During Velvet Revolver's show on Thursday night in Glasgow, Scotland, frontman Scott Weiland — who finished another stint in rehab just before the start of the band's European tour — made a rather peculiar and unexpected announcement, one that stirred considerable debate among VR fans all weekend.
According to several media and fan accounts, Weiland told the sold-out crowd that they were "watching something special ... the last tour by Velvet Revolver." At least one account of the evening's proceedings suggests Weiland's revelation was news to the rest of the band; the tour concludes on April 1 in the Netherlands.
"[Guitarist] Slash, [bassist] Duff [McKagan], [drummer] Matt [Sorum] and [guitarist] Dave [Kushner] all looked at each other. ...They sang 'Fall to Pieces,' [and] then Scott goes over to the side of the stage and argues with the sound guy," one eyewitness reported on a forum devoted to the group. "After a couple of songs, he threw his [microphone] down and walked off. After a long wait, Duff came out with the band and sang the start of 'It's So Easy.' Scott shows up about half way through, sang really half-assed, then [was] gone again."
At press time, the band's rep had not responded to MTV News' request for comment, and there's no official word on the VR site (which was last updated on Thursday), but Sorum — who, along with Slash and McKagan, is a former member of Guns N' Roses — took to his blog to comment on Weiland's announcement.
"[We] had a little band turmoil on stage, as you probably all could tell," he wrote. "Being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship. Sometimes, you just don't get along. I guess there has been more turmoil lately, with the cancellations and all. It has been frustrating; I am not going to lie. My career and life in rock and roll has come with its ups and downs. Unfortunately, some people in this business don't realize how great of a life they have. Touring the world, meeting great people, and fans all over the world — and just playing music for a living. I feel truly blessed. But sometimes the road can be draining for some.
"Being away from home and family does grind on you sometimes," Sorum continued. "Personally, I love this sh-- and sometimes can't believe I am so lucky to still be doing what I do for a living. Everybody could see who was unhappy [at the Glasgow show], but all I can say is let's keep the rock alive, people. In this life, you just pick up and keep moving. And don't ever let anybody stand in your way."
Perhaps it wasn't the clarification Velvet Revolver fans were hoping for, but Sorum's blog post did inspire Weiland to issue his own, slightly vicious statement on the matter.
"The state of my family affairs is really none of [Sorum's] business, since he is too immature to have a real relationship, let alone children," Weiland said, in a statement issued to Blabbermouth.net. "So don't attempt to stand in a man's shoes when you haven't walked his path. I've made many attempts to remain cordial with the members of VR, but mainly, the likes of you. Funny though — this is your first band, as opposed to being a hired gun. I've been making records (now, on my ninth), which have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and have maintained a level of professionalism regardless of how many drugs I've ingested into my system. I have only cancelled one tour during the entire course of my 16-year run and that was the 'make-up' Australia tour. Now, shall I open that can of worms, Matthew? Release the Kraken? Serve ... volley! You cancelled the Aussie tour in the fall because you went to rehab, but I won't say why."
Again, Weiland didn't exactly come right out and say "Velvet Revolver are no more" in his statement, but he did stop short of that admission. "I will sweat, bruise, and bleed for you," he continued, directing his words to the band's fans. "[I] will continue to do so until the end of this tour. However, you deserve to hear Velvet Revolver playing ... not certain individuals singing along to get a muddied-up sound. It's a shame ... we were a gang. But ego and jealousy can get the better of anyone. I wish the best and plan to annihilate the stage in the last few shows."
Weiland, who will be reuniting with the Stone Temple Pilots this summer for a string of dates and possibly a full U.S. tour, then went on to express the excitement he's been experiencing over the revival of STP.
"We did an STP photo shoot before this tour and it was fun, inspiring and it gave me that thrill — that feeling that got my rocks off from the get-go," he said.
And it didn't take fans long to express their disappointment over the possibility of there being no more Velvet Revolver.
"I hope you guys work through all the crap and keep rocking," wrote one fan. "You all are one hell of a rock band, in a time when rock seems almost extinct. I just pray VR as a whole can get through these issues and continue to rock, and I hope to buy a third VR album."
"I hope that it was just a bad night," wrote another. "Moods were obviously in a raw state for some. I actually think Scott should've stayed off the road a tad bit longer from his stint in rehab. I pray that as a band and as a group of friends, you guys can get back to a solid healthy place that will work for you onstage, but more importantly, offstage."