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Jani Lane Steps in for Jack Russell...

Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments27 Comments

I'm usually upbeat here. I love Glam bands. The music is part of my childhood and also helped me find many like-minded friends as an adult. Still, some things have to be criticized. Some ideas are just so bad, you have to shake your head and go..."What?"

It's been confirmed that Jani Lane will step in for Jack Russell at more than 10 upcoming Great White shows. (Jack is recovering from major surgery after suffering a perforated bowel). At one of the shows Warrant is opening. I'll get to that point in a minute. First, you may recall my post from last week about band's and retirement. Great White was the main topic of discussion there. My good pal Kenny Ozz said he had heard that Jani was stepping in to front Great White but I couldn't find any confirmation of this...until now. So here we are.

Great White + Jani Lane.

In normal days, a one-off of Great White and Jani might be cool. But here's the deal: I am having trouble separating my love for Jani's songwriting with his clear disdain for all other human life. No one with a conscience would continually get behind the wheel of a car and drive drunk. So Jani gets arrested for DUI (again) a couple months ago and was sentenced to jail. Is he out of trouble now? Did he serve due his time? Learn a lesson? Is he sober? Why can't we let him take care of his demons and get well before throwing him back into bars, surrounded by temptation?

I'm a 'live and let live' kind of girl. I say, do whatever you want on your own time and to your own body - but leave me out of it. When you get plastered and get in a car and drive down my street, I have a big problem with that. You're supposed to be in alcohol counseling but you get to go on tour instead? How is that fair?

Now, to the other issue of Jani fronting Great White. Again, a one off would be cool. But 12 dates? Won't people be annoyed if they are advertised a Great White show but don't get Jack on vocals? What about the show that has Warrant opening? How does that work? The guys in Warrant and Jani don't exactly get along anymore. Will one band be ushered  onstage while another waits, hidden in the wings -- separated like kids?

At what point does all this become high comedy? We all know "hair metal" is unfairly mocked. But when you start talking about a replacement singer fronting an opening act that was originally fronted by the replacement front man for the headline act it's all a bit much. Just writing that gave me a little bit of a headache so I hope I got it right. In short, I don't see how Jani will last 12 shows. It's a train wreck waiting to happen.

Here's the tour dates:

Sept 3, 2010 El Paso, TX Speaking Rock
Sept 4, 2010 Galveston, TX Moody Gardens Conv Cntr (with Night Ranger)
Sept 24, 2010 Bolingbrook, IL Tailgater's
Sept 25, 2010 Farmington, MN Rocktoberfest
Sept 26, 2010 Council Bluffs, IA Horseshoe Council Bluffs
Oct 1, 2010 Yuciapa, CA Angel's Roadhouse
Oct 2, 2010 Ramona, CA Ramona Mainstage
Oct 29, 2010 Redding, CA Harvest Festival 2010
Oct 30, 2010 Lewiston, ID Clearwater River Casino
Nov 6, 2010 Lisbon, Portugal "Live in Lisbon"
Nov 12, 2010 Medina, MN Medina Entertainment Center (with Warrant)
Dec 31, 2010 Tower, MN Fortune Bay Casino

I'm sure everyone disagrees with my opinion on this one. Oh well.

Here's a little clip of Jani singing with Warrant while drunk. This was at Rock the Bayou. I've got no problem posting this as I was there and witnessed this spectacle.


Reader Comments (27)

I say give him a shot. I'm probably one of the biggest Jani Lane fans out there and while I hate to see what he does to himself, I sincerely hope that he holds it all together on this tour. And I'm really bummed there is nothing close to Ohio because I'd be really interested in hearing Jani front Great White.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchip
It's ok for what it is. I'm interested in hearing what he can do on the Great White stuff.

It's too bad Jaime St. James isn't singing for Warrant. The one cd they did together kicked ass and he brought new life to the old songs. Mason just doesn't do anything for me on the old songs live. It reminds me of one of those local 80's tribute bands with Mason singing.

