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The fiftieth Skipped on Shuffle episode will be focused on the song “Long Way Home” by Stone Temple Pilots off their 2001 album Shangri-La Dee Da.
Stone Temple Pilots arrived on the Southern California music scene in the early ’90s. Their debut record, Core, was filled with distorted guitars playing heavy riffs amid thundering drums and singer Scott Weiland’s howling dark lyrics. For these reasons, the band was instantly labeled as part of the grunge movement associated with the US Northwest. Critics derided what they saw as the band’s attempt to adopt the sound and style of their musical contemporaries while audiences loved them for their instantly classic hard rock hits. The band worked to shake off these comparisons and began crafting records that distinguished themselves as unique songwriters and musicians. Their follow-up album, 1994’s Purple, honed their rock and pop foundation while their third record, 1997’s Tiny Music: Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, delved into jazz and psychedelia, resulting in their most adventurous album yet.
Despite the band’s success, Stone Temple Pilots battled not only with critics but also Scott Weiland’s drug use. Suffering from a debilitating addiction that frequently resulted in canceled shows and even jail time for the singer, Weiland’s demons often seemed to stifle the band’s momentum. In 1999, the band regrouped after a brief hiatus and had a period of relative stability where they were able to write, record, and tour steadily, overcoming the turmoil of the last several years and hitting a creative stride. This industrious era peaked with 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da, a record as diverse as Tiny Music and at times as heavy as Core, exemplified by songs like “Long Way Home.”
According to Weiland, “Long Way Home” pays homage to one of their greatest influences, Led Zeppelin, with this huge, arena-ready track. The lyrics and Weiland’s delivery, desperate with a desire to run away while also to hide — possibly indicative of his own drug use and personal problems — makes for an uneasy end to the record. The song continues on into the unknown, fading out slowly during one of guitarist Dean DeLeo’s best solos, as did the band, who would face more setbacks and tragedy, but still continue on today.
Scott and Jason are both huge fans of Stone Temple Pilots. They discuss how Shangri-La Dee Da is one of their defining accomplishments despite not having the commercial success of its predecessors, meaning many fans probably missed out on “Long Way Home.” Scott discusses how the band deserves a place among the most esteemed icons of rock and Jason reflects on the deep connection he feels to the band’s music.
I am Corey Hickoks sister. Scott and Corey met at 14 when Corey was looking for a lead singer for His band. They became best friends. Scott was like a little brother to me. Great human. I can tell you that the second version of the meeting of Scott and Robert is the accurate one. Corey and Scott saw Robert play and asked him to join the band. I was also there when they asked Eric to join the band and I being a hairdresser cut off Erics 80’s mullet and updated his look at the same meeting. I became the stylist for the guys. Excellent adventures abound!
They are all amazing musicians and it still breaks my heart that it fell apart the way it did. My heart is still broken 💔 losing Scott. Corey still has a hard time with it. So much unfinished business.
Thank you for this excellent telling of their story.
STP one in a million band won’t be duplicated.
Scott Weiland, brillant artist….beautiful heart…tortured soul. May he rest in Peace.
Thanks so much for telling us this, Shelley! We appreciate you taking the time to listen to our podcast and letting us know such personal details about yourself. Stay safe out there!