Following the tragic deaths of the only two singers they’d ever recorded with - original frontman Scott Weiland in 2015 and then Chester Bennington one-and-a-half years later - Stone Temple Pilots found themselves at a crossroads.
In light of the double loss of two legendary rock frontmen, fans would have been well within their rights to assume the band’s days were officially over...
“I would have been one of those people!” admits guitarist Dean DeLeo, talking to MusicRadar ahead of their appearance at this year’s Download Festival – this visit marking their first in almost a decade.
1. Allan Holdsworth
“You think there’s an Allan influence on my Sin solo? I commend you, only true guitar nerds would notice that - it’s impressive!
“Me and Robert got to see him in New Jersey on the I.O.U. album tour, with Jeff Berlin on bass and Chad Wackerman on drums. I got introduced to Allan later in the 1990s and we spent some time together.
2. Steve Howe
“Yes affected me in so many ways. It’s interesting to follow these guys’ careers - they had Bruford, before he jumped over to King Crimson. Then you have the amazing Chris Squire, who had his own solo stuff like Fish Out Of Water, as well as Jon Anderson’s solo career and Steve’s solo stuff, too.
3. Wes Montgomery
“The coolest thing about today is being able to go on YouTube and see video after video of great musicians who might not be around any more.
“What can you say about Wes Montgomery? His ability and fluidity using octaves, banging it all out on the thumb… it was just extraordinary talent. I’d say his records are jazz and bebop guitar at its finest. He had a huge impact on me.”
4. Jimmy Bryant / Speedy West
“Jimmy made some records throughout the '50s and was a Telecaster guy. You can’t really use his name without mentioning Speedy West, who went on to make some great records.
“They were an incredible band and Jimmy’s playing was always so tasty and so clean. I’m not gonna say it was ahead of its time - there were a lot of cats playing that stuff - but his style and note choices always stuck out.
“Him and Speedy made a lot of albums together, so make sure you look up both players. They might not be direct influences on STP, but I really do admire this style of playing.”
5. Lloyd Green
“Along similar lines, I really loved Lloyd’s pedal-steel phrasing. The articulation and proficiency was something else… he came out with really amazing stuff. He was just burning, man.
“It’s hard to describe the power all of these guys had, you kinda have to sample it for yourself and let it take you away. I wouldn’t say I’m as proficient as them - I mean, I do my darndest to get my point across - but these guys were seriously good.”
6. Leon Rhodes
“We’re gonna stay in the same vein for Leon Rhodes, from Texas, who was in the Texas Troubadours.
“This guy just lived and breathed guitar. Everything from his fluidity and note choices was right on. I won’t recommend a specific song or album - there’s plenty to dig into there so just go right into it.”
7. Jerry Reed
“Here’s a guy not enough people talk about… he was pretty noted as an actor, having been in Smokey And The Bandit as well as some other things, but a lot of people overlook how incredible he was as a musician.
“If you want to hear some really fine guitar playing, go on YouTube and hear him doing Jerry’s Breakdown with Chet Atkins - it’s really great. There’s a lick in that song he showed to a friend of mine called Glen Campbell, who I also have to mention...”
8. Glen Campbell
“So, when we made the Shangri-La Dee Da record, Glen Campbell came into the session and hung out one day.
“We actually did a nice version of Wichita Lineman one night when he was up at the house. He was an extraordinary player that was completely and utterly plugged in.
“That guy had it all... the ability to sing as well as play. So he showed me that lick he borrowed from Jerry in his own song Southern Nights - you can actually hear the lick in both. He told me he had to really rehearse to get that thing down!”
9. Sam Brown
“Here’s someone that nobody will know - he appeared on Bill Evans’ From Left To Right album, which is a beautiful record.
“I strongly urge anyone that hasn’t heard it to go and listen to that record. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to Sam Brown’s playing.”
“I have to say to this… because I want to be specific for MusicRadar.
“Just go on Instagram and see for yourself just how many people are talented beyond words and have the ability to blow your mind. You click on a video of some young cat ripping on a guitar and it’ll be just one after the other. There is some unreal talent out there.
“The world is full of great musicians. We all know about the other cats I spoke of - now it’s time to look into the future. There are countless people out there who can surely blow your mind. Honestly, these days, it’s not even hard to find them.”