Wouldn't it be cool if all these bands had their shit together and had the original lineups together? It's really beyond the point of ridiculous. I used to be a die hard fan of all these bands, but have severely lost interest in them due to the lack of new music they release and their never-ending tours that are nothing but trips down memory lane. Damn near every 80's band has been playing almost the exact same setlist for the past 10 years. I don't know how many shows I've been to where the setlist/show has been identical to the previous show from the same band.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRocker
I should add that it really stinks that Russell is out because Great White is one of the few bands out there who has cranked out a couple of decent new cds fairly quickly in the last few years.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRocker
First let me say I saw Warrant just last weekend here in Michigan and it was an okay show. I agree with Rocker thought I thought Jamie St. James with Warrant was awesome and kicked serious butt at Rocklahome 2007.

Jani however has gone down a reckless path. The last couple times I saw him perform were terrible and Warrant is better of without him.

Great White could do better with any other singer then Jani. He is a train wreck waiting to happen, and it will. I am saddened by his alcohol demon because without it he is one of the most entertaining musicians out there. I think the guys in Great White are simply hoping his name helps them sell more tickets to thier shows -or- simply felt obligated to help out a friend and give hime the gig. So sad.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
I'm with you on this one, Allyson. I think Jani Lane fronting Great White will be an absolute train wreck. I'd much rather see Great White cancel their shows.

It's a shame what Jani has done with his life. He's a really amazing singer and songwriter when he wants to be.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Sixx
I saw Warrant 3 times with Jamie St. James and have seen them once with Robert Mason. I didn't love St.James as the vocalist for Warrant. He was a bit cheesy although I did like Born Again. I think Mason is a much better fit.

Jani seems to go through these sober swings. He looked to be in good shape in the Kix YouTube video and based on all his recent troubles, I bet he makes it through this short tour with Great White with flying colors.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchip
If you don't like the thought of Jani singing with Great White, you don't have to go. I would hope that the venue would refund money in a situation like this. However, I would be interested in checking it out. As far as where Jani will be & where Warrant will be backstage...who cares! Do you pay money for concerts to imagine all the bands hanging out in the back? Jees.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbiggeok
It just seems like 2 bands struggling to make a living. Back in the day, the dates would be canceled and the bands would be ok based on the fact that they were selling records. That's not the case anymore, so they need to play to get paid.

As for the whole Jani Lane/Warrant thing, it's probably a complete non-issue. They probably won't be hanging out, but I'm sure they'll be able to pass each other in the hall without getting into a punch-up.

Personally, I find situations like Aerosmith weirder. Everyone knows that no one in the band can stand Steven Tyler right now, yet when they're on stage they all act like best buds. At least there's none of that charade going on here.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Warrant and Jani Lane in the same building ? Not sure on that one. I've been to the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina, MN. Its a concert hall/bowling venue. Its a pretty big place. I usually go to most concerts they have. I was planning on going to this one along with Slash with Taddy Porter opening.

They will definitely "run into" each other. What that matters is really not an issue. The issue is Great White replacing itself with a singer who can't hold Jack Russell's Jock Strap. They might have been better off trying the Youtube sensation route (Journey, Foreigner, Judas, etc...) I agree he was probably added to sell tickets or as a friend.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
Bryon makes some excellent points. All concerned probably need the money pretty badly and, like it or not, sometimes human beings sacrifice their integrity in favor of being able to afford more than a steaming hot bowl of nothing for dinner.

Allyson, as for Jani being able to go on tour after his DUI incidents, blame the system, not Jani. Famous people, or at least people with name recognition are treated differently than the rest of us. If Jani is given more leeway than a regular person who did the same things he did, that's not his fault. do i think he should be in jail? Absolutely, but it's not his fault that he isn't.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I saw Jani get up & sing with Kix last Friday. Vocally, Jani can do the Great White gig & not even stretch his vocal cords. The only ones who worry about this situation are Warrant, who find themselves in the unenviable position of opening for the singer they fired, who also happened to write 95% of the songs they perform. Jani obviously has his legal issues squared away enough to sign on, so give him the chance to either screw up, or prove you wrong. And if he proves you wrong, have the decency to publicly apologize for publicly doubting him.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
Thanks for the shout-out Allyson! *wink*.

