Not Dead & Not for Sale: A Memoir
Not Dead & Not for Sale tells the tale of false starts and unfinished business—the heartbreak of true genius both realized and wasted and the ongoing battle against indelible demons. It is also a cautionary tale of the potential consequences of living a rock star life.
With a helping hand from well-known, collaborative writer, David Ritz, Scott Weiland has penned a memoir revealing long-exposed foreshadowing of pain and loss, though still managing to provide a glimmer of hope for a happy ending.
One of the biggest rock stars (and known drug users) of the past few decades, Scott Weiland had been a hot topic of news reports in the late 1990s and early 2000s which were rife with a litany of offenses, including arrests for drug possession and his well-documented exit from one of his many trips to rehab.
Feeling like the stories of his life and alleged antics were one-sided and blown out of proportion, Mr. Weiland’s intentions were to set the record straight; however, in telling his side of the story, his own words seem to closely echo those dispersed through the media.
Born Scott Kline, to parents Sharon and David Kline in October of 1967, Scott lost his father and his name when his parents divorced two years later. Both the name and father were subsequently replaced when Scott’s mother married Kent Weiland. Although Kent was an adequate caregiver, Scott craved the love and attention of his biological father—a need that continues to haunt him to this day.
Despite dreams of rock and roll, author Weiland was very athletic in high school. An accomplished quarterback, he would have started the season had Kent not moved the family to a new town. A fairly heavy disciplinarian, Kent found a small amount of weed and cocaine in his stepson’s bedroom and without preamble had Scott committed to a mental institution for three months during the school year.
After high school, Mr. Weiland was very committed to college and took a curriculum heavy in liberal arts; however, the pull of music proved to be much stronger and eventually he moved to Hollywood to follow his dream full time. Although known by other names, the band that would become Stone Temple Pilots aka STP, gained quite a following in San Diego, and they eventually landed a record contract with Atlantic records.
Their first album, the hard-hitting Core, was branded as a critical bomb, but became a runaway hit anyway, catapulting Stone Temple Pilots into rock stardom. The rise of the band caught the attention of Steven Tyler and Aerosmith who requested that STP open for them on tour—a request that Stone Temple members quickly and unapologetically declined.
STP’s second album, Purple, is a window into the real-life, escalating drug habit that Mr. Weiland and his band members had cultivated and by which author Weiland was quickly being consumed. The album cover, which depicts a cherub riding a dragon past women in the clouds, is a copy of the logo found on the package of China White heroine.
Mr. Weiland’s drug addiction eventually landed him his first stint in rehab in 1994 and, as his habit continued to spiral out of control, he would graduate to an arrest for drug possession and jail time.
Although Mr. Weiland tells a fairly personal story, it often feels like he’s only scratching the surface, which is further evidenced by the abbreviated length of the book. His voice feels muted and void of the raw emotion and visceral impact that made other rock star memoirs, such as Anthony Kiedis’s Scar Tissue, so riveting.
Today, Scott Weiland has come full circle and is back with his STP brothers, hoping against hope that this time he can beat his addiction. Although things do tend to get blown out of proportion in the media, no extreme exaggeration was actually required, as Mr. Weiland’s own actions did plenty to fan the flames.
Overall, Scott Weiland does a good job of revealing his true self—or at least who he perceives himself to be. Not Dead & Not For Sale provides a peek behind the curtain at the man who fronted two of the hottest bands in music, a front row seat to the pain, loss, and struggle that has formed Scott Weiland’s life.