Voices Interrupted: A Love Letter to Scott Weiland and Others

This is a love letter to Scott Weiland, Kurt Cobain, Lane Staley, Shannon Hoon, Andrew Wood, Amy Winehouse, and all the other beautiful rock voices that we lost far too soon to their demons and vices. We will miss you always, but you live on in the music that you made. You found a way to connect with your audiences and showed us that we are all struggling to “be” and that made us feel less alone.

Scott Weiland on the streets

Recently Scott Weiland’s ex-wife, Mary Forgsberg Weiland, and his teenage children penned an open letter about the recent passing of the singer – and what powerful piece to read. In this letter they talk about losing Scott long before his actual physical death on December 3rd 2016.

This is a sentiments that is often uttered by loved ones in the wake of such a tragic event. But, when these beautiful, tortured souls – like Scott, like Lane, like Kurt, like Amy, etc. – lose their battle with their demons and die due to drug overdoses, we as fans feel a need to mourn them and in some cases ‘glorify’ them for what they meant to us. When someone dies we want to talk about the good things they did. But talking about the good things does not, in any way, mean that we do not acknowledge the not so good or bad parts of them.

Lane Staley and Kurt Cobain

Now this letter, and statements within, are not meant to canonize these musicians without the awareness that they suffered from huge illnesses, DRUG ADDICTION and ALCOHOLISM, but talking about the good things makes it a lot easier for us to bear.

I am profoundly impressed that Mary Forgsberg Weiland and her children were brave enough to talk about the not so good things. The issues that were brought up in their letter are often glossed over when speaking of the dead. To speak ill of the dead is frowned upon, but the truth is the truth. Scott Weiland and countless others like him were full of faults.

Shannon Hoon and Daughter

We tend idolize people in the public eye far more than they should be. We also tend to tear them apart a well. The public should not forget that these people were human beings just like the rest of us. They had families. They were someone’s son/daughter, spouse/partner/lover, friend, AND most importantly, in some cases, someone’s parent.

They were people just like the rest of us and they often dealt with the same issues and ghosts as we. The only difference between us and them, is that their mistakes and missteps were sensationalized and splashed about in the papers for fodder in the tabloids. They lived a cult of personality.

This love letter to these musical lives cut tragically short by addiction is about their music and the hope, solace, and understanding that it imparted on their fans. This letter, not unlike a love song, is not, and does have to be, all hearts and roses. It is true letter of love AND loss.

Hoon and Staley kiss

Dear Scott, Dear Kurt, Dear Amy, Dear Andrew, Dear Shannon, Dear Countless Others,

We miss you. We miss your life-life and how you understood us without knowing us. We miss how you understood our pain in the expression of your voice and the lyrics you sang and often wrote. We miss that connection. You got us.

What I don’t think you realized while you were here was that your WERE loved and cherished. That you did deserve happiness. That your music saved a lot of lost souls and within your music people found sanity. They found a reason to go on and a way to fight their own personal demons. They found hope.

Mother Love Bone's Andrew Wood

HOPE! It’s a such a precious and fragile thing, but we found it in your songs and in your voices. You soothed our savage souls. You let us feel in a safe space. You laid our vulnerabilities out in front of us. You were, for all intents and purposes, ‘killing of us softly’ with your songs…but in a good way. You were our ‘pied pipers’ who led us out of the darkness.

So, thank you from your fans and for those that you helped through your music. Thank you for seeing us through hard times. For sharing your pain. For helping us heal through your turmoil and struggles.

We wish that you were still here with us. We wish that you had a stayed much longer. We wished that we could have helped you…saved you. Love you enough to choose a different path.

We will miss you, but your voices will live on your music and at least we have that.

Amy Winehouse

Khuwailah Beyah
Khuwailah Beyah
Khuwailah "Cookie" Beyah hails from North Carolina. She is a pop culture nut and loves all things Nathan Fillion. Ms. Beyah has a passion for the macabre and the horror genre. She serves on the "Nevermore Film Festival" selection committee in Durham, NC and attends several comic and horror conventions each year. She holds an MA from Duke University, but is a dyed in the wool North Carolina Tar Heel fan! She also enjoys writing and reading creative non-fiction.