A few of you LIKED the 'Born again' record? Yikes! That cd was the biggest turd of the last 10 years! I'd rather hear a dog puke.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Whooosh!!!

I'm b-a-a-a-a-c-k!

And I'm with Al!

Huh-uh-lo-oh!

Ace, it is truly laughable that you think Jani can handle Jack Russell's vocal range.

Hell, I saw Warrant 3 times at their absolute height -- once at Limelight in NYC and twice at Hammerjack's and I can tell you with the Metal Godz as my witness, that Jani Lane, though a talented songwriter is just an okay singer live.

I even had Erik Turner lament to me, "If only we had a singer like Steve Whitman" (Kix), as we shared a beer after the Limelight gig (I was dating his cousin at the time), where Warrant opened for Britny Fox.

Now, hell, here you've even got the dude's lead guitarist (Turner is the actual leader having formed the band in '84), telling us Lane is just so-so.

He just plain lacks the b*lls Russell's voice has to spare.

Now, here's where I am with the whole thing...

How in the hell did they wind up with Lane as their choice to sub for Russell?

Were Great White the only ones willing to pitch in for bail money? Was it because they were desperate to find a replacement singer quick?

Of course, all of this is hyper-ridiculous speculation (surprise, surprise) on my part.

It's probably like Bryon lays it out and Bob reiterates -- You gotta eat, and not only will they get payed, but they will still have fun, more than likely able to have their cake and eat it, too, if you get my drift, regardless of the fact that Lane can't sing his way out of a paper bag compared to Russell, as only GNR seems to know here.

Still, Lane is/was a helluva songwriter who certainly had enough chops for producers like Tom Werman to punch in when necessary in the studio. And, to be honest, he held his own, except for a just a few wavering, semi-off-key notes.

Still, as I think I've more than implied, Lane's no Jack Russell. I'd be pre-cringing during the opening notes of "Rock Me" or "Stick It" if I saw Great White live with Lane fronting and I'd be amazed if they attempted any Zep covers which are their signature live stunt with the flawless Plant impression only Russell can pull off, and better than anyone in the business, I might add, when he's at the helm.

All of which makes me think, why didn't they recruit Lenny Wolf from Kingdom Come or the like?, since that's the kind of sonic range we're talking about here.

Or why didn't they do the contest thing GNR alludes to, though I doubt they had the time or energy to meet the tour schedule.

Geez, let's face it, no matter what kind of face we put on it, the whole thing is bizarrely embarrassing. Still, don't you wish there would be that Spinal Tap moment when all is forgiven and Lane would rejoin Warrant and some Plant clone like Lenny Wolf or that dude from Fastway (talk about career survival, look what that guy did!) would jump up on stage with Great White, until Jack gets his sh*t back together (sorry about that).

In reality, it's all just too convenient and too sad. Unfortunately, the expectations of the kind of audiences they will be playing to just aren't really going to be all that high as they ain't gonna give a dang after their first couple of beers, unless, of course, Lane joins 'em for one.

p.s. Further irony -- Pretty weird that Turner made that remark to me in '88 or whenever the hell it was at Limelight about wishing he had Whiteman from Kix as his frontman only to subsequently see Lane wind up joining Kix on stage, as Ace witnessed last week.

p.s.s. Al makes a great point, too, about Lane's obvious mental deficiency (probably brought on from having his brain pickled by one too many Oscar-winning Nicholas Cage Stoli baths like Cage took in "Leaving Las Vegas"). Seriously, I should think Lane would make enough mailbox money to call a car service (both his simultaneous single claim to fame and biggest kiss of death, "Cherry Pie" should cover it) when he's too cashed to drive.

