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“Early December: Remembering Scott Weiland”

* “I gave my soul to a new religion / What ever happened to you? / What ever happened

to my rock and roll?” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

.

Carl Jung died in 1961, but Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, a seminal psychological work detailing deific visions lying in wait in our minds, came out around the summer of love, 1969. It is a rock and roll book, written outside of a rock and roll time, snot-nosed, chin-up kid leaving no stones unturned, searching for the truth of human existence. “Only an unparalleled impoverishment of symbolism,” writes Jung, “could enable us to rediscover the gods as psychic factors, that is, as archetypes of the unconscious.”
It’s like Bukowski said: “The story progressed to where the poet would find the women, poetry and truth, and I thought to myself, you dumb son of a bit**, you deserve all three.”
Wait, wait, wait. Why am I being so negative here (besides the fact that I see it everywhere, and that there are mass shootings going on all around me)? I mean, life is mortal anyway. The only perfect thing is to die.
But “Lady Picture Show” is pretty close to perfect. Life just seemed easy in the ’90’s, it was like we were floating. The internet came along, Hey, there it is, but we would have been fine without it, too. We had record stores still, you could ride on a bus without listening to people yammering on cell phones, and all these classic songs just kept coming out, to the point where we took them for granted. We thought to ourselves, there will always be an abundance of classic songs on the radio, there’s no point in overly cherishing them or placing an inordinate amount of value in them… I mean no one will REALLY ever write a song that goes “It’s getting hot in here / So take off all your clothes,” will they? WILL they?
This was the soft Scott Weiland. The kind everybody likes. But I heard the other Scott Weiland too (look at me). I HATED “Down” when it first came out, the first song and lead single on No. 4, the band’s beguilingly dark fourth effort. I remember riding with my dad in the car in early December, freezing cold and no snow on the ground, and listening to this incredibly uncomproming song on WRBR 103.9 “The Bear,” a song that seems to say, “A hard rain’s a gonna fall,” a song that seems to say “So it’s written and a so they say / Pink moon is on its way.” And that’s what Blaster is too, the Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts album from this very year — it wants your ear drums to bleed. I even heard this interview where he detailed some dream he’d had, he’d been “ki**ing ass.”
Rocking out could be a game of bloody knuckles for him, but he had that melody card in his sleeve too, that gave us “Plush,” that gave us “Pretty Penny,” that gave us “Lady Picture Show.” and this is why we loved him. But I admit, I fell into the hipster trap of hating STP, briefly. Dreams pulled me back, I had dreams that told me to go back to the band I’d loved so much in high school, with the quintessentially ’90’s admixture of social consciousness and infectious pop catchiness — not unlike Nirvana, The Cranberries, the Counting Crows, whoever, back when the world was still a mysterious frontier, back when.. oh, hell, I’ve smoked too much pot to remember the ’90’s. But anyway, Scott, we hate you for dying, even more than we hated you for living.

 

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