[Editor's note: Over the holiday season, SonicNet is looking back at 1999's top stories, chosen by our editors and writers. This story originally ran on Monday, Sept. 20.]
Philosophizing on the meaning of freedom, Stone Temple Pilots singer
Scott Weiland made his first public statement Monday (Sept. 20) since
being sentenced to a year in jail for violating probation on a 1998
"I'm alive," Weiland said in the statement issued through Stone Temple
Pilots' management office. "This is not a life sentence."
Though Weiland was sentenced Sept. 3 to spend a year in Los Angeles
County Jail, he has been behind bars since Aug. 13. He was granted 35
days of credit at his sentencing for time already served. He will be
in jail when Stone Temple Pilots release their fourth album, No. 4,
The statement, which STP manager Steve Stewart said Weiland dictated
from jail, reads:
"I'm alive. Are you? Sixty days into my sentence, just a message to
let you know that I still breathe, think and have not lost the freedom
"What can I say about jail? It is one of the travesties of mankind to
lose one's freedom, to be locked and bound behind bars of steel, but
if the wheels of a man's mind are free to turn and the wings of his
spirit cannot be clipped, then is a man truly in chains? And is any
man truly free? Are you free? Free to shop at the 7-11, I suppose, or
free to fill your car with gasoline, ever a slave to the oil companies
that dangle inflation and deflation in front of your nose like a
"What control do we really have? What choices can we truly make to
shape our own destiny? Choices and decisions of the mind and spirit,
I am coming to find, is where my power lies. My power lies in having
no power at all. A bewildering paradox but one I'm learning to be true.
"Do you live to breathe or breathe to live? Are you just a feather
blowing on the wind? This is not a life sentence."
One STP fan, 21-year-old Tricia Goodman of Santa Barbara, Calif.,
wrote in an e-mail that Weiland's statement reflects a man who is
trying to discover himself after realizing that freedom is more
valuable to have on the inside than on the outside.
"I think he's realized that he's been his own prisoner for a long
time," she wrote. "But now that [Los Angeles County] is forcing him
to be a prisoner, he's realizing that he used to have a choice not to
be one. And I think by saying, 'My power lies in having no power at all,'
he's admitting that he never would have realized that if he didn't go
Sean Conrad, 20-year-old webmaster of STP fansite "The Resurrection,"
wrote in an e-mail, "Plain and simply this goes to show us the man
behind the music can be deep and thoughtful ... even when [he's] not
under the influence of his demons. It was great to hear that Scott is
keeping his head up throughout this process. I think we all just hope
he knows that he has millions of fans standing behind him."
No. 4, featuring the single "Down," is Stone Temple Pilots'
follow-up to Tiny Music ... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
The band, whose platinum-selling, Grammy-winning sound ranges from
hard rock to '60s-inspired pop, burst onto the music scene in 1992
with Core. The album went platinum shortly after its release
and scored a Grammy for the single "Plush"
Two years later, STP released Purple, which debuted on the
Billboard 200 albums chart at #1.