p.s.s.t. Kenny O! Did you ever check out Aviator, Sweet Lips or, here's another one for ya -- Babe Blu? Man, I've been tryin' to top the Cheeze Metal of Danger Danger since you turned me onto "Cockroach" and theez boyz sure do give 'em a run for their money, tho, still not as talented as Poley.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I have checked out a few Metalboy. Impressive my friend!
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Cool, Kenny O! I'm just listening to another new one I just discovered. Though I had heard of 'em before, I only just now picked it up. Check out Manikin Laff. They're kinda raw and sloppy but check out those guitars! Crazy!
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Hey, Kenny O! Also, I forgot to ask you... How's Drugstore Valentine doing?
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Have to agree with those that say Russell is a far better singer than Lane. I'll give Jani props for writing some very good songs, but he's a freaking mess. The video on this page is embarassing. No wonder Warrant dumped him. I saw them at RocknAmerica and thought that with Robert Mason fronting the band they were better than I had expected. Mason is a tremendous singer and puts Lane to shame. His work with Lynch Mob and Cry of Love is definitely worth checking out, and he's done some good stuff with Big Cock as well.

I also agree that Great White should have worked a little harder to find a replacement (and I know we all wish Jack a speedy recovery). Lenny Wolf is probably a good suggestion, and I have to say that Dave King is an intriguing suggestion as well. I had really lost touch with what that guy was up to until he was mentioned here and I googled him to see where he was at. I'd heard of Flogging Molly but didn't realize it was King's band. I love to put on some Fastway now and again. His work with Katmandu was pretty good as well. Rock on!
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Rich! That's the dude -- Dave King. I only just picked up Katmandu a while ago, thanks to the miracle of the internet exposing us to bands we would have otherwise missed.

If you went to a Great White gig with your eyes closed and only listened and it was either King or Wolf replacing Russell, I contend you would hear how easily either of them could nail all of his stuff almost imperceptibly (well, certainly to a point)...

I am into a lot of 80's/90's Indy Glam Metal stuff now that's mostly superior or on par with all of our old school heroes we keep flogging over and over, again and again, here, but I am never lacking awe for bands that got major record deals back in the day yet still went under the radar like Katmandu or one of Al's discoveries she recently posted, Kiss Of The Gypsy.

Too bad Mason wound up in Warrant, actually. I thought Big C*ck were really doing a helluva job bringing 80's influenced Hair Metal back. It's really a shame that an original artist with an original band that's got such great material can't make as much money as he does with an oldies act like Warrant.

So it's actually a setback when an innovator gets a gig with a legacy act, as he's more than likely not going to exactly scramble to put out any new material the way he would with a newer act like Big C*ck, where he's trying to make a name for the band, as well as himself, as opposed to doing Janie Lane impressions.

And, as far as Janie Lane goes...

What an a*s! What if he killed someone with all of his stupid drunk driving escapades? Amazing he doesn't realize to apply what would amount to such a small fraction of his songwriting mailbox money to the services of a limo company.

And you would think that with all that Great White has been through, they wouldn't risk putting a dubious and unreliable (see above video) repeat offender like Lane up on stage fronting them.

Still, he deserves a fifth chance, provided he makes it. I just wish he'd go solo or rejoin Warrant, if that's even possible. He should also write again, obviously, since he's one of the more gifted songwriters of the genre -- unless he's just so shot now from all of his self abuse, he simply can't come up with the stuff anymore.

And I only recently, within the last couple of years, went over Great White's stuff with a fine tooth comb and discovered what is now my fave of theirs, "Stick It". Killer song. Killer video (you can check out on YouTube)...

Now THAT, my friends, is what I call Rock'n'Roll!
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
You cant take the lead singer out of most bands and call it the same group... It didnt work for Ratt, Skid Row, etc and Jani doesnt even sound like Jack... they each have their own distinctive sound and should get back to the groups that 39 year olds like me want to hear. I will say though that I did like VanHagar.
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersteve
Steve-O!

Funny, I was just thinkin' about this topic this morning and now that we've stumbled upon it again on here...

What about Corabi in Motley Crue?! If we didn't know 'em with Neil and their old sound, we would have wondered what who the hell this was and gone out and bought it in 5 secs.

I bought every dang permutation of this, singles, et al., because I believed and still believe that this was their bid for "legit" status.

Corabi is probably the single most underappreciated vocalist in the Glam Metal World, for sure.

Have a pleasant "Hooligan's Holiday" this weekend!
September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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