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
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
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
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
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
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"
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"
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
"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