Monday, December 7, 2015

The Pointlessness of Writing About Musicians on Drugs

I didn't pause to write anything about the death of Scott Weiland over the weekend because, other than being a tragedy for his family and friends, there is no point in trying to maximize hits over someone else's pain. The world is full of ghouls, and most of them are in politics because music doesn't pay.

He was handed the world and he threw it away as fast as he could because that used to be the way to sell more records and make more money. He was an addict enabled by an industry desperate for content without any regard for the cost in human dignity. His band was over when it was apparent that he preferred drugs to entertaining people. Did you even know the name of the band he was playing with when he died?

This is from April of this year:

Scott Weiland has not been making it easy to be a Scott Weiland fan. Last month, an inebriated Weiland allegedly told devotees “Let’s suck a dick!” during a meet-and-greet event, rude comments which he later apologized for. Now, during a recent show in Corpus Christi, Texas with his Wildabouts backing band, the rocker offered a less-than-stellar ghastly performance of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Vasoline”.

“Alright, this is a new song, we just worked it out today,” Weiland told the crowd, before launching into the ’90s classic. He must have meant “horrendous rendition” when he said “new.” While the band played its part faithfully, Weiland muttered his vocals with little to no enthusiasm, frankly looking as though he wanted to be anywhere else but on that stage.

The guy has been out of control for months and no one has done anything to help him. You can't help but read that piece and not wonder "who was looking out for him and why did they fail to get this guy some help? Why was he even on tour? Did you know that he was in a parking lot in Bloomington, Minnesota when his heart gave out, which is just about the saddest way to die, period?

Brother, I've been to Bloomington. There's nothing rock and roll about Bloomington. You might as well die in the middle of nowhere.

The fact that he died on tour with a band hardly anyone knew about in a bus is proof that it was a senseless thing. The individual interests of other people meant more than trying to save this man's life. Why was he even on a promotional tour when it was clear months ago that this was not something he should have been engaged in? How was that the healthiest thing for that guy? If there was a functioning mechanism for a working musician to live off past album sales, Weiland should have been able to enjoy himself. I hear those grunge bands sold a lot of record to dirty kids in the 1990s. The nostalgia tour from that should have been more than enough to buy a house somewhere near Malibu.

All of the plaudits I read were hysterically sober and praised his "art." There was no art there. He appeared when he appeared because Pearl Jam were between albums. His band was marketed for a specific gap. The fact that he was pushed out there sounding like Eddie Vedder and looking like Eddie Vedder should tell you that people don't remember anything the way they're supposed to. Don't bother with the whole notion that Stone Temple Pilots were their own thing and that they were a great band. Come on. Vilified? Hell, yes. That's why I laughed when poor Billy Corgan shambled off of his rollercoaster seat and pretended he was the wise old man of early 90's alternative rock. Fucking wanker, man. Fucking wanker to the end of days.

Scott Weiland was sucked dry and propped up and tolerated because he made money for people who should have put his health before their own desperate need to ram cash into their pants. As soon as he spiraled out of control on drugs, everyone in his life had a choice. Help him, or enable him. This was a guy who was enabled. How many albums did they make after they knew he was hopelessly addicted to drugs and still able to perform? What a disgrace.

That doesn't mean we're ever going to run out of broke, crying Deadheads who are sad the money train ran out of steam when Jerry Garcia died. Reading this article is like being inundated with selfish recrimination and tales of being strung out for no reason. You had a bad time when you went to see the Dead in 1994? Were you paying attention to anything going on in the world at that point?

I don't care about drugs or drug bands and neither should you. This is a distraction from the fact that Weiland and Garcia died when they were in the music business. In our society as a whole, people die from drug abuse all the time and waste their potential. It is not something worth celebrating and anyone who speaks out about it is just trying to nurture what's left of their conscience. In reality, they're just mad they can't make money off the dead guy anymore.

Fuck them. And fuck the enablers who suck money out of people who are sick and dying and need help.

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