Singer Scott Weiland gets help and sets a promising trend for the industry

By Chris Nashawaty
Updated May 10, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Maybe it took the deaths of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Blind Melon’s Shannon Hoon for rock & roll to finally face the music: On April 24, the Stone Temple Pilots hastily canceled a trio of free concerts to promote their new album, Tiny Music, because singer Scott Weiland ”has become unable to rehearse…due to his dependency on drugs,” said bassist Robert DeLeo in a statement.

While the norm in the business is to quietly ignore such problems, STP shockingly came clean with the public about their 28-year-old leader’s addiction to heroin and cocaine. ”A lot of bands have the same problems, but they’re not talking about it,” says STP’s manager, Steve Stewart. ”Maybe if [this] happened more, there’d be less of a drug problem in the industry.”

Five days after the announcement, Weiland, on probation due to a drug arrest last May, was ordered by a Los Angeles judge to a weeklong dry-out period in jail followed by a four- to six-month stay in an L.A. drug treatment facility. What that means for the band’s future is unknown, though a planned summer tour is unlikely. (Tiny Music is currently No. 12 on Billboard‘s pop chart.) Of course, such concerns are secondary to Weiland’s problems. ”He was doing really well, but then he relapsed and phoned me for help,” says Weiland’s counselor Bob Timmins, a Santa Monica-based addiction intervention specialist. ”He felt ashamed and just wanted to put an end to it. That’s why I’m hopeful.”