Velvet Revolver “Contraband”

I’m in the studio, and I just pulled the new Velvet Revolver CD, “Contraband,” off the rack.

It comes out on Tuesday, and a lot of people want to know what it’s like. I’ve toured the disc a couple times so far, and I think it’s decent. Opening shot “Sucker Train Blues” is a determined rocker, and power ballad “Fall To Pieces” will be on every radio station in America by the Christmas holiday.

Another noteworthy item is how profane the disc is. Scott Weiland never dropped “f bombs” during his time with STP like he does on this album. Note to radio professionals: If you ever decide you never want to work in radio again as long as you live, track this album all the way through on the air.

The Velvet Revolver live show a couple weeks ago was total rock spectacle. Weiland remains a frontman’s frontman; he’s one of the few star-quality live personas that we have left from the 90’s.

I met the band before the show (I’ve met Scott about four times before, though I wouldn’t expect him to remember some radio dork from Chicago, let alone under the influence of all of his body’s pollutants). Slash, Matt, and Duff were enthusiastic, gregarious and cordial. I was convinced after meeting them and seeing them perform that night, that they’re pumped to be in this band. Making music has become fun for them again.

Scott, on the other hand, looked fragile backstage.I think his very public disgust with media as of late forces him to shut down and maybe even be a bit apprehensive around anyone on my end of the business. My time with him backstage was brief, but I did manage to tell him that the last time I saw him perform (Stone Temple Pilots MGD Blind Date show in Las Vegas) was one of the unforgettable, Top Ten, concert experiences of my life.He agreed that was a great show. He then mentioned that he was arrested and incarcerated for a year immediately after the show. Whoops. I hadn’t quite remembered the chronology of that moment in rock history.It’s so hard to pay a compliment these days …


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