Trou­bled STP vo­cal­ist found dead on tour bus

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE - By Justin Wm. Moyer

SCOTT Wei­land, the singer of Stone Tem­ple Pi­lots and Vel­vet Re­volver who spent much of his life bat­tling sub­stance abuse, has died at 48.

Wei­land, on tour with his group Scott Wei­land and the Wild­abouts, was found dead on his tour bus in Min­nesota, as TMZ first re­ported and the Los An­ge­les Times con­firmed with his wife. The cause of his death was not im­me­di­ately known.

Much of the world learned of Wei­land’s demise from guitarist Dave Navarro, who tweeted the news. A mes­sage con­firm­ing his death also ap­peared on his In­sta­gram and Face­book pages.

A Toronto man who pho­tographed Wei­land’s show in the city ear­lier this week says “some­thing seemed off” with the singer.

Jerry Abramowicz says while Wei­land put on a great per­for­mance at Ade­laide Hall on Tues­day and seemed healthy and sober, “he did not look happy” off­stage.

Abramowicz, whose pho­tog­ra­phy can be seen in the liner notes of the band’s lat­est CD, says Wei­land didn’t seem un­der the in­flu­ence of any­thing dur­ing the show in Toronto and seemed en­er­getic, but “had a real sad­ness to his eyes” that shocked him.

Wei­land came at fame side­ways: his most renowned group, Stone Tem­ple Pi­lots, was at first a Pearl Jam sounda­like that many thought even­tu­ally tran­scended trib­ute-band sta­tus. But once the singer found fame on his own terms, his per­sonal demons al­ways made it seem he could squan­der it at any time. As, in­deed, he some­times did.

“We were writ­ten off as the band of dis­as­trous dys­func­tion with too many per­sonal prob­lems to sur­vive,” Wei­land wrote in his 2011 mem­oir, Not Dead & Not For Sale. “Or rather, I was writ­ten off as the guy whose hope­less ad­dic­tions had — and would al­ways — ruin ev­ery­thing for ev­ery­one.”

Wei­land was born in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1967. When his par­ents di­vorced when he was two and his mother re­mar­ried, he took his step­fa­ther’s sur­name. Wei­land wrote that his “new dad was a good guy whose mid­dle name was dis­ci­pline,” while his bi­o­log­i­cal one was “a cool dude who drove a Pepsi truck for a liv­ing but smoked dope at night and lis­tened to the Doors.”

The singer chose to emu­late the lat­ter. Liv­ing with his dad dur­ing the sum­mer, he chugged his first beers in Grade 6.

Ado­les­cence brought fur­ther trou­bles. Wei­land was di­ag­nosed with ADD. His mother was an al­co­holic. At 12, he was raped by a high school se­nior.

“This was a mem­ory I sup­pressed un­til only a few years ago when, in re­hab, it came flood­ing back,” he wrote in 2011. “The dude raped me. It was quick, not pleas­ant. I was too scared to tell any­one.”

Wei­land’s mother and step­fa­ther also checked him into a men­tal hos­pi­tal at 16, with­out telling him ahead of time. Two po­lice­men and two para-

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