Scott Weiland has one more reason to be thankful this week – the Stone Temple Pilots frontman is newly engaged to his girlfriend of one year, photographer Jamie Wachtel, he reveals exclusively to Rolling Stone. It will be the rocker's third marriage.
"I am incredibly happy," says Weiland. "She is incredibly beautiful in every aspect of the word. Lovely, smart, passionate. And she loves my kids and I love her son. We're getting married in the spring, and our families will be living together . . . she's the greatest thing that's happened to me in a long, long time."
Weiland met Wachtel last year while filming music videos for his Christmas album, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Wachtel, who was photographing the shoot, helped calm his nerves. "I was kind of nervous because one of the songs ["I'll Be Home for Christmas"] was a tribute to war veterans from World War II on to today. So I'm in this vintage World War II dress outfit, and she was taking stills of me," Weiland recalls. "I was leaning against this fireplace, and she's like, 'You might want to tuck in your belly a little bit.' It was around the holidays – it was after Thanksgiving, and you know how that tends to be. I was kind of caught off guard, and I started laughing and she started laughing. And I don't know . . . something magical happened."
The two kept talking for the rest of the day, and Wachtel gave Weiland a ride home. "I just thought, 'I have a feeling that I am going to fall in love with this woman,'" he remembers. After his prior relationship ended, Weiland took Wachtel on their first date. "It was truly remarkable," he says, "because I had fallen in love a couple times in my life and then for a long time, I've been very disappointed and to the point where I've been resolved to the fact that possibly it would never happen again and almost accepted that it would be OK. And then I met her."
Before diving into the wedding planning, Weiland will hit the road later this month for a five-date solo tour, starting on November 25th in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Two of the gigs – November 26th in New York City and November 28th in Asbury Park, New Jersey – will include coat drives to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.