R.I.P. Jani Lane

Jani Lane, lead singer of glammed up rock outfit Warrant, was found dead at the Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, CA. No official cause of death has been released so far, according to TMZ. He was 47. Jani was at the forefront of a flock of very famous, very pretty frontmen, a singer of MTV-staple power ballads like “Heaven” and absurdly excessive sex-innuendo rock like “Cherry Pie.” Both of his band’s first two albums, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and Cherry Pie, went double platinum. Then Nirvana happened. Warrant will not go down as one of America’s most artistic bands, nor one of its best, but Jani helped define and represent a particular, and briefly, very commercially viable strain of lipstick machismo, alongside the likes of Bret Michaels and Sebastian Bach (harder as he may have rocked). When future historians need to demonstrate what a glam rock band looked like, they’ll use the first ten seconds of the “Cherry Pie” video as footage. (When they need an illustration of a hair metal video “babe,” it’ll be Bobbie Brown in her red bikini.) In later years, Lane would go solo. In 2010, he was arrested for his second DUI in two years. But remember him in better times (or be glad these videos were in rotation on MTV before your time) with those aforementioned Warrant videos, below. R.I.P., Jani. You’re up there in “Heaven,” making terrible sex puns to the angels.


“Cherry Pie”

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Comments (14)
  1. It’s a sad reminder of how old I am that these videos were not in rotation before my time. Though I was never really a fan of hair bands, I think these were the guys who finally pushed the hair metal movement over the edge and into pure caricature.

    It says something about music consumption of that era that they had two double platinum albums, though I can’t recall a single person who was really a Warrant fan. People liked them, and would listen to them, but I can’t recall anyone in high school really identifying as a Warrant fan. I’m struggling to come up with a contemporary analogue.

  2. Warrant was not a “glam rock band.” Wrong decade.

    • what would you call them? Hair Metal? same difference. Just because they weren’t any good, doesn’t mean they didn’t want to look like the New York Dolls.

      • I think of “Glam” as more of a term of art which refers more specifically to stuff like Bowie, T-Rex, etc., and bands who try to sound like them. Visually, bands like Poison and Warrant look more like the old Glam acts, but they don’t really sound like them. Whereas as the Smiths didn’t really have a glam aesthetic at all, but “Panic” is glam-style song. As is pretty much the whole first half of ‘Your Arsenal’.

        • Are we gonna split hairs here?! RIP

          • Uh yeah, because those two groups played entirely different styles of music. Hair metal was heavily influenced by glam rock but it wasn’t glam rock. Mott the Hoople doesn’t sound like Warrant. T-Rex doesn’t sound like Warrant. The closest those bands ever came was when they covered glam rock songs, like when Great White covered Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”

      • “Same difference” is an oxymoron.

    • The genre is commonly referred to as “glam metal”.

  3. You can’t put these guys under the ‘Glam Metal’ umbrella with guys like Hanoi Rocks, this was more like ‘Hair Metal’.

  4. Very cool comment thread.

  5. How did the police enter his hotel room without a warrant?

  6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a sweet song.

    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin IS a sweet song. I like the fact that the article doesn’t feel the need to lay the boot too deep into the band because of their obviously dated aesthetic. They were a product of their time.

      On the other hands, I always felt that if you stripped away all the glam-isms and macho bullshit, their music was a closer match for the power-pop framework of bands like Cheap Trick than any kind of “metal” music. Jani Lane could write some pretty catch hooks.


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