"Not Dead and Not for Sale: The Earthling Papers, a Memoir" (Scribner; 2011)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

You know him by name because his name at one time was synonymous with drug arrests and failed rehab stints. Scott Weiland has fronted the band Stone Temple Pilots (or STP to those who knew how to talk about the band without sounding too virgin or green about it). They've sold tons of records, been on the cover of countless mags and have toured the world. And, when you hear an STP song on the radio, you know it's worth cranking. Scott also fronted the band Velvet Revolver for a short time.

This memoir was penned by Weiland, with some help from David Ritz. Scott starts his literary journey from when he was a small alter boy and weaves through his childhood with unique clarity. His struggle with identity -- because he had two different fathers -- helped him pen some great lyrics. Some of them most people can identify with, but some only Weiland knows the real truth behind.

As you read about how STP came to be you also get a glimpse into Weiland's mind as an artist. He's always had a knack for writing and drawing and he was able to find an outlet through music. He was also keen on the things that make being in a band more tolerable: namely, drugs and women. The book is full of black-and-white photos from his childhood and through his musical career. You'll see many famous people with him in those photos. The last few pages of "Not Dead & Not For Sale" are selections from his sketchbook.

Weiland also sheds light on his addiction and how he almost lost his life to a failed attempt on it -- if the drugs didn't kill him a certain group of guys was going to. You also get the trivia behind many of the song titles and album covers of STP. I learned a lot about how many of them came to be. Scott also talks about his time in Velvet Revolver and how he was ousted for using drugs by a band of sober musicians who used to be drug addicts themselves.

The book is an easy read and there is nothing too controversial between its covers. It does seem thin on some parts of his life; perhaps they were too painful to recall or too fuzzy to remember. If this book does one thing its give you another story about Scott Weiland. The press told their side and now Weiland gets to tell his. You'll definitely be cueing up many of the songs by STP and Velvet Revolver as you read along because he peppers the pages with lines from many memorable tracks.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.