Creed was awesome. I know it's not socially acceptable to say in 2020, but Creed's first album, My Own Prison, holds up and no one wants to talk about it. It almost seems unfair that the band and specifically lead singer Scott Stapp became a punchline in the Internet era. Just listen to this title track.
It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment the world turned on Creed, but the band was just one of those things where people got online, remembered something they no longer had a reason to be into anymore, and turned on it completely. Maybe they deserve some credit for releasing a single about racial tension over 20 years ago, but by the time Creed Shreds came along in 2007, the band was ruined forever. (They actually reunited to release an album two years later, but it didn't really matter.) Creed belonged to the Internet at that point and the Internet f--king hated Creed.
Which is a shame. Creed followed up My Own Prison with Human Clay, which debuted at number one and featured some very popular singles. Creed was a big deal. So why did we turn our backs on them? Was it because Creed existed in the final years that physical media dominating music? That's how they were able to put out a Greatest Hits CD in 2004, after they'd been around for seven years, broken up, and recorded just three albums. It was a wild time for everyone involved.
And that's when Scott Stapp went off the rails. On Thanksgiving night 2005, Scott Stapp got into a hotel bar brawl with 311. Stapp told 311 what a big fan he was and then started breaking things and throwing napkins. Via Rolling Stone:
“We had just finished dinner and were at the hotel bar to watch the Lakers game when Scott Stapp walked in being very loud and obnoxious,” Martinez tells Rolling Stone. “In fact, one of the first things he said was that he loved to fight. So he started doing shots and breaking the glass on the bar, almost hitting one of our crew guys. My wife and I moved to a table and eventually Scott made his way over and sat down. He was looking for attention. Even before that, he had wadded up a napkin that he lobbed in our direction. It was pathetic, and we tried to ignore him, but it was impossible. Then he made a pretty disrespectful comment to my wife, which I’d rather not repeat, but in no uncertain terms, the word ‘f--k’ was used. That’s when [drummer] Chad [Sexton] walked over.”
In case you're wondering, the Lakers beat the Supersonics, 108-96. Kobe had 34 points. Stapp would never be the same. In March 2006, Stapp and Kid Rock successfully sued to stop the promotion and release of a sex tape with them and four women. In 2006, Stapp also fell of a hotel balcony during a drug binge (he originally said in a suicide attempt) and was discovered by fellow Alabama fan T.I.
Oh, and in 2014, Stapp thought he was a member of the CIA who was tasked with assassinating Barack Obama. If VH1 ever brings back Behind the Music, they need to redo Creed. The first try - in 2000, after two albums and before the band broke up - probably doesn't tell the entire story.
Personally, I think the world turned on Creed when they released the album artwork for their third album, Weathered. It was hilariously ugly and an excellent reminder that the covers of their first two albums were very bad. Either that, or Scott Stapp's perfect 90's rockstar hair and a face that only 311 could punch. Whatever they were, for a while in the late 90's Creed was awesome.