May 18, 2009 - 4:47 pm
Before STP even put out their first album, they toured with Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana (also unknown at the time) and Sonic Youth. Those three legendary bands played Calamity Jayne’s, since defunct, on Aug. 16, 1990.
STP singer Scott Weiland, 41, recalls the memory. (He performs solo Friday at Aliante Station; Weiland talks about drugs, religion and his late brother in my Tuesday column in the Review-Journal.)
“I remember just being very awestruck,” Weiland says. “Sonic Youth was everybody’s idol, even Kurt’s. [Sonic singer] Kim Gordon was a goddess, so smart and equally smart-assed. But very smart and very literate.
“And they had done so much to change the face of popular music and rock and roll, and made it possible for bands like Nirvana and us and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and Billy Corgan and all the others that came out.
“Nirvana came out in ‘91. We came out in ‘92. And everyone’s records came out in a two-year period. That two-year period was a magical time. That time was the last time there was a real movement in rock and roll in America. It was kind of like a mixture between the punk rock music and 60s.”
STP went on to record a variety of hits that were alternately punk, alt-rock, hard rock, pure pop and pretty love ballads — often being short songs in the three-minute range.
“That’s what we tried to go for,” Weiland says. “A lot of it has to do with the great pop song writers from the ‘50s and the ‘60s – the Burt Bacharachs — and if you can find a way of writing a song like that, and cranking up the amps where you have some noise going on, then you have a cool combination.”
Weiland also brought with him a reverence for David Bowie, both in sound and in style. Weiland — maybe the best-dressed man of couture in music — plans to debut a clothing line, Weiland for English Laundry, at the next Magic couture convention in Vegas.
His clothing influences: Bowie, Keith Richards, Bryan Ferry and “even Lendsay Buckingham in the early ‘70s in three-piece suits with that big ol’ afro.”