photo & text by nacrowe
i know it is beyond lazy and cliche to view everything STONE TEMPLE PILOTS-related through the prism of SCOTT WEILAND and his addictions, but in retrospect it is nearly impossible not to see their debut album CORE (ATLANTIC, 1992) as a testament to what the band was capable of with their wildly gifted frontman at his most determined and sober. before that tour with THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS that led to WEILAND's downfall. oh and what a debut it was.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS always had great singles, but their real knack was for fusing together disparate elements of CLASSIC ROCK, PYSCHEDELIA, METAL and POWER POP into a potent mix that arguably none of their ALTERNATIVE ROCK contemporaries could pull, nor wished to. while singles like "PLUSH," "SEX TYPE THING" and "CREEP" where fixtures of my SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA youth listening to KROQ 106.7 FM our of LOS ANGELES, the songs that stuck with me where the more experimental and dirge-y numbers like "WICKED GARDEN," "WHERE THE RIVER GOES," "PIECE OF PIE" and especially "SIN." in my estimation, there is no weak moment on this debut. i think with later records the band branched out a bit with their songwriting chops by conceiving of songs with ever more disparate textures, tempos and song structures, but that is no knock on the debut. its kind of like knocking the early BEATLES albums for being more derivative than than THE WHITE ALBUM (APPLE, 1968).
my memories of this album are related to a trip my family took in the mid 1990s to SPAIN where i was able to get a copy of this record an EL CORTE INGLES. so my teenage impressions of this record are filled with backseat visions of the SPANISH countryside through towns like AVILA, SEGOVIA, CORDOBA and SALAMANCA. in era of great ALTERNATIVE ROCK frontman like LAYNE STALEY, CHRIS CORNELL, EDDIE VEDDER and KURT COBAIN, i'd put SCOTT WEILAND right up there. like all those aforementioned frontman (aside from VEDDER), its still tragic that their collective output was hampered by personal issues related to ADDICTION and MENTAL ILLNESS.
i think empathy is in order and i for one am grateful for the gifts they gave the world. rest in peace SCOTT.