Talk Show: The story of the Stone Temple Pilots album that never was

Tuesday, December 19, 2023
The formation of Talk Show, a band that emerged as a side project from the members of Stone Temple Pilots (STP), marks an intriguing chapter in the landscape of 90s rock music. 

This journey begins with the members of STP - Dean DeLeo (guitar), Robert DeLeo (bass), and Eric Kretz (drums) - at a time when Scott Weiland, the lead singer of STP, was grappling with personal issues, leading to a temporary hiatus for the band.

Dave Coutts, previously the frontman for the band Ten Inch Men, was brought into the fold, adding a new dynamic to the group. Coutts' distinct vocal style and musical approach were set to differentiate Talk Show from STP's well-established sound. 

Talk Show's self-titled debut album, released in 1997, showcased a sound that, while bearing some stylistic resemblances to STP, carved out its unique identity. 

The album leaned towards alternative rock, displaying a blend of melodic hooks and a slightly more pop-oriented approach compared to STP's grunge-heavy style.

talk show stp album cover 1997 dace coutts

The dynamic within Talk Show was notably different from that of STP. 

With the DeLeo brothers and Kretz having a strong musical chemistry from their time in STP, they brought a cohesive and experienced approach to the project. Dave Coutts, with his background and influences, contributed to a fresh perspective. 

While Talk Show received moderate critical acclaim, it did not achieve the commercial success anticipated. 

The album's singles, such as "Hello Hello," showcased the band's potential, but they failed to make a significant impact in the crowded alternative rock scene of the late 90s. The band disbanded shortly after, with the members returning to their respective projects.

Talk Show's brief existence and its album remain a point of interest for fans of STP and 90s rock aficionados. It serves as a testament to the versatility and creativity of the musicians involved and remains a noteworthy footnote in the era's musical tapestry. The project highlights the fluid nature of rock bands during this period, where side projects and collaborations were common, reflecting the exploratory spirit of the musicians and the genre itself.

About the album itself:

"Talk Show," the singular album by the group formed from the members of Stone Temple Pilots with Dave Coutts, represents a significant but often overlooked chapter in the story of '90s alternative rock. 

This album, released in 1997, blends the hard-edged musicality of STP with the distinct vocal and lyrical stylings of Coutts, creating a unique sound that both diverges from and complements the members' primary band.

Key Singles and Popular Songs

  • "Hello Hello" stands out as the album's most notable single. This track, with its catchy chorus and polished production, had the potential to be a significant hit. It exemplifies the group's ability to meld alternative rock with pop sensibilities, creating a sound that was both radio-friendly and artistically rich.

  • "Everybody Loves My Car" offers a different flavor, showcasing the band's playful side. The track's upbeat tempo and humorous lyrics mark a departure from the often serious tone of alternative rock, highlighting the band's versatility and willingness to experiment.

Deep Cuts and Fan Favorites

Tracks like "Peeling an Orange" (covered for a long time by Wellington's Silverfish) and "So Long" demonstrate the album's range, moving into more introspective and emotional territory. These songs, characterized by their softer melodies and reflective lyrics, offer a deeper insight into the band's artistic sensibilities.

"End of the World" and "Hide" delve into darker, more complex themes. These tracks are notable for their thematic depth and intricate musical arrangements, showcasing the band's ability to explore various moods and styles within the alternative rock genre.

Trivia and Behind-the-Scenes Insights

The production process of the album is a point of interest. The band members, particularly the DeLeo brothers, took a hands-on approach, blending vintage and modern recording techniques to create a sound that was both contemporary and rooted in rock tradition.

The choice to work with Dave Coutts, a departure from STP's usual lineup, added a fresh dimension to the music. Coutts' unique vocal style and lyrical approach were instrumental in differentiating Talk Show's sound from that of STP.

Despite the album's artistic strengths, it didn't achieve the commercial success it arguably deserved. This has led to "Talk Show" becoming something of a cult favorite, admired by fans for its distinct place in the pantheon of '90s rock.

In sum, "Talk Show" stands as a fascinating footnote in the history of alternative rock. The album's diverse tracks—from the catchy hooks of "Hello Hello" to the introspective melodies of "Peeling an Orange"—highlight the creative breadth and depth of its members. While it may not have reached the commercial heights of STP's work, the album remains a cherished piece among fans and a testament to the diverse musical landscape of the era.

The production of "Talk Show" was overseen by the band members themselves, particularly the DeLeo brothers, known for their meticulous attention to detail and profound understanding of musical textures. This self-production approach allowed for a more personal and introspective crafting of the album, ensuring that each track resonated with the band's artistic vision. 

