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Scott Weiland Tribute Event Announced

Thanks to Omo Misha for writing this and sending it in:

It was 2014 when I awakened to the realization that Scott Weiland had been making great music for more than three decades (my entire adult life!), that he was still alive and, arguably, still relevant. I had missed the previous several years of his enterprise, so I dedicated some time to catching up on his solo projects, interviews, and various other creative and professional undertakings. In the face of highly-publicized bouts with substance abuse, law enforcement and marital problems, my conclusion was that there had been no break in his productivity – not even a hiccup. The result of my research yielded a 40″x 50″ oil painting that I dreamt he, and an audience of his fans, would one day enjoy. That painting – “A Life in Rock & Roll (Portrait of Scott Weiland)” remains on view at MIST Harlem, where it was when Weiland lost his life last month at age 48.

Art should bring you closer to understanding something that you didn’t before. That is the mantra behind every portrait I create. It is the thinking that compelled me to paint Fidel Castro in shades of crimson and pink, and why Florence Ballard appears in vivid color as the subject of a 6′ oil painting, while The Supremes fade to monotones. When I want to inspire a different perspective on a person’s life, I paint. If my time and resources permit, these paintings will be larger than life. If my aim is fulfilled, my viewers will ask, “Why?” and, just by looking, have their answers revealed. This is what I set out to accomplish with Weiland’s portrait – a work of art that I hoped would embody all that he was and had been, and all he had sacrificed in the name of keeping us entertained. I had no idea he was living in his last days.

Since joining the pantheon of those gone too soon, Weiland’s personal failings, as outlined by his ex-wife Mary Forsberg in Rolling Stone, have nearly overshadowed his notable artistic achievements – which include leading two major rock bands (Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver); more than twelve albums, including four solo albums; two Grammy wins as well as multiple Billboard and VMA awards; writing and performing for movie soundtracks and side groups including Wondergirls, Magnificent Bastards, and Art of Anarchy; and, a New York Times Bestseller, Not Dead and Not For Sale. When the grunge era faded, Weiland lunged ahead; he morphed with the times, explored artistically, and continued to push even his own creative limits. Indeed, this “junkie” gave more, created more and produced more than all who criticized him. The powerhouse bands he fronted were even too small to contain him.

The writing of Weiland’s history, however, has begun with a sordid and deeply subjective tale of blame, failed marriage, and broken family that should never have been allowed to enter the public sphere. As much as we all think it should not have been, the news of Weiland’s death was, undeniably, shocking. That shock was immediately followed by Forsberg’s letter – a shelling of personal attacks on a defenseless dead man, which ultimately outlined how we were to grieve and remember him. Well, it is not my business to remember Weiland as a bad husband and father (those things are beyond my understanding). In fact, I choose not to even remember him as a junkie. I will remember him, however, as a brilliant vocalist, die-hard performer, and a writer who touched millions with his sharp lyricism; a fashionista, without a care for what anyone thought about him; a romantic, who loved deep and hard; a visionary, who studied and channeled each and every one of his ideals; a shape-shifter, whose body and craft became a paintbrush and canvas; a Rock & Roll icon – perhaps, the last of his kind; and most all, a child of God with hopes and dreams in his heart, who bore and sacrificed his soul in the name of music. Forsberg’s widely published letter demanded that we not deify him. I cannot imagine why we shouldn’t.

I will never get to share my painting with Weiland in this life but, at least half of the dream will be realized on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 when East Coast fans, art enthusiasts. and Rock & Rollers are invited to MIST Harlem  for  A Scott Weiland Tribute Party. The event will include  Weiland, STP and Velvet Revolver music and videos on multiple screens and projection walls throughout the venue, an art exhibition which includes his 40″x50″ portrait. a live art component  that invites guests to participate by contributing their favorite Weiland lyrics to an multi-media artwork being created on-the-spot, live tribute band performances in the venue’s state of the art theater, special invited guests, house specials on tap beer throughout the night, and souvenir give-aways. A rarity for Harlem, the Rock & Roll event is free to attend and open to the public. Out of state and international fans have already begun sending in their lyrics for inclusion in the live project, via Scott Weiland fan pages and a Facebook event listing.

