping with a particular brain chemistry and psychological state. Impulsivity and a weakened ability to delay gratification is a huge part of compulsive behaviour, but that's not a 'choice' either. Nor is it a moral defect. If you haven't suffered or don't suffer an addiction you're best simply to appreciate that luck in life and not spend a lot of time sermonizing on 'choice'.

Jack Wayne said...

The addicts I've known are lacking a fundamental alarm that tells them when to stop. Drinkers drink until they pass out. Druggers drug until they pass out. It's a disease in the sense that they are different from regular people who have the alarm. Some of them are able to build an alarm through an organization like AA. Most can't. If you're in a relationship with someone who doesn't have the alarm and they've tried to build the alarm and failed, walk away.

Joshua Barker said...

Curious George said...
No but it still is a choice. I get tired of these homages to celebrity addicts...Belushi, Chris Farley, et al. In the end they choice their fates because they choice to use.


Again, I'm not saying that people aren't responsible for their actions, and I too am tired of our modern day idolatry... but mostly I feel sad for these people... Children in our culture are raised to believe that being a celebrity is this most wonderful thing in the world, that we should all aspire too... but the truth is that it is actually a horrible burden that destroys a lot of people who simply can't handle the overwhelming corruption of that system...

And for anyone who thinks that addiction is simply a choice, try going without eating or drinking anything for about 3 or 4 days, and you might just begin to understand what some addicts go through...

Snark said...

Jack Wayne it's so very rarely about not having an alarm. For most the alarms are ringing all the time, just not louder than the blare of their psychological compulsion to escape or avoid the more immediate consequences of sitting with their current state of mind. Nor is it about quantity. One of the more compelling observations I've read about addiction was the story of a female alcoholic in later life. She had one drink a day that she nursed over the length of an hour. She was an alcoholic, though, she acknowledged, because she spent the other 14 waking hours thinking about that one drink.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

It's a mystery why some people have the type of psychic upheaval that leads them to admit that they are powerless over their addiction and then go on never to use again (usually after considerable 12-step work, therapy, whatever) while others, while often very nice people, very kind, maybe deeply religious, etc., do not ever get to that point. One thing is for sure - You can't fake surrender.

No one knows why that is but I can tell you from experience, that when you are under the compulsion to drink, snort, shoot, smoke or whatever it is that you do, you don't remember that you have previously swore (and meant it to the bottom of your soul) you would never do it again. It just doesn't come up. That's not a choice. But, I do understand how people who have never experienced that type of thing might think that it is. It certainly looks like it from the outside. What taking that positon reveals to those of us who have experienced hardcore addiction, is the person making the "it's a choice, by God!" argument has no experience of addiction at that level. Every real alcoholic or addict, and I mean everyone of them, that I know who has long term sobriety knows exactly what I am talking about.

Anthony said...

I adored STP although after the first two albums they seemed to slip a bit.

I had this discussion (online) once elsewhere. There often seems to be some connection between "genius" and mental illness, which is all wrapped up with addictive behavior, although I suppose we can come up with examples either way. Contrast Cobain with, say, Eddie Vedder, or maybe Syd Barrett with David Gilmour.

I'm not sure how much "the industry" is to blame. . . . .maybe they used to use them up and spit them out, but I tend to think they're more interested in a long-term revenue stream than a burnout.

I dunno. Random thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, not going to be a popular comment, but there are worse, "it's so sad" ways to go at 48. That goes for Philip Seymour Hoffman, too, whose contributions I personally am going to miss a lot more. He lasted longer than Shannon Hoon - who is a more apt comparison than Cobain, IMO.

I'm glad she made her statement and gave an honest assessment of life behind the curtain, but I also agree with @cubanbob -she is the one who chose a drug- and drink-addled lead singer in a band to be the father of her kids.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhythm and Balls said...

I can't believe it.

I used to love STP and didn't even know he died until reading this.

BN said...

Well, I'm no expert or anything, but I think I remember reading somewhere on the internet that one of the most subtle addictions afflicting people these days is something called "know-it-all-ism." They say it's quite sinister. As one who has a problem with it myself, I can testify that it can ruin perfectly otherwise normal lives and cause all kinds of family and even societal-level chaos. Be careful out there!

Seriously, addicts are individuals too. Some handle it better than others. Too many generalizations here.

Char Char Binks said...

Why is this our fault? I'm pretty sure his wife had more influence on him than most of us.