My Sunday Song – “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots

For My Sunday Song #53, I have gone with “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots.  This is one of my favorite STP songs…one of many.  The song was the second single off their second album ‘Purple’.  It is also the second most successful song they had.  It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Album Tracks chart for two weeks.  The most successful song was “Interstate Love Song”.

What do I like about this song?  That opening bass part is flat out amazing.  The best part of the song.  I also dig the uptempo, fast driving feel to the song.  The guitar solo is also fast, but impactful.  And of course, Scott Weiland’s vocals.  The song is short at under 3 minutes, but what an impression it leaves.

In researching the song, I found out how they came up with that sound effect on the bass.  Robert DeLeo ran his bass through a wah wah pedal.  As I am a fan and not a musician, I had to look up “wah wah pedal”.  Here is what wikipedia says…

wah-wah pedal (or simply wah pedal) is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that alters the tone and frequencies of the guitar signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice saying the onomatopoeic name “wah-wah”. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a frequency filter up and down in frequency to create the sound, a spectral glide, also known as “the wah effect”.

The song’s meaning is rather dark and sad, especially now that Scott has passed away.  Per his autobiography ‘Not Dead and Not For Sale’ (a reference to this song BTW), Weiland states the song…

“is about being stuck in the same situation over and over again. It’s about me becoming a junkie. It’s about lying to Jannina [Castaneda, first wife] and lying to the band about my heroin addiction.”

I also came across on interview on songfacts.com where Scott talks about this song.  He states the following…

…the key line in this song came from a misheard lyric: His parents put on the Eagles song “Life in the Fast Lane”, and Weiland thought they were singing, “Flies in the Vasoline.”

Pretty funny…who would have thought a misheard lyric would wind up being part of such an amazing song.  I hadn’t listened to this song in awhile and when when I played it again, I immediately remembered how great STP was with Scott and what a waste it was for him with the addictions.  However, would have STP been as great without his songwriting during his addiction. Hard to say.  Through every horror, there is some beauty.

Enjoy! And Happy Sunday!

“Vasoline”

one time a thing occured to me
what’s real, and what’s for sale?
blew a kiss and tried to take it homeit isn’t you, isn’t me
search for things you can’t see
going blind, out of reach
somewhere in the vasolinetwo times and it has rendered me
punch drunk and without bail
think I’d be safer all alone
flys in the vasoline we are
sometimes it blows my mind
keep getting stuck here all the time

you’ll see the look and you’ll see the lies
you’ll eat the lies, and you will.

it isn’t you, isn’t me
search for things you can’t see
going blind, out of reach
somewhere in the vasoline.

Music Written by Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo, Eric Kretz

Lyrics by Scott Weiland

9 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots

      1. Thanks..
        I got a bunch of unfinished stuff as I’m currently trying to finish up a 3/4’s Filler review of a band and no not STP! They put out no filler as far as i’m concerned ….

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great choice. I’ve been listening to Purple an awfy lot the last few weeks. More so than I normally do, I think. Anyhoo, this is a highlight on an album of highlights, if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

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