Scott Stapp Clears Up That Story About the Orgy on Kid Rock's Tour Bus and Contemplates Suicide
Mean Mug (Shot)
We now come to the third and final installment of our unprecedented, soon-to-be-award-winning series on Scott Stapp's astonishing memoir, Sinner's Creed. In the first two parts, we looked at Stapp's struggles with God and his context as an artist. Today, at the significant risk of ending on a dark note, we'll look at some choice quotes from the long, slow process of Scott Stapp spiraling toward rock bottom.
Part III: "Screaming like Rambo, I unloaded 36 rounds."
You probably know Creed as a top-selling beat combo -- at the peak of the music industry, they sold around 40 million albums, which is only 10 million less than Simply Red. Despite their dizzying success, they were constantly hamstrung by forces outside their control: Scott Stapp's ego; Scott Stapp's addictions; Scott Stapp's self-destruction; Scott Stapp's war with demonic forces. I'd like to begin this segment with a passage I found particularly revealing: Even when his band seemed to be at the height of their fame and fortune, Stapp couldn't help but foreshadow doom:
Could it all be too good to be true? Was I living an illusion? Were fantasy and reality on a collision course? Yes, yes, and yes. (pg. 140)
Actually, maybe that's not quite enough foreshadowing. Right as the book begins, we find Scott Stapp wallowing in excrement, having leaped from the balcony of his hotel room. Maybe this sets the tone a little better:
I was now facedown in bird waste, still conscious and in excruciating pain. Looking back, I now know I was face-to-face with what I had become.
No, wait -- that foreshadowing might be too heavy-handed. Maybe we should look at a collegiate Stapp's first horrifying steps into a world of drug addiction and debauchery:
One of my friends said, "That's good weed, right?" Pushing aside my anxiety, I replied, "Yeah, bro." My next thought was, I just said "bro." I never say "bro." (pg. 76)
The inevitable fantasy/reality/bird excrement/bro collision began to take shape on Kid Rock's tour bus, where Stapp stopped by for a visit. Stapp's recollection of the incident contradicts the popularly reported account, which I believe involved Stapp himself getting a little bit of strippery attention. Judge for yourself:
In Tampa we played a concert with Metallica. Another high-profile rocker was also in town. He and I had become friends a few months before, and he had jammed at my house. I liked him enormously -- he was an easygoing, fun-loving musician who enjoyed writing and playing as much as I did. That evening he invited me to his trailer, which was parked behind the venue. I dropped in after the show. When I arrived, I saw that he was accompanied by a group of strippers. My first comment, in jest, was, "It's good to be king." I was repeating a line from Mel Brooks's History of the World, Part I, which I'd just seen with my bandmates. After drinking a beer, I left. I didn't think much of it. When a tape emerged a few years later with me saying, "It's good to be king," it created a scandal. I don't know who edited the tape to make it look like I was part of an orgy -- I never saw the tape -- but by then it didn't matter. No one wanted to hear that I'd merely stopped by to say hello and just happened to walk into what amounted to a private strip club. Protesting only further solidified my image as a sinning Christian -- which I was. (pg. 147)
I've never seen the tape, but somehow the idea of watching Scott Stapp stand around and quote Mel Brooks while Kid Rock gets worked over by strippers is even better than the tape was originally advertised. Next stop on the downward spiral: Stapp expertly punching a hater's lights out after the sincerity of "Arms Wide Open" is besmirched:
I started to walk away, but he followed me. "You're a sellout. You'd do anything to make a buck. How does it feel to exploit your own unborn baby?" Even though he was making no sense, something snapped in me. The next thing I knew, I'd hit him with a combination left jab and right cross. He fell with a thump. (pg. 166)