Following the death of Scott Weiland, the former frontman of the bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, Mary Forsberg Weiland, the ex-wife of the late singer has penned an open letter which addresses the damaging repercussions of fame. “Don’t glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don’t have to come with it,” she writes.
The mother Scott Weiland’s teenage children, Noah, 15, and Lucy, 13, wrote the piece for Rolling Stone in the days after his death on 3 December. The singer, who was married three times, has previously spoken about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, visiting rehab several times over the course of his career and often missing live gigs.
In the open letter, Forsberg describes the “last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others” and says that as a result of drug use, he was “a paranoid man who couldn’t remember his own lyrics and who was only photographed with his children a handful of times in 15 years of fatherhood”.
While appreciative of the outpouring of love in the wake of his death, she writes, “like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope.”
She then goes on to discuss the demands of a touring band and the subsequent alleged impact it had on their family and his own health:
At some point, someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again – because as a society we almost encourage it. We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click ‘add to cart’ because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.
Her post concludes: “Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others. Let’s choose to make this the first time we don’t glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don’t have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it – use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream.”
Forsberg, whose seven year marriage to Scott ended in 2007, previously recounted their tumultuous relationship – including drug and physical abuse – in her 2009 book, Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock’n’Roll and Mental Illness.