Recorded in a period where digital recording was becoming more prevalent, "Talk Show" benefitted from a blend of analog warmth and digital clarity. The choice of studios and recording equipment played a significant role in capturing the essence of the songs. 

The band leaned towards using a mix of vintage and modern gear, striking a balance between classic rock tones and contemporary clarity. This approach is evident in tracks like "Hello Hello" and "Everybody Loves My Car," where the crispness of the recording complements the energetic performances.

The engineering and mixing of the album were critical in achieving the desired sound. The use of layering, particularly in the guitar tracks, is a standout feature, showcasing Dean DeLeo's skill in creating rich, textured soundscapes. 

The bass and drum sounds were meticulously crafted to provide a solid foundation for the songs, with Robert DeLeo's bass lines and Eric Kretz's drumming being both prominent and nuanced.

Inspiration for the lyrics of Everyday is a Winding Road by Sheryl Crow

Thursday, December 14, 2023

 In the world of music, inspiration often transcends personal experiences, weaving through the lives of different artists. A profound example of this is the connection between Paul Hester, the drummer from the renowned band Crowded House, and the creation of Sheryl Crow's hit song "Every Day is a Winding Road." This article delves into the intricate relationship between Hester's life journey and how it became a pivotal inspiration for one of the 90s' most memorable songs.

Every Day is a Winding Road lyrics inspiration
You can call me.... Miss. 

Paul Hester: The Man Behind the Music

Paul Hester, an Australian musician best known as the drummer for Crowded House, was a vibrant and charismatic figure in the music industry. His journey with Crowded House was marked by significant success, but it was also shadowed by his struggles with severe depression. These challenges led to his abrupt departure from the band during a tour, leaving a profound impact on his bandmates and fans alike.

Hester's struggle was not hidden from his peers. His candid conversation with Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn, where he remarked, “Every day is a winding road,” poignantly reflected his internal battles. This statement, simple yet profound, encapsulated the unpredictability and complexity of his daily life, struggling with mental health issues.

paul hester every day is a winding road lyric

Sheryl Crow: Artistic Resonance and Inspiration

Sheryl Crow, an emerging artist in the early 90s, had the opportunity to open for Crowded House while promoting her first album. It was during this time she witnessed Hester's sudden and impactful departure from the band. This event, coupled with her interactions and observations of Hester, sparked a creative flame within Crow.

In the midst of touring, Crow began penning songs for her self-titled follow-up album. Among these was “Everyday is a Winding Road,” a track that would not only achieve commercial success but also hold deep personal significance for Crow. Collaborating with Jeff Trott and Brian MacLeod, Crow crafted a song that was an ode to Hester’s life – acknowledging both its vibrancy and its struggles.

Lyrics and Legacy: A Tribute to Life's Journey

The lyrics of “Everyday is a Winding Road” are replete with references to Hester’s life and Crow’s artistic reflections. The line, "He's got a daughter he calls Easter, she was born on a Tuesday Night," subtly nods to Hester’s daughter, Sunday, and Crow's debut album, "Tuesday Night Music Club." These lyrics intertwine personal elements of both artists’ lives, creating a tapestry of shared experiences and emotional depth.

Neil Finn, Crowded House’s lead singer, contributed backing vocals to the track, adding another layer of connection and tribute to Hester. The song's appearance in the 1996 film "Phenomenon," starring John Travolta, further propelled its reach, embedding its narrative in the cultural zeitgeist of the time.

every day is a winding road sheryl crow lyrics meaning

The Evolving Resonance of a Song

"Every Day is a Winding Road" took on a new, somber significance following Paul Hester's tragic death by suicide in 2005. For Crow, the song transformed from a tribute to a friend's struggles to a haunting reminder of his absence. In her words, the song resonated more powerfully over time, adapting and evolving in its meaning.

Crow’s reflection on the track echoes the universal nature of music – its ability to grow and change with time, paralleling the experiences of both the artist and the audience. Her acknowledgment that some songs "have taken on a new life form" underscores the living, breathing essence of music, especially when it is deeply rooted in real human experiences.


The story behind "Every Day is a Winding Road" is a testament to the power of music as a medium for expression, connection, and remembrance. Paul Hester's life and his poignant words provided a canvas for Sheryl Crow to create a song that not only resonated with many but also served as a lasting tribute to Hester's life and struggles. In the interplay of their lives and art, Crow and Hester remind us that music can be a profound vehicle for understanding, coping, and remembering the winding roads we all travel.

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