As many of the end-of-year round-ups of those we lost in 2015 have even failed to mention Weiland, this event is all about what he did right, the hearts he electrified with his performance, and the melodic trail he left for all to savor in his absence. There has been no closure for those of us who simply want to relish in the man and his music, sans the talk of demons and imperfections.

Although, Weiland admittedly caused a lot of pain to those who knew and loved him, he never killed a person, molested a child, stole from anyone, or beat a woman. In fact, having sat through countless interviews, I never even heard him say an unkind word about those who criticized him most. This was not a wicked person to be punished and diminished posthumously for evil deeds. And, not even his harshest critics have denied his thirty year musical contributions. Only the future will determine how Rock & Roll will choose to remember Scott Weiland, but on January 12th, I hope we can come together to begin healing and shaping a legacy that his children can be proud of – one that will place him squarely in the company of the greatest of the greats of Rock & Roll.

RSVP recommended: https://www.facebook.com/events/1627366060860601/
Bring your favorite lyric!

MIST Harlem
46 West 116th Street
Harlem, NY 10026

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Could Scott Weiland Documentary Be Released?

As we reported all the way back in 2009, a Scott Weiland VH1 Behind The Music special was worked on for the network, but was indefinitely shelved later that same year, despite production being at least halfway finished for the television special at Lavish Studios featuring interviews and performances of Stone Temple Pilots and solo tracks. Instead, VH1 aired episodes focused on Lil Wayne and T.I.

While VH1 have not announced any plans to complete the special, one can only wonder if they may reconsider now with Weiland’s recent passing. The Behind The Music special isn’t the only unreleased Weiland documentary out there, as Stone Temple Pilots filmed footage for a documentary while recording Shangri LA DEE DA in 2001.

Mark Racco, the director of Scott Weiland’s side project The Wondergirls “Drop That Baby” video from the late 90’s, recently revealed that the Wondergirls are planning on releasing a previously unreleased track titled “Massive Heart Attack” featuring Weiland. Racco said the following on YouTube:

“Keep your fingers crossed I’m currently in negotiations to direct a new Wondergirls video for an unreleased track Scott wrote and performed lead vocals on called ‘Massive Heart Attack’ which in light of his recent passing be very enlightening as he appears to have predicted his own death in the song. the video will be for charity partly benefiting Musicares and partly for Scott’s children.”

Alternative Nation has also learned exclusively from a source that there are two unreleased tracks from Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts’ Blaster recordings sessions. There is no word though on if or when those tracks will be released.

You can listen to a clip of “Massive Heart Attack” below, which we originally premiered a portion of in 2013.

Alternative Nation wrote an in-depth piece on the Wondergirls in 2013 featuring an interview with Ashley Hamilton.

Once upon a time, a record label would mean a band’s avenue to success, or prove to be its undoing. The Wondergirls, an ambitious project spearheaded by entertainer Ashley Hamilton, fell victim to the furtive tactics of the industry. Nowadays, with the advent of the internet, the concept of needing a label is obsolete. With that in mind, Hamilton and his partners in the group are planning a comeback.

In concept, the band, the brainchild of actor/songwriter Ashley Hamilton, was a late 90’s/early 2000’s rock and roll dream team: the roster was filled by some of the most popular artists of the time, including Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Jay Gordon and Ryan Shuck of Orgy, Troy Van Leeuwen of A Perfect Circle, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. However, after recording a full length album, a string of mishaps led to the destruction of the band.

Outside of “Massive Heart Attack”, Other songs that were worked on in some capacity included “Go My Way”,”Cookie Monster”, “Every Time”, “Kiss and Tell (The Train Song)” and cover of Iggy Pop’s “Passenger”.

Ashley Hamilton told Alternative Nation, “It was one of those groundbreaking things, you knew it was going to be fucking huge. We had so many potential hit songs from that record, and we were so stoked.” Sadly, when the recording process was well underway, legal turmoil tore the band apart. “We started our record… the problem was that we were on so many labels, and [the labels] were fighting over money. We’re more than halfway done with the album, and one day we come in and Josh Abraham says there’s a problem… we should be finished in a couple of days, we’ll be back… that was the last of the project. People disappeared and went back to their own gigs, I didn’t have a gig. The thing was done.”

Any hope of releasing the finished music they had was lost when the master reels were lost in the shuffle. “Its just weird how it can just disappear and nobody can seem to know where it is. It just sounds weird to me.”