The weight of Scott Weiland’s death

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I fell in love with a boy for the first time while listening to Stone Temple Pilots’ Purple.

 

The album was released in June 1994, less than two months after Kurt Cobain’s tragic death. I was 15 years old.

 

Purple consoled my high school sweetheart and me from the immense loss; the album turned us on, too.

 

But Stone Temple Pilots had my heart with Core, which, ironically, was certified 8x platinum on that boyfriend’s birthday in 2001. A lot of time has passed since then.

 

When I woke up today to read that Scott Weiland passed away on a tour stop in Minnesota, my honest reaction was equal parts sadness and acceptance. Denial doesn’t factor into the news anymore. Not when it comes to the stars who’ve burned out, breaking my heart all through my formative years.

 

After Cobain, my more morbid friends and I wondered out loud who would be next to commit suicide, either on purpose or by self-destructing. Some of us said Trent Reznor would slash his wrists, while Marilyn Manson threatened suicide and bomb threats delayed shows.

 

I burst into tears, turned my car and my newly licensed self right around to run screaming up my boyfriend’s steps, when I heard about Shannon Hoon’s death. Hoon had a newborn baby and the song “New Life” on Soup convinced me Hoon would be okay. He would heal from the wound of addiction. Hoon died on October 1995, less than two weeks after I got my driver’s license. I had my wings.

 

And Scott Weiland continued to fly under the radar, avoiding overdose while staying sickly thin. We all knew he struggled, but most of us went on to college, started listening to different bands and otherwise settled down. Weiland piqued my interest again in Velvet Revolver, with “Slither,” but it felt like a bad relationship. One where I knew I’d end up hurt. I wished him well and moved on a long time ago.

 

This morning, Cobain’s words haunted me.

 

kurt

 

That sentence rocked my tormented teenage brain because I started to think of suicide as a way out; a way to control intense emotions and cope with the uncontrollable pain in the world.

 

But I eyed Cobain’s comment cynically. Until today.

 

I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t feel the blow as sharply as before. Maybe I’m too old. Maybe I’ve become my dad, thinking all rock stars are dope addicts and destitute sinners. But I loved Weiland. I mouthed his words and fell in love to his melodies.

 

I’ll miss him. I’ll miss the feelings Weiland, Cobain and Hoon gave me in their music. I’m thankful it doesn’t hurt anymore and I hope he’s found peace.

Comments

  1. This affected me too. You and I grew up around the same time, so STP’s music was fully ingrained into my formative years. Very sad news. Oh, and those words from Cobain are borrowed from Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey”.

  2. Well, boo freekin hoo. Poor, poor Ellen. Like the majority of those in your generation, it’s all about you. As with any tragedy, you find a way to make it about you. An entire industry of candles, stuffed teddy bears and mylar balloons flourishes today, because of your low self esteem generation and it’s yearning to, somehow, make yourself relevant. You have to make yourself part of the story, no matter how removed you are from the event. Your post wasn’t a celebration of Weiland’s life. Hell, you barely mention him. No, your post was another sad attempt to get your face “out there”, to show all your Facebutt friends, “See how much I care? See how brooding and introspective I am? Please, please, someone see me as relevant!!!!!”.

  3. Actually, that quote is not from Cobain, but from NEIL YOUNG. Typical entitled Amerikkan girl…. you managed to make this story about yourself. How narcissistic your social media generation has become. Please be sure to post on twitter or instagram the next time you are at the store to buy grapes….we can hardly wait.

    Remember, it is all about you.

    PS: Your public education and your teacher’s unions have failed you

  4. I, me, I’m, my. Great article about you.

    Maybe you should have written something about him.

  5. Also, those words predate Cobain.

  6. “its better to burn out than to fade away” def leappard 1982 lyric in – Rock of Ages

    pretty sure that is what curt was quoting

  7. “Its better to burn out than to fade away” def leppard – rock of ages 1982.

  8. With all due respect to Al & Sergei: Ellen states in this post that she was 15 years old in 1994, meaning she is not in this so-called “social media generation” or “low self esteem generation” I’m assuming you were relating to what society has dubbed the “Millenial Generation.” As someone who is in fact, a part of this Millenial generation, and is educated enough to form complete sentences as well as do simple math, I can tell you that Ellen is actually in what is called “Generation X.”
    While we encourage everyone to share their opinions on this blog, we do ask that you show some respect and at the very least, some decency, while doing so.

    Have a great day!

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