For those who grew up in the glorious days of 'hair band', this name was the ultimate epitome of hair metal cheesiness. From a trivia given on the American Top 40 radio show I used to listen to back then, I found out that the name Jani was ctually his twist on the pronounciation of his name Johnny......it was meant be pronounced Jah-ney, hence J-A-N-I. However, when he used that spelling in LA, people read it out as Jay-ney. So, the pronounciation stuck.
Being offline for a few days, I wasn't aware of Jani's passing till I saw a posting on the band Ratt's Facebook Wall saying RIP Jani Lane. I wasn't shocked by the news as it has been well-documented how Jani struggled with alcoholism for years. In fact, I'm sure I read somewhere or heard an interview with another musician from that era that Jani had been warned by doctors that if he didn't sober up, he'd die within a year. His condition I believe was THAT serious.
I remember Jani during his happy days when Warrant had a Top 10 album back in the late 80s. I saw behind-the-scene pictures of the Cherry Pie video shoot in Metal Edge magazine and immediately had the feeling that Jani and the model Bobbie Brown were attracted to each other even though she was dating Matthew Nelson (from the Nelson twins) at the time. In fact, Matthew was there at the shoot visiting her. I was right, Jani and Bobbie married just months later.
I also remember buying the Cherry Pie album one night on a school bus trip to the town that my teachers arranged when I cried in front of them at the teachers' office. Embarrassing to remember my crying scene in front of my Chemistry and Art Head teachers but hey, it got us the evening out in the school bus!
It was shocking to see how Jani looked like years later. With the grunge years, many 'hair' rockers fell on hard times financially but the depression and failed marriages probably took a toll on him.
As for me, I will always remember Jani as the guy who wrote my first 'broken heart' anthem. At the time, I was going through my first 'heartbreak'.....ya..ya..ya..back in school. When I bought the tape, I immediately took a liking to TWO songs on it. One is the brilliant Uncle Tom's Cabin which showed off Jani's ability to write darker songs and this one.......I Saw Red. It was written from his own experience but I feel he captured the ultimate betrayed feeling of catching the one you love red-handed with someone you know. In my case, a girl I helped writing her English essay for was seeing a guy I liked without me knowing. Hey, if I knew, I wouldn't have bothered helping her. Thanks Heaven, I had this song from Jani to bury my 'misery' into.
So this is how I will always remember Jani....
Jani and the song I will always remember him by....