"Not Dead And Not For Sale" (Book)
Reviewed by Rockstar_Scribbler on July 25, 2011
Count singer Scott Weiland as the latest rocker to release a memoir that includes stories of his childhood, drug use, and success. “Not Dead & Not for Sale," hits on all those themes. The difference here is that Weiland explores the whys of the choices he has made. He invites the reader to come along for the ride and experience his childhood, artistic mind, and the romance he has with his substance of choice (or past as he now claims nine years off drugs), that is heroin.
The “romance” and suppression can easily be traced to the deaths in his immediate family and a long-repressed childhood rape. Weiland's repeated attempts at self-destruction (drug addiction, run-ins with the law and two failed marriages), can than be better understood.
Weiland digs deep and holds back little in his description of these painful events. He spends a lot of time discussing the love of his life, Mary, and how deep inside he believes we only get one love. "I'm not afraid of documenting details about the life I've led. I have nothing to hide," he writes. "Not Dead and Not for Sale" isn't all about Weiland's woes, however. Certainly, the drugs and sex sections are well-represented, but there's also plenty of tales of rock 'n' roll to read about, too. Weiland recounts the nineties eruption of Stone Temple Pilots and how he later joined ex-Guns N Roses members to form the super group Velvet Revolver. Weiland walks through the recording process and how his personal experiences found their way into his lyrics.
Other highlights include his first experience with pills (right before his interview on Headbanger’s Ball, where instead of doing a traditional interview, Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots and him performed their hit “Plush” acoustically), as well as a near death beating by three men in Paris.
Weiland moves quickly and the thoughts (even on paper) appear scattered at times. He has a lot to say and Scott does not seek any blame for his mistakes, but rather acceptance, growing as a person, and an artist, associating living life with romance. Clearly, Weiland's story isn't over, but the four decades' worth of material he crams into "Not Dead and Not for Sale" makes for a compelling and worthwhile read.
Highs: The unknown stories of rape and the Paris beating mixed in with finding his place with STP and Velvet Revolver.
Lows: For anyone looking for a gritty "Heroin Diaries" type substance abuse book tune in to Dr. Drew, it's not here.
Bottom line: Not Dead and Not For Sale is a good read for any fan of Scott Weiland or any rock and roll junkie who appreciates the artistic side of the music process.