Playback 

I know he’s a master of those torso-contorting serpentine dances, and he always turns up on the E! channel’s 100 Hottest Celebrity Body countdowns, but can we all now agree that Scott Weiland is the biggest tool in rock?

Even after he gave up his early pilfering of Eddie Vedder’s every vocal inflection, and, with Stone Temple Pilots, churned out tolerable-to-enjoyable radio product such as “Big Bang Baby” and “Sour Girl,” Weiland remained remarkably unlikable. He’s always had a terminal case of what Joe Perry once called “lead singer’s syndrome”: that maddening combination of bow-
before-my-genius ego and fetal-position
insecurity. The latter trait often curdles into outright martyrdom, as in, “Why do my bandmates hate me? Is it because I don’t play an instrument?” (Playback refers you to the final moments of Journey’s Behind the Music episode for a classic example of lead-singer self-pity.)

Over the years, Weiland’s been busted for buying crack, DUI (twice), and shoving his wife, and he’s uttered a lot of pompous nonsense to any interviewer who’ll have him, but he’s really outdone himself in the last week.

At a March 20 Velvet Revolver concert in Glasgow, Scotland, he surprised the audience — and his band — by announcing that this is VR’s final tour. In response, drummer Matt Sorum posted a remarkably diplomatic blog which did not mention Weiland by name, but simply said: “Some people in the business don’t realize how great of a life they have.” He added, “Everybody could see who was unhappy last night.”

In Weiland’s world, that’s a declaration of war. He responded to Sorum’s verbal sling-shot with an H-Bomb rejoinder to Blabbermouth. He called Sorum “too immature to have a real relationship, let alone children.” Good point, SW. Nothing says maturity quite like beating up your wife in a Vegas hotel room. He dogged Sorum for being irresponsible (“Mr. Pot, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Kettle”). Weiland also noted, with odd pride, that he has only forced his bandmates to cancel one tour in 16 years. Similarly, Eliot Spitzer would like to point out that he’s only publicly humiliated his wife once in 21 years of marriage.

Weiland further belittled the drummer — a veteran of The Cult, Guns N’ Roses, and Slash’s Snakepit — by stating that VR is Sorum’s “first band, as opposed to being a hired gun.” He reminds Sorum that “I’ve been making records (now on my ninth), which have sold over 35 million copies worldwide.”

Nothing impresses Playback more than musicians who tout their own record sales. Like Weiland, we measure musical worth strictly by the number of units shifted. That’s why we insist that Menudo was a much more important musical force than Miles Davis. Don’t you agree, Scott?


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