Falling farther from just what we are
What do you get when you combine two of the greatest groups in rock music? If you answered, “A supergroup,” you would be right sometimes. But most of the time what you get is a train wreck. Case in point: Velvet Revolver.
Guns N’ Roses was arguably the best hard rock act of the late 1980s, and their debut album Appetite for Destruction is one of those rare gems that can be played from beginning to end without ever hitting the “skip” button on your CD player. The follow-up, Lies, showcased the band’s ability to rock just as hard without electricity. Then there was Use Your Illusion I & II, with the epic “November Rain” and other timeless classics like “Don’t Cry” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” The last disc the band released, The Spaghetti Incident?, was a commercial flop but a nice tribute to some of the band’s punk influences. Comparing it to some of the covers albums that have been released recently by other bands, GNR’s effort was far superior.
Stone Temple Pilots hit it big in 1993 with “Plush,” a song in which lead singer Scott Weiland sounds eerily similar to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. The band’s debut Core ended up going 8x Platinum, and several of the songs are staples on rock radio today (“Sex Type Thing,” “Wicked Garden,” “Creep”). Their follow-up Purple was not as strong as their debut, but still contained a few rockers, as did the third CD Tiny Music. This is where my personal knowledge of STP ends, as I did not buy No. 4 or Shangri-La Dee Da, their final two albums of all new material.
Enter internal turmoil, and both bands imploded. Axl fired Slash & Co. from GNR, while Weiland and Dean DeLeo nearly got into a fist fight during an STP concert. After some side projects and solo albums, somehow Scott and Slash got together and decided to form Velvet Revolver. VR wasn’t half the band they should have been, considering the talent, but they did create some buzz initially and had a few good songs. Their second CD wasn’t great, and while Slash is ready to record a follow-up, Scott is looking back to his former bandmates for a reunion.
That’s right, Stone Temple Pilots are reuniting this year and will tour, possibly starting in May at Rock on the Range, a rock festival in Columbus, Ohio. No word yet on what Slash, Duff, and Matt Sorum will do with their newfound unemployment. Maybe Slash and Matt can get Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony to form that other supergroup that was in the works before the Van Halen with Sammy reunion back in 2003.