The Stone Temple Pilots, grounded for the last five months while singer Scott Weiland battled drug addiction, have been cleared for takeoff.
The Los Angeles-based alternative-rock band has announced plans for a six-week U.S. tour that will kick off Nov. 4 at the Universal Amphitheatre and include a Nov. 8 show at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.
"I feel like a young kid," Weiland said Monday as he and bandmates Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz made their announcement during an interview on the Westwood One radio network. "I'm really excited. . . .
"We did what we had to do and things are coming around. We have a great opportunity. I'm just really grateful to go out and play with these guys. I really missed being around them and playing with them."
Weiland, who will be 29 this month, spent the summer in a court-ordered program at the Impact Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Pasadena while his bandmates, forced to cancel plans for a summer tour, sat idle.
The band was set to tour in support of its third album, "Tiny Music . . . Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop," which has sold 1.1 million copies since its release in March, according to SoundScan. STP's debut album, 1992's "Core," has sold 4.1 million copies and its follow-up, 1994's "Purple," has sold 3.8 million.
Weiland, who was arrested in May of 1995 in Pasadena when sheriff's deputies allegedly found cocaine in his car and heroin in his wallet, completed the inpatient program at Impact about a month ago and moved into a halfway house in Pasadena, where he still resides. Weiland is free to come and go but must meet a nightly curfew.
Bob Timmins, a Santa Monica-based addiction intervention specialist who has worked with Weiland and countless other entertainers, said the timing is right for the singer to return to work.
"It's crucial that he do this--in part for his recovery and in part to repair his relationships with his bandmates, his fans and everybody else who has supported him in his career," Timmins said.
Weiland, he said, has already cleared one major hurdle.
"He's survived that crucial transition from the protective environment of a rehab center to living in the community," Timmins said. "The time that is probably the most crucial as far as [avoiding a] possible relapse behavior is that first few weeks after leaving the treatment center.
"That's when nobody is around watching them and telling them what to do. That's the time when you see if somebody really got it or not. And what he's done since he left Impact is be completely responsible in terms of his recovery. I couldn't be more pleased."
Timmins, though, was quick to add that "with the disease of addiction, you want to be guarded because everything could change in a minute. So far, though, there's no reason to even suggest that he would relapse."
Still, a support team will accompany Weiland on tour.
Has the singer spent enough time away from the trappings and temptations of a rock star on tour?
"How long is long enough? It's hard to say," said the band's manager, Steve Stewart, who was widely lauded within the music industry when he and Weiland's bandmates pulled the plug on STP's summer tour plans to allow the singer to battle his problems. "All I know is, he's been with the program for [five] months and he's been doing very well.
"He wants to work, and the other guys want to work. It's something they want very badly. They're heavily motivated to go out and play."
Before they do, Weiland must make an appearance in L.A. Municipal Court in Pasadena on Oct. 29 for a progress report.
"I'm hoping it will be a grand celebration," said the singer's attorney, Steven M. Cron, "and the judge will say, 'Great job. I'm thrilled and delighted to dismiss your case,' which is what happens after someone completes a diversion program."
The attorney is delighted with Weiland's progress.