"Pretty Penny" is a 1995 promo single from Stone Temple Pilots' 1994 album Purple. It differs greatly in style from the rest of the songs on the album, and serves as a calm, old-fashioned interlude between the distorted and delirious "Still Remains" and the aggressive, sinister "Silvergun Superman".
According to lead vocalist Scott Weiland, this song was his last desperate attempt to prove to himself that he was not a drug addict; his heroin addiction later became a huge problem for the band and led to two hiatuses.
"We were in our rehearsal room and Robert and Dean were playing acoustic guitar with each other, playing this line, and Eric grabbed a couple microphones and started tapping in some kind of rhythmic pattern. It was coming through the monitor, and there was a single Indian drum made out of stretched leather, and we just started a little interplay between us. We recorded onto cassette tape, I took it home, and the melody came into my head for the verse, and it became a song. It's a special song, personally, one of those songs you write because of some form of defense mechanism that's subconscious"
"I wrote it third person and I only realized a couple weeks ago when I finally listened to the whole album that it was actually an introspective thing. It's easier to write in an allegorical sense-third person-when it's something you have a hard time looking at. It's probably one of my favorite songs on the album. I think people are going to either love it or hate it."
In 2013 without Weiland, the song was performed again by the three remaining members of the band with their new lead vocalist Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise. The song can be heard on KROQ, and a video of their performance at a different location to where it's played can be seen on YouTube, which was uploaded by its user.