Performer: Stone Temple Pilots
Songwriters: Robert DeLeo, Scott Weiland
Original Release: Purple
Definitive Version: None
I associated Toad the Wet Sprocket with Steve, because, well, Steve’s music tastes weren’t the most cutting of edge. I mean, mine aren’t either when you get right down to it, but Steve preferred even the safer versions of the same thing.
He liked Asia, not ELP. He liked Phil Collins, not Genesis (until they went pop). I’m lame too—I like both but far more of the latter than the former. And Steve liked STP, not Pearl Jam. When I moved back to Columbus in June 1994, he had pledged allegiance to Purple.
Now in those days, Steve and our crew had a monthly poker game. It started in the late 80s as penny-ante and slowly developed into a $20 entry fee. We would play every game, and because I could play only sporadically due to living out of town, I relished the weekends when the poker game was going and I would be in town. In fact, several times, Steve would set up the game for the weekend I would be in town, just so I could play. It was always a blast, and it always made me miss my friends.
When I moved back, I was geeked that I was now going to be a regular participant. By this time, the evening had become ritualized. We’d start off with dinner at Skyline Chili somewhere and then motorcade to whoever’s house was hosting for drinking, snacking, shooting the breeze and—oh yeah—card playing. For obvious reasons, the single-guys’ homes were preferable. My place wasn’t ready yet, of course, so most of the time, we defaulted to Andy’s place in Grandview. It was centrally located and easy to get to.
I was more or less in charge of the music, and I would defer to popular tastes most of the time, which means maybe only one of the CDs would be one of mine—one that wasn’t too hard. So, Purple was in heavy rotation in latter half of 1994, rather than, say, Vs. To me, this song is the sound of feeling for the first time in a long time like I was where I belonged—really the first time I had felt this since I had left Wabash. I was with my crew; I was starting to date Debbie. Things were good.