My Friend Scott Weiland Has Died
December 4, 2015 - accent chair
Others will write of his darkness. we wish to pronounce of his light, that Diamond Dog Astronomy Domine Mystery Tour light that was alive in his song and infrequently his eyes. we am not meddlesome in means of death, since we saw a lightning he was able of in life.
He sits in a chair in my office. My bureau is on a 8th building of a blunt white building that stands where Sunset creates a spin towards a sea, where a frame ends and Beverly Hills begins. He sits opposite from me, all right angles creased and collected into an bureau chair, jubilee Marlboros and vague in anticipation.
I am an AR chairman for a vital label. It is 1997, and we am going to assistance Scott Weiland make his initial solo album. He is here to play me his demos.
His physique folds and unfolds, relocating like a Thunderbird puppet. His deeply alive rockstar eyes glance by me, those eyes that lay so distant behind in their sockets that they seem to exhibit all a probable multiple of dim and light behind them. With child-like fad he slides a cassette fasten over my desk. It’s contained in a hand-drawn sleeve, antique and psychedelic.
I put it in and spin it loud; he turns it louder. The room fills with blue fume and bright, amazing, silvery, slutty, unusual music. These could be a best demos I’ve ever heard. The sound and a songs are extraordinary, awkward and accurate high-pop that sounds like Neil Innes channeling a Move around Suicide, Mott a Hoople recording Magical Mystery Tour, Gavin Friday recording with Oasis, Red Kross pang on a Cross. Scott is reaching for some kind of bizarre space-age buzzing chronicle of Beatles around Bowie, though he achieves something even some-more remarkable, some-more unique, afterwards he could ever have hoped. The demos sounds lo-fi and psychoplanetarium 3D all during a same time, mountainous melodies, sizzling and bizarre guitar sounds, and dark, roughly Scott Walker-ish splashes of mood and self loathing.
These demos became 12 Bar Blues. Scott’s first solo album is a bizarre and smashing excursion, though to be frank, not as good as those demos; some of a ecstatic, childish Beatle-ism was mislaid and some-more significantly, a integrate of fantastic-sounding songs had to be excised for authorised reasons (the roughly despicable fun Scott took in replicating a past had caused him to lift – expected unconsciously – some pre-existing melodies). Nevertheless, in many ways we consider 12 Bar Blues tells us what Scott hoped to be. we trust he was perplexing to rise a new wording for his stone star language, somewhere between Ziggy Stardust and Nikki Sudden, somewhere between Brian Eno and Brian May. He was creation disfigured Britpop around Brecht around Malibu Beach, something that buzzed with a deeply British accent he listened in his heart and a Lite-Brite L.A. lights that surrounded him.
Scott was also inventing a new kind of millennial stone star. For all a unusual song of a 1990s, a decade still felt flannelled and rageless and deplorable and frat-ful, and a epoch lacked a shameless stone star (Bono too holy, Stipe too unwavering of a irony that went with a crown, Kurt too pure). Scott wanted to be the star, he accepted that we indispensable Gaga though had Hootie.
Of course, many of all he wanted to be Bowie, though there was too many Black Flag and Kurt and Stipe in him to make his fabrication pure; nonetheless on 12 Bar Blues he was so very, really tighten to inventing an bomb multiple of a deeply artistic and a deeply decadent and a deeply feral. Ultimately he was Bolan designed by Egon Schiele, or Michael Stipe sanctimonious to be Brian Slade.
I consider a tainted resplendence of Los Angeles strut-rock was radically wrong for Weiland. If usually he was lifted in Hackney and not Huntington Beach, he competence have famous that his low-pitched essence belonged some-more to a universe of Andy Partridge, Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett than a Sunset Strippers. Maybe this miscasting caused some essential mistreat to his character, who knows. If he had innate a Gallagher Brother we consider it competence have all done some-more sense. He was during his best, we think, not usually on 12 Bar Blues though also on STP’s Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop, where he injected a springy, rambling riffs of a pretentious rope with a high-British hyper-melodic whine.
He wanted to be Lennon and he insisted on being Jesus, crucifying himself for reasons we did not investigate. Both beauty and pain were manifest in those unfit cheekbones, pinned eyes and Egon Schiele body, all right angles and declining waist, and a rods of cigarettes he fed himself. Yet on those occasions when we listened that sorcery that he heard, that he aspired to, like that day in my bureau and a few moments when he struggled by a mist and available 12 Bar Blues, we wanted to reason him tight, and contend there was a law in cocktail that was improved than any drug,
(But who am we to contend that? we did not know drugs a approach he did, and not meaningful drugs meant we did know what gathering him to adore them some-more than his possess physique and brilliance; and we exclude to decider a drugs, usually contend that he captivated some awful moths when he was on them).
His many new manuscript (with a Wildabouts), Blaster, found him once again channeling Bolan, though recasting him as a vocalist for Fu Manchu; it’s an manuscript we roughly love, nonetheless his outspoken clarity was dimmed (that skinny though clarion-fierce high finish that had infused his best work with a kind of sour bubble-gum bemoan was mostly gone), though we could still hear what he was going for: he was still unresolved Union Jacks from his cheekbones while reaching for SoCal punk and Sunset Strip strut, that is all to contend we wish he had grown aged and turn Michael DesBarres.
For a few moments 17/18 years ago, we was ecstatic with him, and distinguished his prophesy of a decadent electroshock Jellyfish music, though we could not stop him from a sad, vibrating total that famous an addict and praised him usually to take. We fought over that sometimes, though it was not a quarrel we could win, since we did not know how a pull of a unfit dream of his windowpane-laced wedding-cake cocktail could not be as clever as a drug. Perhaps we unsuccessful him. But greatfully buy 12 Bar Blues, that jubilee of light cocktail in dim colors, sounding like a yellow submarine sailing by immature seas choked with algae, with a periscope reaching adult to a pleasing Laurel Canyon sky choked with winter’s clear light.
I do not know because he died, though if we knew him during that impulse in a late 1990s in an bureau high over Sunset Boulevard where a Strip burst into Beverly Hills, we would know he was once alive, so really alive, and his dreams and destiny were so alive in a high, hissing, acid-drop sly cocktail song that was on that cassette, and it seemed all and anything was possible. He was perplexing so desperately tough to light new electric fires, and true, those fires were pale by a obsession (and even some-more so by a weight of a sad, regulating moths who are drawn to porch-light of an dependant star), though if we saw him in those moments when his low eyes were dismissed by dreams and a even rarer moments when those dreams incited from lightning fog to low-pitched reality, we desired him.
Because, ultimately, let us not pronounce of intensity unrealized, though usually remember that he achieved so much. He did comprehend that potential, and it is greedy for us to contend that we wanted more. Let us not remember that he faded away, though that he sparked so hot, so real, so full of a silvery, shimmering, slinky Cosmonaut cocktail heat.