Death of a Frontman
I’m not a fan of the Stone Temple Pilots. We sang “Plush” when playing Rock Band last month, and we were all surprised that, even though we didn’t recognize the title, we knew all the words. Where the fuck did they get that song title?
Nonetheless, I was sad to hear of Scott Weiland’s death. I’m sad to hear of anyone dying under the age of 71, the average human life these days.
Scott Weiland was 48. He died on the road for another concert tour, alone in a tour bus, in his sleep. I don’t care if he had cocaine in his system, or even if he died of a cocaine-induced heart attack. I’d like to think he was “doing what he loved.” Still, too soon.
I read a post on social media today from another “not a fan,” saying something along the lines of, “I’ll be as sympathetic for your loss as you were for Kurt Cobain.” Ouch.
Kurt Cobain died when I was in high school, and I did my best to kick my Nirvana-listening classmates while they were down. Why? Because these were the same assholes who talked shit about Freddie Mercury for the rest of the school year after he died of AIDS. (Not until winter break, mind you. From November 25, 1991 to May 30th 1992, I heard at least one Freddie/AIDS comment per school day.)
In Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, he mentions Freddie:
“For example when we’re back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins., it doesn’t affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy.”
I don’t remember this being public knowledge at the time. The full letter resurfaced on the internet recently, and when it did, I felt terrible for all the pain I’d caused my fellow mourning fans.
We are all part of the fandom that is humanity. We’re all fans of someone. Even if I don’t like your Donald Trump fandom, I respect that you’ve come to adore him after years of watching him on reality television. I’m ignorant of One Direction, but I understand the need to ship cute boys and hope the ship is true in real life.
I would like to apologize to every Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fan hurt by my cold, heartless exclamation that I don’t feel sorry for anyone who killed himself. I was sixteen and a total bitch. (I changed my mind three years later when I lost a friend.) Mr. Cobain suffered for his art, and he died because the mental health system in this country is basically non-existent.
I am not a Nirvana fan. Their music is too depressing. I am not a Stone Temple Pilots fan. I like their sound, but it gets old after awhile. All their songs sound the same to me.
As a fan of Queen, though, I share your suffering. I know what it’s like to mourn your band’s frontman. I know what it’s like to realize any new music from the remaining band members will never sound the same (and they will never get back together). I know what it’s like to mourn that unique voice, sound, and soul, gone forever.
For that, I am sorry for your loss. I understand. I still feel it, twenty-four years later.
Rest in Peace, Scott Weiland.