Jani Lane, the lead singer of Warrant, died last week in a Comfort Inn. I’m a huge fan, but MY FIRST THOUGHT: It’s sad he died in a Comfort Inn. When Keith Richards croaks, you know it’ll be in a Four Seasons. Okay, let’s be honest; Keith Richards is never dying. That dude’s immortal. He’s like a musically gifted Cryptkeeper.
Amy Winehouse, Jani Lane…..watch your back, Lindsay Lohan. Why can’t Celine Dion have a heroin problem?
I used to tell my little sister that Vince Neil, Brett Michaels and Jani Lane were the same dude. She also thought that Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and Tom Keifer from Cinderella were the same man. Some people think Beaker from “The Muppets”, Bart Simpson and I are the same guy…..and I call those people ‘assholes’.
Jani Lane was born John Kennedy Oswald on February 1, 1964. His parents had some balls to name him this a few months after Oswald killed Kennedy. I doubt anyone in ’94 named their daughter “Nicole Brown Simpson”. And if they did, they should be stabbed – I mean, stopped.
Since I’m a true fan; I must throw in some FACTS with my JOKES: Most people don’t know just how talented Jani was. He started playing drums at age 4 and starting drumming professionally by age 11. THEN came piano, guitar and songwriting. As a teenager, he went by “Mitch Dynomite”; which sounds like a porn star name. When he started touring, he changed his name to Jani Lane; which sounds like a female porn star name.
Struggling to make ends meet, Lane worked in a pornographic warehouse…..where he watched movies starring women he would eventually bang in his dressing room.
Jani Lane was literally found in his hotel room with a Vodka bottle and prescription drugs. I wonder if he was a fan of Bad Company’s “Shooting Star”? Seriously, google the song and read the last verse. Sometimes life imitates art….
Allow me to prove just how big of a Jani Lane fan I am: I saw them in concert with Trixter and Firehouse. My friend bought the Warrant T-shirt that said “Censorship is Un-Fuckin’-American”. I bought a pair of Cherry Pie boxers for $20 and went to the after-party where I made out with a hot Latina named “Toy”. (I introduced her to Warrant’s drummer, and she introduced me to Valtrex.)
Jani was awesome in concert! I was truly impressed with his vocal and musical abilities (on both the guitar and piano). He rocked the crowd with his synchronized headbanging and audience banter. At one point he said, “Alright, everybody in the front is standing up but you, dude! Come on, I’m not up here sweatin’ my balls off to watch you NOT have fun!” The crowd went nuts; then after the applause died down, Jani turned back to the guy, smiled and said, “That’s one our good friends; that’s the only reason I’m giving him shit. And now he’s standing up!” He thanked his audience profusely; you could really tell Jani felt blessed to have his job and definitely didn’t take it for granted. At one point, Jani’s bodyguards snuck him to a riser on the back of the stadium…..a spotlight hit him and his guitar; Jani told the back of the room, “All night long I’ve been singing to them. I wanna make sure I’m singing to you, too.” Then he did a killer acoustic version of “Heaven”, with the rest of his band kicking in halfway through.
Jani and the band played all their hits and even did some killer covers, including Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be.” (My personal favorite off Led Zeppelin II.) The coolest thing in the Warrant concert was at the encore……Jani invited his opening bands to join him in one final number. He introduced it, saying “We’re gonna do a song by a great band; these guys kick my ass any day of the week.” Then they all broke into a scorching version of The Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right To Party.”
Now that’s a cool, humble Rock Star. RIP, Jani. You were much better than you ever knew. I’ll miss ya, brother.
P.S.: Here’s a lyric Jani wrote in “The Bitter Pill”, a ballad much different from “Cherry Pie”; it’s rather insightful and revealing:
“Sometimes I’m right as rain/And when it rains, it pours
You’re such a mystery/Why can’t I unlock the door?
All that glitters isn’t gold/Too much is overkill
Love can be beautiful/Or a bitter pill.”