Warrant’s Jani Lane died this year (2011) alone in a hotel room with a bottle of alcohol. An all too familiar end to another “rock star” life. Though not credited as such by most way-too-serious types, Lane was an incredible talent who could write great songs, play guitar, and sing exceptionally well. He will always be remembered first and foremost for the song Cherry Pie, a hasty bit of songwriting he threw together at the eleventh hour when the record company wanted a provocative “hit single” to be included on Warrant’s sophomore album. Though the song is a gas, it’s not what Lane necessarily wanted to be his legacy, and he hated Cherry Pie for this. He probably wanted more serious compositions like the exquisite Uncle Tom’s Cabin to be his legacy. But to me, he is someone who should be remembered for delivering the goods on all fronts, whether it be the silliness of Cherry Pie (“Swingin’ to the left and swingin’ to the right, I think about baseball, swing all night, yeah!“), or the love-ballad-turned-on-its-head brilliance of I Saw Red, or the folksy storytelling of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Lane was Warrant, and Cherry Pie has a little bit of everything, showing that Jani Lane could pull off David Lee Roth style tomfoolery in one song, and sing with earnest conviction in the next. It’s called charisma, and Jani Lane had it.
Anyone who thinks Warrant sucks should listen to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Warrant’s best song) before coming to such a hasty conclusion. (Here’s a link.) Also, if you can’t concede that Mr. Rainmaker is a fine piece of pop-metal songwriting then I guess there’s no hope for you. R.I.P. Jani Lane. Thanks for the kick-ass tunes. My score: A+