Scott Weiland was one of the best frontmen of a band the world has ever seen. His voice could throw down those meaty man songs live and deftly deliver tracks that needed a soft touch. He was a sexy beast-snake wriggling in tight pants driving the girls mad and the guys wishing they had his moves. He was the only one I wanted yelling at me through a megaphone. Always reaching for more, Weiland surely despised the bro rock band box Stone Temple Pilots were often pushed into. They were so underrated—stellar songwriting with interesting and thoughtful lyrics.

Stone Temple Pilots were a huge band for KROQ. They played KROQ Almost Acoustic and Weenie Roast many times. In 2008, Stone Temple Pilots returned and played KROQ Acoustic Christmas on night one. Night two, Weiland did a solo set. I was asked to do the interview at the front of house at Universal Amphitheater, outside on a small stage decorated with stuffed elves, reindeer, candy canes and a live audience. I loved STP but this was the Scott Weiland after the drugs, a shell of what he once was and I was terrified. When he came on stage I saw that same handsome face, a bit worn around the edges by hard living, and he seemed fragile.  He had the shakes and he rambled. It sucked. I wanted him to be awesome for him, for me, for the fans standing just feet away, but he couldn’t focus and he seemed excruciatingly shy.

Finally, I asked Scott if he was the type of guy who would dress up as Santa Claus. His eyes lit up and he seemed to come alive. What followed was a truly magical and poignant story.


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