You Say It's Your Birthday: Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots and Talk Show

Today is the 32nd birthday of Robert DeLeo, bassist for Talk Show and

former bassist for

Stone Temple Pilots. As a member of STP, DeLeo was responsible for

producing such

grunge-by-numbers hits as "Sex Type Thing," "Interstate Love Song" and

"Plush." Some have speculated that STP owed a lot of their success to

the

fact that sound-alikes Pearl Jam stopped making videos, a charge that

the

band repeatedly denied. Born in New Jersey, DeLeo first met STP frontman

Scott Weiland at a Black Flag show in the late '80s when the two

discovered

that

they were both dating the same woman. Although this type of introduction

would in most cases lead to fisticuffs, the meeting of DeLeo and Weiland

ended in a band that included DeLeo's older brother Dean on guitar and

Eric Kretz on drums. The quartet settled on the name Mighty Joe Young

and

settled in San Diego because they believed that labels were only

interested

in L.A.-area bands that sounded like someone else. Mighty Joe Young

played their first gig at the Whisky in L.A. in 1990 and played the

L.A./San Diego circuit for two years. Don Mullen, a booking agent for

Triad Artists, caught their act and led them to Atlantic Records. On

April

Fools' Day of 1992, they signed to the label and before long found

themselves laying down tracks for their first record, Core, with

producer Brendan O'Brien. In the middle of the recording sessions, the

band

discovered that an elderly bluesman had already claimed Mighty Joe Young

as

his moniker and, after some brainstorming, the S.T.P. Motor Oil logo

provided the inspiration and the acronym for the band's new name. It

first

stood for Shirley Temple's P---y, then Stone Temple Pirates and finally

Stone Temple Pilots.

Core was released in September 1992 and included the hit singles

"Sex Type Thing," "Plush" and "Creep." The critical comparisons to Pearl

Jam were instant and merciless, but the album still went on to sell over

6 million copies. In 1994, the band released its second record,

Purple, which debuted on the charts at #1 and stayed there for

three weeks, spawning hits in the form of "Interstate Love Song" and

"Vaseline." Weiland was arrested in May 1995 for possession of crack and

heroin, an act that earned him a year's probation. 1996 brought the

release of Tiny Music * Songs From the Vatican Giftshop, an album

that didn't sell well but received some critical nods. The band wanted

to

tour, but Weiland's continual drug problems halted those plans.

Stone Temple Pilots broke up in early 1997, with Weiland going on to

work

on a solo album and Kretz and the DeLeo brothers going on to record and

tour under the name Talk Show.

Other birthdays: Alan Caddy (the Tornadoes), 58; Peter Macbeth

(the Foundations), 55; and Al McKay (Earth, Wind & Fire), 50.