Piercing Letter From Scott Weiland’s Family Tells Fans Not To 'Glorify' His Death

By Zachary Siegel 12/08/15

Mary Weiland penned an emotional letter on behalf of her two children in Rolling Stone.

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The family of late rock star Scott Weiland, who died of cardiac arrest while on tour just a few days ago, wrote a brutally honest, incisive piece for Rolling Stone about not only their grief, but how we collectively consume rock and roll stars unto their death, and beyond. 

In one of the most honest lines about the death of a rock star, the family writes, “I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up.”

So as a family, they ask of us, “don’t glorify this tragedy.” Rather than sing praise for his music and the gift he brought to everyone’s life with his talent, which of course the family appreciates, they want to bring our attention to the destruction that lies in the wake of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

“We read awful show reviews,” Mary Forsberg Weiland writes, “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,” Weiland’s ex-wife wrote, along with her their two surviving children, Noah, 15, and Lucy, 13.

The forceful writing continues, “The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope.”

We don’t often take into account, for consumptive purposes, the ecology of the rock star. Children and family are better left behind the concert curtain. After all, these stars are propped up in the media as individualist heroes without a family and history because it doesn’t jive with the simulation we consume of what rock and roll is. 

But the letter’s message directly raises the point of the family, mainly the children of the heroes. “Many of these artists have children. Children with tears in their eyes, experiencing panic because their cries go unheard.”

“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.”

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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