By this point in your Friday afternoon, most of you have likely heard the bad news that's going around the interwebz, but on the off chance that I am somehow your primary outlet for music news, here it is again: Scott Weiland, singer for seminal 90's band Stone Temple Pilots (and some other acts that, while enjoyable, weren't Stone Temple Pilots), has died at the age of 48.
For anyone familiar with Weiland's history of substance abuse and his struggles to get clean, this news can hardly be shocking, but that doesn't make it any less sad that we've lost a talented musician and an important part of all of our collective musical histories. Listening to a variety of Stone Temple Pilots stuff today has reminded me of just how central STP was to my own musical experience growing up. I've since delved into some pretty wild and woolly areas of the world of heavy music, but even I can't deny that Stone Temple Pilots have an impressive body of work. I could probably name a dozen songs right now, from throughout the band's career, that I still dig just as much as when I first heard them.
So let's pick just one of those songs to say goodbye to Scott. It's a tough call, I know, to pick just one, but I think I've settled on "Down", the opening track from 1999's No. 4. It's got a good heavy riff, a great guitar solo, a brooding atmosphere, and of course, plenty of Scott Weiland goodness. I feel like No. 4 doesn't necessarily always get the same love as the first couple of Stone Temple Pilots records, but the combination of the record's overall sound and the timing of its release (I was in high school at the time) has solidified No. 4's spot in the hole in my paper heart. You will be missed, Scott.