One of the best bands I have ever seen live was STP in October 2007. STP, Nine Inch Nails, REM, Horton Heat, and Lupe Fiasco. That was also the first time I saw Grace Potter perform.
I was so psyched after the STP show and was just gushing over how good it was and how tight and amazing they were as a band. My step-dad, who had seen STP a couple times in the 90s told me, "You should have seen them before Scotty really got into the heroin. That was a medium STP show."
I was at Velvet Revolver's first show of their debut tour which happened to be in St. Louis. Slash is a god damned robot and incredible to watch, and every member of that band is amazing and professional. Then there was Scott Weiland. He could sing, he could move, he could kill it all night long, but you could tell he was out of it. At the end of the night when everyone else was signing stuff by the bus, Scott walked right by the crowd to the bus. I asked Duff McKagan if he was going to come out. Duff said something like, 'that's up to his demons, but I doubt it.'
One final quote from a friend of mine who toured with Velvet Revolver for a while.
"I got to see Weiland up close for a couple weeks on the Velvet Revolver tour and I have to tell you he has some spiritual issues, still fun to watch for certain but they had to cater the set to what he was capable of singing and even with a teleprompter the lyrics were way off. He also wouldn't come out for encores and such so Duff would sing. Crazy."
I'm a little more behind the scenes than most, so I thought I'd give it a different spin than the media is. Everyone is talking about how he was clean for years. He wasn't. Dude was an addict. They'll tell you that they're clean to your face and then steal money from you to get high. That's how it is. No offense to anyone who is an addict, but you know better than I do how it is.