For the Feb. 6, 2016 Billboard story on Scott Weiland, Billboard spoke at length with Weiland’s widow, Jamie, his parents and friends to learn all about the former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman’s final days. Here are seven things about Weiland — the man behind the star — you probably didn’t know.
One time, Stone Temple Pilots accidentally left him in Georgia. During STP’s Core tour, Weiland never told anyone he was getting off the bus to buy cigarettes and use the restroom, so his bandmates accidentally left him behind as they headed south. “We were halfway to Florida and word got around to our tour manager that he wasn’t there. We had to go back and get him when we realized he wasn’t on the bus,” remembers guitarist Dean DeLeo. This was before cell phones, so Weiland went home with a store clerk and sat on the guy’s trailer porch for hours, waiting for his band to find him. “He was really rattled. It wasn’t funny at the time, but it’s kind of funny now looking back.”
Weiland loved pitbulls. The first dog that Scott took home was Buckley, a hermaphrodite pitbull rescued from Compton, Calif., who was very attached to Jamie Weiland, Scott’s widow. “We had to take him everywhere because he had horrible separation anxiety,” Jamie remembers. Later, Jamie asked for a kitten for her birthday; Scott instead got her a second pitbull, Beatrice. “I think he wanted a dog that could be his,” she says. “He was so excited, and he loved her.”
David Bowie was a huge influence. “He was someone whom Scott certainly had great admiration for,” says his biological father Kent Kline. “When I first heard the news that David Bowie died, I immediately thought of Scott.” Weiland also referred to Bowie as the artist he most wanted to collaborate with, and Stone Temple Pilots frequently covered the singer’s “Andy Warhol” in the ‘90s.
Weiland loved sports, TV and movies. Weiland was obsessed with Notre Dame football and enjoyed The History Channel and vampire shows like True Blood. “Sometimes I wondered if he was a teenage girl, because he watched so many girly TV shows,” says Jamie laughing. Every morning when he wasn’t on tour, Weiland would play Wii on their velvet sofa, often shouting at the TV. He also played Dungeon & Dragons and often had glow-in-the-dark Nerf gun fights late at night with Jamie’s son.
Weiland liked wearing high heels. Mark Racco was a friend of Weiland’s for 16 years and a director of music videos like STP’s “Down.” On a shoot for the song “Drop That Baby” by The Wondergirls –Weiland’s side project with Ashley Hamilton and members of The Cult, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Porno for Pyros — Racco recalls Weiland dressing up in a patent leather corset, lace gloves, fishnet stockings, a garter belt, and high-heeled pumps. “He was a sight to behold,” says Racco. “He had a sense of humor and a vision.” Weiland’s ex-wife Mary Forsberg was there and Racco remembers her nearly breaking down into tears and storming off the set because of Scott’s outfit. “It was a very awkward moment for the crew, and Scott looked at me to break the tension and said, ‘Sorry, fellas… she’s never been to prison!’”
He could be shy. Weiland and Jamie met in October 2011, while filming the music video for “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” a single from the singer’s third solo album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Jamie, a photographer, was hired to shoot still images of him during the shoot. “I caught him kind of looking at me a couple times. When I looked straight back, he looked away.” Her equipment was all outside, and he kept finding excuses to go out there and talk with her. “I remember thinking, ‘This guy smokes a lot’ and in retrospect, he wanted to come see me, which is so cute.” The next time they saw each other was in December, after a show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. “I went backstage and after everybody left, we kissed — and that was it.”
Weiland was very excited about writing a new record with The Wildabouts. On the fall 2015 Blaster tour, guitarist Nick Maybury remembers the frontman talking about working on a new album once the band got home. “He’s like, ‘Get your writing chops up, boy.’ That was an awesome pressure to have.”