April 6, 1996 -- Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, arrested last year for possession of heroin and cocaine, lost another round in his struggle with drugs this week. The 28-year-old singer had been spared jail time after his bust in Pasadena, California, last spring, on the condition that he undergo regular drug counseling. When he missed a session on Tuesday, police promptly issued a warrant for his arrest. Friends found him first, however, and immediately put him in a hospital.
Weiland's latest flame-out couldn't have come at a worse time for the band, with a new album hovering in the middle of the "Billboard" top 10, Stone Temple Pilots had mapped out a busy work schedule, starting with three free concerts for fans next week in New York city, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and continuing into the summer on tour as an opening act with their reunited idols, KISS. On Wednesday, the rest of Stone Temple Pilots called a hasty press conference in Los Angeles to break the gloomy news, and to cancel next week's planned trio of free shows. That may be only the beginning. John Norris filed this report from LA.
JOHN NORRIS: Thanks a lot. Well, it was a short but not very sweet announcement as three depressed-looking members of Stone Temple Pilots, Dean Deleo, Robert Deleo, and Eric ? Showed up here at Westwood One Studios in Los Angeles and spoke to moderator and former MTV VJ JJ Jackson. they announced the cancellation of three planned shows next week in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. The reason for the cancellation, as Dean Deleo explained, is the ongoing drug dependency of lead singer Scott Weiland.
DEAN DELEO: I guess I was supposed to read this thing here, but I probably can sum it up in my own words and feelings. As a band we have committed to do some shows, as some of you may know, and we've been unable to fulfill our comittment due to our singer's drug use. It's got nothing to do with exhaustion or dehydration or sore throat, the things you typically hear about. This is very hard. We are deeply ashamed and very sorry for this terrible inconvenience, and... we're very sorry. And we hope to see you soon, and rectify the situation. None of us really know how. But... There you have it.
NORRIS: All right. When the press conference broke up, I had a chance to speak briefly with bassist Robert Deleo, who told me that when the band assembled to begin rehearsing for next week's shows on Monday of this week, Scott Weiland was nowhere to be found. They couldn't get in touch with him. Additionally, sources close to Weiland's case told MTV that the singer failed to show up for a drug counselling appointment on Tuesday, and as a result of that he's been ordered to appear in Pasadena court next Friday, May 3, the date the band was to have played their Los Angeles show. At that time, he's expected to be ordered into a year-long live-in drug re-hab program. Now, if Weiland does not comply with that, charges from last year's arrest will be brought against him. All of these developments, of course, cast a lot of doubt on Stone Temple Pilots plans for the rest of the year, including their planned appearance as the opening act on the KISS reunion tour this summer. Back to you.
KISS management says that for now, Stone Temple Pilots are still its opening act for this summer. But Weiland's Pasadena court appearance has just been moved up from Friday, to this Monday morning, and if he is indeed ordered into a year-long, residential drug re-hab program, it would seem likely to complicate the band's career in a major way. When Alison Stewart spoke to Weiland recently, on the set of Stone Temple Pilots' "Big Bang Baby" video, he seemed well aware that something posed a threat to his career, if not his life.
SCOTT WEILAND: I have to remind myself to remain humble in the face of music all the time, or else, it'll... I don't know, maybe that gift could be taken away.