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As promised on our Facebook page The Rock Riff will now be reviewing Scott Stapp‘s uncensored Memoir.
I have looked forward to reading this book since I heard about it more or less a year before its release date. I had a few questions on my mind on Creed- and Scott Stapp’s history, I was eager to have those questions answered by reading this memoir.
Was/is Creed a Christian band?
Were the relationships within the band completely restored after their reunion in 2009?
Has Scott Stapp fully recovered from his addiction (s)?
Will Scott Stapp admit to his shortcomings in this book?
Did any violence occur when the police arrested Scott Stapp at his home in 2006?
Did Scott Stapp try to commit suicide?
All of my questions were about answered by the time I finished reading the book.
I will share a few highlights from the first part of the book and after that I will give my personal opinion on the book.
The book starts by recounting the incident at The Delano Hotel, Miami Beach on the 18th of November 2006 when Scott fell 20 feet and landed on his forehead. It is amazing that he survived that fall, even the doctors couldn’t believe it.
From an early age Scott was forced to be the man of the house after his biological father, a marine left his mom and two sisters behind. He took the responsibility upon himself to be the family’s protector/guardian.
Religion played an increasingly important role in Scott’s early childhood and later in his young adulthood. Scott’s grandfather was a descendant of Indian heritage and Scott loved spending time with his grandfather at the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina, where his grandfather owned land and a cabin. His grandfather had a different approach to Christianity, he saw God in nature and his surroundings.
At the age of nine Steve Stapp entered his life, Scott loved the man who promised to protect and look after his mother and sisters. Steve Stapp married Scott’s mother and legally adopted Scott. Anthony Scott Flippen was renamed Scott Alan Stapp. He perceived the adoption as a way to start over.
When Steve became an official member of the family, he became the head of the household and he made sure everyone knew it. Steve wanted Scott to improve his behaviour at school and to bring home nothing less than an A in every subject. Fear started to rule every aspect of Scott’s life, fear of disappointing God and his stepfather Steve.
Scott was introduced to rock music by a friend who brought over a record of Def Leppard. In the middle of listening to the song “Rock of Ages” Scott’s dad burst in his bedroom door, his dad told his friend to go home. Steve told Scott that Rock ‘n Roll was not music, it was an instrument of Satan. He forbid Scott to ever listen to any music where an electric guitar is played. Scott promised never to listen to rock music again, but that wasn’t enough, so Steve decided to give him a beating to make sure he stopped listening to rock music.
One Saturday Scott spent an evening at a friend’s house and was told to be home at 6 a.m. the following day so that he could go to church. Scott overslept and received a spanking in full view of his family. After this incident Steve Stapp introduced the children to The Timer. The Timer was set to 5 minutes, the time allotted for Scott to shower and brush his teeth, 6 minutes to get dressed, gather his books and to be seated at the kitchen table. If he wasn’t in his chair when The Timer went off he would receive a beating. After breakfast he had five minutes to wash, dry and put away the breakfast dishes and then two minutes to put on his coat and get to the car. If The Timer went off you would receive a beating with no exceptions.
Scott received beatings every Monday night for the sins he didn’t get caught committing. He wasn’t permitted to date or even go out to watch a movie, so he put all his energy into sports. After a terrible fight during which Steve hit Scott’s mother Scott decided to take his car and escape his household. He went to live with a friend for about two months, until his father started to lure him back home by exploiting his weaknesses. Scott received offers from the Naval Academy, Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania. Steve led Scott to believe that the schools were not offering full scholarships and that he should attend a Christian school instead, which led Scott to attend Lee University.
When Scott arrived at Lee University he realised just how sheltered his life had been. He had never tasted beer, he had never seen/smoked marijuana and he had never kissed a girl before. Scott got expelled for smoking marijuana after he admitted to smoking it to the dean.
Scott decided to attend Tallahassee Community College and planned to transfer to FSU. He met up with Mark Tremonti and they decided to start a band together, a band that will eventually become Creed.
The years in which I listened to Creed as a teenager, I had heard through the media that Creed was a Christian band. I never understood that statement at all. In my mind a Christian band would sing their praise to God directly through their lyrics. Analysing Creed’s lyrics I interpret their songs as an ongoing struggle with faith, religion, being human and God.
It was unfortunate that they were branded with a Christian label. I find their music to be emotional and spiritual, it is an experience that cannot be replicated. As a listener Creed’s music allows for deeper introspection. It makes me realise how flawed we are and how we will always strive to be better than ourselves. If it wasn’t for the Christian label and being called “uncool”, I think Creed would have been taken more seriously by music critics and music fans alike. Creed delivers heavy melodic rock music and their lyrics have meaning. What more could a fan of rock music ask for?
I found the book really enlightening when it came to the events that shaped Scott Stapp as the man he is today and the events that shaped Creed.
If you are looking for a book that describes the details of all the debauchery that occurred during Creed’s career, you will have to look elsewhere. The book does not glorify any behaviour typically associated with rock stars.
This book taught me a lot about the music industry, people, fame and depression. In my opinion it is of the utmost importance that depression is mentioned throughout the book. It demonstrates the power of the illness and how it can continue to haunt you to the point where you implode/explode. It is a common belief that if someone is depressed they sulk and hide in their room/home until they feel better or receive medication. Depression rears its head from time to time if left untreated, it is the long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or the inability to visualize a happy future. The sufferer is forced to lead a normal life and to pretend to feel normal, even sometimes fooling themselves. Another description of depression is a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include self-inflicted injury or suicide.
When Creed reunited in 2009, I found it really strange that it wasn’t being marketed through the social media sites, radio or news websites. Some people probably still don’t know that Creed has reunited. The reason for this is revealed in the book and it just demonstrated to me once more what people will do for money.
Any musician or band that is on the brink of being discovered or has had a taste of fame will do themselves a favour by reading this book. I know it’s not possible to avoid all the pitfalls that you will face during your career, but at least you can say that you entered it with eyes wide open.
Personally I think it was unfair that people/the media was judging Scott for being a Christian or a hypocrite. All Christians have sinned during their lifetime, its part of being human. To hold someone in the public eye to different standards than you do yourself is in itself hypocrisy.
I really admire Scott’s wife Jaclyn’s role in his life and that of her family. Her family seem like sophisticated, educated and loving people.
A great read if you’re interested in learning more about Scott Stapp, Creed or just interested in learning more about humanity.
You can follow Scott Stapp on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottStapp
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