Once upon a time me and my friend Juliana had to go to Detroit to see Extreme play a gig just so we could talk about the video we were hoping to make for them. And as a result found ourselves standing beside the stage watching the band they were touring with – a band whose grasp of the niceties of songwriting were legendary, a band whose subtle haircuts were much admired, a band who were enjoying extraordinary success at that time. I am of course referring to those much missed Gods of Rock: Warrant.
As Juliana and I stood in the wings Jani Lane, the lead singer, rushed off stage so that the guitarists could wave their EAT ME inscribed guitars at the eager girls in the front row, and so that Jani could towel himself down and take a moments rest before resuming his swaggering rock singer duties.
Now you?d think that any guy in tight pants and a T-shirt standing onstage in front of 3,000 screaming fans with a rock band behind him would be having the time of his life wouldn?t you? So imagine my surprise when I overheard this conversation between Jani and my friend Juliana…
Jani Lane: ?Hey Juliana, good to see you! ?
Juliana: ?You too Jani, how?s it goin???
Jani Lane: ?Dreadful!?
Juliana: ?Really. Why??
Jani Lane: ?This tour?s a mess: we didn?t get any rehearsal time, the dates are too far apart, we?ve got no support on the road, we?re not selling out anywhere and we?re losing money fast. I?ve complained to management but they don?t seem to care. At the rate we?re going I?ll be flipping burgers for a living again inside 2 years!?
He wiped his face once more, took a swig of water, bade Juliana farewell and pranced back on stage, grabbed the mic and yelled: ?DETROIT F*CKING ROCKS!? The crowd of course went berserk and I went home with a renewed respect for a man who was prepared to keep on going even though he could see the wheels starting to falling off his wagon.
Fast forward a few years to the Trash Talk section of this month?s Spin magazine: ?From our Hair Metal Casualty Of The Month file: We hear former Warrant lead singer Jani Lane is down on his luck and running the kitchen at a Cleveland bar…?