Friday, December 4, 2015

RIP Scott Weiland and Personal Reflections on Music

     I have been going back and forth on whether I wanted to make more personal  posts like this, a good friend of mine (you know who you are babe) has encouraged me to, so here it goes.

    I was laying in bed last night, avoiding sleep by mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and other pages as I too often do.  It was through one of these mindless scrolls that I caught word of Scott Weiland's death.  I can't quite describe how the news affected me.  Shock? No. His struggles with drugs were well publicized.  And while the details of his death have not been revealed (nor do I particularly care), it would be of no great surprise if drugs or the complications of them were involved.  The only word that adequately sums up my feelings is fairly basic. Sadness.  Another man, another inspiration, a voice of my generation had gone to war with his personal demons and lost the battle.

     Death of musicians hit me hard.  I grew up in music.  One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting on my Dad's amp while he played the guitar.  While other kids my age were discovering the cookie cutter teen dreams of the 80's, my sister and I were raised on the likes of Kansas, Bachman Turner Overdrive, REO Speedwagon, Meat Loaf, and .38 Special.  Music with soul and loud guitars.

     Then came the 90's and I discovered what's commonly referred to as grunge.  It wasn't the sugary sweet pop that my friends were into, nor was it the music of my parents.  This was something entirely new.  It was loud and angry, and sad, and sometimes happy all in one. And God did it speak to me.
     Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden... and Scott Weiland with Stone Temple Pilots.  They were able to express my feelings through music far better than I was able to express my own feelings through simple words.  A trend that continues to this day.  Yes, my music tastes have evolved, expanded.  The emotions are much more nuanced and complex covering far more topics than what my simple teenage mind could comprehend.  But one thing remains the same, music quiets the noise, it creates the peace that I so desperately crave.  I throw on a track and for those 3-5 minutes the outside world just fades away.

    It's sad when you discover that someone else was never able to find that peace.  It's jarring, almost disturbing.  It makes you question things. Is the peace finite? Does it run out?  Is there an expiration date on this peace?! Does it matter from where this peace stems?  I know music is my peace, just as painting is someone else's.   Still others find their peace in religion.

   Maybe these are all questions we are never meant to answer.  Perhaps part of maintaining that connection with the quiet is trusting that it will always be there.  Believing that no matter what shit show your life may be handing you today, tomorrow the peace will return.  Or maybe I have just had too much coffee today and my mind is running in circles.

    I guess all I really wanted to say is Scott where ever you may be now,  I hope you have found the peace that you managed to give so many of us.


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