When I think of Stone Temple Pilots my most strongest feelings and memories go back to 1992 when they were just getting huge with the new band and I was bickering through my teen years. The album Core takes me back to summer of ’93 and 94′ when I could lay out on the beach of Lake Michigan without a care in the world listening to all my favorite music including STP, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and many more. I can still remember learning to play “Plush” for the very first time on my guitar. Those were the days…
I personally gained interest in Scott Weiland in the very beginning with Stone Temple Pilot’s release of Core, their first album, in the early 1990’s.
When Scott died in 2015, it hit me hard. Even though Scott was still making music and I enjoyed the album released in 2010, I longed for that thick and thunderous sound from Core and Purple. STP for me was and is a band that requires all members and would never be the same without Scott.
I finally picked up Not Dead & Not for Sale last week. I also ordered the book Fall to Pieces which was written by Scott’s ex-wife Mary Forsberg. I’ll leave a review on that book later.
My review for Not Dead & Not for Sale…
Not Dead and Not for Sale: The Earthling Papers by Scott Weiland and David Ritz is a memoir that covers Scott Weiland’s life from the time when he was just a little child up until around the year 2011.
For the most part, this book is told in chronological order. Scott takes us back to his early childhood, school life, and his athletic abilities.
He discusses his relationship with God, his first band-Soi Disant, and other gigs, first love affairs and relationships, and finally from the start of the band Mighty Joe Young into Stone Temple Pilots.
One incredible aspect of Scott’s writing in the book was the information given about the records, covers, and many of the song meanings. There are many tidbits given that offer insight into what was going on with the band.
“We were overstimulated from touring and, to sleep on the plane, we took a handful of powerful pills-my first- that coated our brains and numbed out the world. When we got to the fancy hotel in New York, I vomited in the lobby. Dean barely made it up to the room before he vomited all over the bathroom. When we got to MTV at six in the morning we were high as zombies, and yet…Dean played his most heartbreakingly soulful version of “Plush”- and I sang it with more relaxed feeling than ever before or since. It was chill and it was mellow, an acoustic statement still being played on radio stations some eighteen years later. This is a story that seems to have a somewhat happy ending. It is a false ending, however, because my story only became more painful.”
The original video performance of “Plush” from Headbanger’s Ball below:
What I loved about this book is that it gave me new insight to Scott’s feelings about how he’s lived his life and the choices he made. Rather than just listening to his music, I now know a little more about him as a person. Readers will learn things they never knew about Scott and discover that he endured some painful events in his childhood and beyond.
I think this book would be good for people who have an interest in Scott Weiland more so than learning everything about the bands. There’s a lot here about his relationships and the love of his life Mary Forsberg, too. Even though he doesn’t get into Velvet Revolver that much, he does explain the basics and their fall out. My favorite song off the Contraband album by Velvet Revolver was “fall to Pieces.” Perhaps because even though Scott was singing about Mary, the song resonated with me because someone I was extremely close to had just passed away. The video features Mary playing the part and it depicts very closely what Scott explains in the book.
Overall, I devoured this book and recommend it to any STP fan and to those who want to learn more about who he was. It’s brimming with photographs of Scott and his family and I love the format of the book. There’s also a section in the back that includes selections of Scott’s sketchbook which can be seen for a few moments in the video “Fall to Pieces” above. With that said, I’ll say that the book did feel like it had a lot of gaps. In this case, I’m willing to overlook that and still love it for the information it does contain.
It’s a shame that Scott got involved with drugs and I wish that someone could’ve succeeded in saving him. The fact that he was consistently checking himself into rehabs indicates that he wanted help, it just didn’t seem to work. I think people have a hard time sympathizing with drug addicts and alcoholics and I’ve had my own experiences trying to forgive one of my family members who has fallen into the trap and still hasn’t been able to gain control of it. It’s seems that many fall in and just never climb out of the darkness. I do feel that Scott’s artistry will live on for years to come and I’m still rocking his music today.
Watch Stone Temple Pilots MTV Unplugged performance from 1993 below:
Stone Temple Pilots Albums:
David Ritz (born December 2, 1943 in New York City) is an American author who has written more than 50 books. In addition to his work as a co-author of autobiographies for a range of entertainers from Ray Charles to Don Rickles, he has written lyrics (“Sexual Healing”), novels (Search for Happiness), profiles (“Stevie Wonder: Never Ending Song of Peace” in Rolling Stone), critical essays (“Robin Thicke, You’re No Marvin Gaye” in Rolling Stone) and over a hundred liner notes for artists such as Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole. –From Amazon
Other books by David Ritz: