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Scott Weiland was found dead yesterday in Bloomington, Minnesota, where he was on tour with his band The Wildabouts.

The top song on Songfacts today is "Plush," which may best exemplify Weiland's life. The song is part of Stone Temple Pilots debut album Core, which initially got some attention thanks to the first single, "Sex Type Thing," a rocker that positioned STP as a metal band and earned them an invite to Headbanger's Ball on MTV. Weiland appeared on the show with guitarist Dean DeLeo who brought his acoustic. Their plan: instead of gabbing, play some music.

The show taped at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. STP had just finished a tour opening for Rage Against the Machine, but DeLeo and Weiland flew to New York, got violently ill from the sleeping pills they took (among other substances), and dragged themselves to the studio, where they did an acoustic rendition of "Plush" that was startling. Radio stations started playing this version, and by the summer of 1993 it was everywhere.

This was typical Weiland, at his best when he was feeling his worst. Success meant more problems because of his overpowering addictions - once he could afford heroin, he was on borrowed time.

Weiland was the quarterback on his high school football team - that guy who could show up and throw touchdown passes without putting in the practice. He excelled at pretty much everything. There will probably be some chatter about his "wasted talent" and such, but it was clear that his destructive personality traits were in his DNA, and his environment didn't help: In his autobiography he claimed that he was both raped and institutionalized when he was a kid.

His solace came from music and candles. He was an altar boy, and the candles gave him comfort. Wherever he went, he would light candles.

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