And so this is Christmas…

7645314_f520It’s only a week until Christmas Day, so it seems like a good time to offer a look at the back stories of some of my favorite rock and roll Christmas tunes.

Of course, there are many Christmas albums by popular music artists who offer their very strong (or remarkably bad) versions of Christmas carols, but this column will mostly examine less traditional, but still noteworthy, holiday classics you might include as you assemble your Christmas mixes.

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Another one bites the dust

images-5I’m betting that more than half of my readership — being children of the ’60s/’70s/’80s and mostly not very knowledgeable about bands since then — have never heard of Scott Weiland.

Although I know who he is/was — the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots and another “supergroup” assembly, Velvet Revolver — I had no idea that he was as successful or as revered as he is/was. ┬áStone Temple Pilots (named for its acronym STP, a notorious drug of choice at the time) had five consecutive Top Ten albums in the 1990s, including the #1 “Purple,” and Velvet Revolver had two Top Ten albums including the 2004 #1 LP “Contraband.”

Weiland played a crucial role in both bands’ success, and critics and fans have heaped praise on his recorded and live performances, despite the fact that his volatile personality and rampant drug abuse had him in and out of both lineups, and rehab facilities, for most of his professional life.

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