STP's Weiland Forced To Adapt To Rigors Of Jail Life

While fans and industry insiders react to his one-year sentence, troubled rocker learning the hard way.

LOS ANGELES — As a prisoner, Scott Weiland sleeps in a

dormitory bunk bed, gets up every weekday at 5:30 a.m., washes himself

in community showers, and has the first of three meals of county jail

food.

He spends the hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. attending a series of

meetings, listening to speakers and counselors, reading about

addiction and writing about his hopes for recovery.

As Stone Temple Pilots fans react with mixed emotions to Weiland's

one-year jail sentence and industry insiders disagree about its effect

on STP's forthcoming album, No. 4, Weiland adjusts to the

strict environment of Biscaluz Recovery Center at Los Angeles County

Jail.

In the confines of the jail, he is forced to focus on recovering.

"He can't be here and just do time," Louis Lopez, Biscaluz's program

director and Weiland's counselor, said Wednesday. "He's got to work on

himself." The singer has been confined to the facility since Aug. 13.

On Friday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced Weiland to a

year in the secured facility for violating probation on his August

1998 heroin conviction.

Lopez, who described Biscaluz as "a nice, safe facility," said Weiland

wishes to remain there instead of the alternative — an

isolated cell at the main facility of Los Angeles County Jail.

"In here he gets to be like the other guys," Lopez said.

When handing down Weiland's sentence, Judge Larry Fidler recommended

that the singer remain at Biscaluz but left it up to the sheriff to

decide the length of his stay at the treatment facility. A

spokesperson for the L.A. County sheriff said Wednesday that the

Impact House counselors at Biscaluz would decide whether he could

remain in their program.

"As long as he's not causing any problems and has a positive

attitude toward recovery, we'll keep him here," Lopez said, adding

that Weiland has complied with the rules so far and seems to be doing

"all right." He said he believes Weiland wants to get his act

together, in light of the singer's heroin overdose earlier this

summer.

Biscaluz's intensive rehabilitation program requires Weiland to attend

at least four daily meetings on rehabilitation. Additionally, he

attends positive-relations classes, a weekly relapse-prevention

class, group discussions and book studies. He also may undergo

acupuncture twice a week. The singer has three hours of free time in

the evenings, which he may spend doing such activities as sleeping,

watching television, playing basketball or writing letters.

He may not play music. Lights are out at 10 p.m.

Weiland is allowed one visitor a week, whom he can communicate with

only through a glass window. "We treat him like anybody else," Lopez

said, adding that all inmates have assigned chores, including cleaning

the dormitories and offices.

Weiland's attorney, Michael Nasatir, would not discuss whether he

believed Biscaluz would help Weiland in the long run. "I'm just

hopeful that Scott can get the help that he needs," Nasatir said. "I

know he wants it and has made a decision and he's serious about it."

Meanwhile, STP fans expressed disappointment, anger and fear over

Weiland's latest relapse and subsequent sentencing.

"I'm upset, I'm hurt and I feel lied to ... but above all, I feel

scared," wrote Jessie Arslanian, who runs the STP fansite "Where the

Birds Can't Sing Along." "I hope that jail will give Scott a big

wake-up call. He's been in rehab so many times these past few years,

and jail is obviously a last resort — if this doesn't work, I

have a feeling that No. 4 will be the last album Scott ever

makes."

Other fans said Weiland has a much bigger problem confronting him

than a year in jail.

"The bottom line is the disease that the man is facing, not the time,"

wrote 20-year-old Sean Conrad, who runs the STP fan website "The

Resurrection." "Too many fans are quick to say that they are angered

that STP will not be touring this fall due to Scott's relapse.

But they fail to realize that his health is on the line. ... I would

rather see STP never tour again, to have Scott reach 110 percent of

his health."

Though STP's tour plans will have to wait until after Weiland's

release, some industry insiders said the band could recapture the

success it enjoyed in the early '90s even without a tour.

"Every band doesn't have to tour to have a hit record," said Gary

Bongiovanni, editor of the concert-industry magazine Pollstar.

"Certainly, whatever bang they get out of this album is going to have

diminished by the time they're able to go out on the road, and it may

be, depending on how long Scott's incarcerated, that they don't tour

until they have another album to promote.

"But if they get a lot of airplay, and have some single success out of

it, it may only [whet] the appetite for people to see the band when

Scott's well and they're able to tour again."

Rock stations in New York and Los Angeles have embraced the upcoming

album's first single, "Down," weeks before its official release to

radio. STP will use footage taped during a performance in Las Vegas

last month to construct a video for the song, Bobbie Gale, the band's

Atlantic Records spokesperson, said.

Before Weiland's incarceration, many in the industry speculated that

STP's regrouping to record No. 4 came at the best possible time,

considering the resurgence of hard rock. Prior to his jailing, Weiland

was in discussions with the indie label Flip Records, home of Limp

Bizkit, to launch his own imprint, according to a source who asked not

to be named.

STP, whose platinum-selling, Grammy-winning sound ranges from hard

rock to '60s-inspired pop, burst onto the music scene in 1992 with

their debut album, Core, featuring the songs "Dead and Bloated"

(RealAudio excerpt)

and "Plush." Two years later, they released Purple, which

debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart at #1.

STP went dormant in early 1997 after Weiland's drug problems derailed

their plans to tour behind their third LP,

Tiny Music ... Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop. That album

included the single "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"

(RealAudio excerpt),

featuring the line "One more trip and I'll be gone."

In the interim, Weiland's STP bandmates formed Talk Show, while the

singer recorded his debut solo album, 12 Bar Blues. His

first-ever solo tour in support of the effort came to an abrupt end

when he was again arrested for heroin possession in New York in June

1998.

"At least while he's here he gets to look at himself and look at his

life and see what changes he needs to make," Lopez said. "If he wants

help, this is the place to be. He has nothing to do but focus on

changing his life."

"What I told him is he's going to end up dying if he doesn't get

serious," he continued. "He's playing with his life too much, and the

reality is he might die. I think he's finally realized that."

Fans can write to Weiland at: Scott Weiland, Booking #6158735, P.O. Box

86164, Terminal Annex, Los Angeles, CA 90086