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Fans and Friends Remember Jani Lane at Tribute at the Key Club in Hollywood

This review is provided courtesy of fabulous Bring Back Glam! reader Melissa Thompson.

Monday night family, friends, fellow musicians and hundreds of fans paid tribute to Jani Lane, late singer, songwriter and former front man of Warrant. It was an amazing night filled with emotion, laughter, memories, and most of all, great music! In attendance to honor Jani were his family, including brother Eric Oswald and sister Micky Robinson. Also there to pay tribute to their fallen friend were members of Enuff Z'Nuff, Slammin Gladys, Kingdom Come, Sweet, LA Guns, Quiet Riot and Great White. The evening was hosted by Jani's manager and friend Obi Steinman, who told stories of his years with Jani and introduced the bands there to remember him. During the entire evening, three large video screens were showing family photos of Jani, from a child growing up in Akron, Ohio, to stage performances, and moments with his daughters, Madison and Taylar.

First up was Enuff Z'Nuff. Donnie Vie and Chip Z'Nuff took the stage and performed their hit "Fly High Michelle" as well as a heartwarming cover of one of Jani's favorite songs, "Let it Be" by the Beatles.

Next were old friends, Slammin' Gladys, whose first album was produced by Jani Lane in 1992. SG members Dave Brooks, Steve Deboard and JJ Farris performed the songs "Stronger Now" and the Warrant song "Sad Theresa" (Dog Eat Dog). Between songs, singer Dave Brooks dedicated the night to Jani.

Many friends came in from touring to honor Lane in song, including James Kottak (Kingdom Come, Scorpions) who did "Time to Say Goodbye" and Sweet members Joe Retta and Stuart Smith, who did an amazing rendition of "I Saw Red."

Next to come on stage were Jani's family. Older brother Eric Oswald told some great stories about growing up with Jani and sister Micky tearfully read a poem to Jani entitled "If tomorrow starts without me." Eric and Dave Brooks, along with some of the other musicians, dedicated and emotional performance of "Blind Faith," with the entire crowd singing along.

The second half of the show started with LA Guns' Phil Lewis and Steve Riley. Lewis told a great story about how different, as bands, Warrant and LA Guns were, but that the minute he met Jani they were not only fans, but friends. LA Guns then performed "Electric Gypsy" and "The Ballad of Jayne", which for the night was re-named "The Ballad of Lane." Quiet Riot, with members Frankie Banali and Sean McNabb then took the stage to perform "Thunderbird," a song the band has long dedicated to founding member Randy Rhoads, and more recently to lead singer Kevin DuBrow, who passed away in 2007. Last night they dedicated it to their friend Jani Lane.

Last but not least was Great White. Jani toured with Great White last year when singer Jack Russell fell ill and was on the verge of having to cancel 31 dates. Lane stepped up to complete the tour for Russell and the remaining dates were a huge success. A still-recovering Russell came to the mic to remember and honor Jani Lane, then turning it over to the band, with singer Terry Ilous (XYZ) handling vocals on "Mr. Bone," "Save Your Love", and "Rock Me."

All the bands gave great performances, but what followed was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen at show. Jani's most recent touring band took the stage, with Joe Retta (Sweet) on vocals, to perform the most rockin' tribute to Jani with "Down Boys," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and "Cherry Pie." On "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Jani's brother Eric performed the guitar intro, just as he had done on the original recording. The final number was the most emotional of the evening. An empty stool and microphone stood onstage while Jani's band played "Heaven" with 350-plus people in attendance all singing, lighters held high. There was not a dry eye in the house.

The evening ended with all the musicians on stage for a jam session of some of Jani's favorite songs. All in all it was a great evening and a beautiful tribute to Jani Lane. If he didn't know before how many people loved and respected him, I'm quite sure he does now.

Reader Comments (17)

Thanks for this. I don't think I could have held it together if I was there. Very sad.
Very nice overview of the event though. Much appreciated.
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRita
Thank you. It must have been an amazing night! RIP Jani.
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRockyRhoads
thanks melissa
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergary
Thanks for the excellent reporting, Melissa!

RIP ("Rock-on In Peace"), Jani. You will ROCK forever!
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Thank you for the review, Melissa. It's really sad to know that no original Warrant members were there to honor the man who put the band on the map.
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDustin
thank you Melissa for sharing this review with those of us who couldn't be there. It sounds like it was a great night, and a far better tribute than Jani's own former Warrant bandmates paid him.
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I'm with Dustin! The two camps coulda patched it up and these guyz coulda shown up. What the hell! N.C. (No class!)
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Could Warrant maybe have had other obligations ? I think it's wrong to say No Class , Two sides to every story !
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCapt
We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Jani's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Jani was a very important part of our lives for a long time. We will always be incredibly proud of the music we created together. He was a true talent and will be missed by all of us.”

I took this from Warrants official website front page, I definitly would not say there class less IMHO
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCapt
I had to stay late for work and ended up not being able to go. Thanks Melissa!
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteri'mtheone
Cap'n -- I stand by my comments. View the clip of their dedication to him in concert. Halfhearted, at best. Yeah, there are two sides to every story. But once a guy dies, ya gotta let the differences go. That's called "class".
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
MB: You should've written instead, "But even before a guys dies, ya gotta let differences go, That's called "class".

Because people don't, this is why there is so much infighting and mudslinging on both sides.
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergary
Yer right, Gary! The mudslinging, infighting and such can even help contribute to someone's demise. Fact is, Warrant members were dissin' Lane since the beginning -- I heard it with my own two ears in a 1990 incident I wrote about in previous comments on Al's Jani Lane posts here.

Here's how I see it -- AND this is, of course, all speculation... Warrant was already a pretty successful unsigned L.A. Strip band. They thought they were hiring a singer who could write.

I don't think they were expecting to sign up a genius who had a dozen Top 40 Hits in him. I mean, that's what a band wants in their position, but I don't think they realized who they were quite going to be dealing with.

They probably always looked at it like it was their band and they hired him. He probably viewed it as if he made them. The truth is, with his songwriting and singing talent combined with the same from the band, they made magic.

Warrant should have accepted Lane as a real member and Lane should have regarded them equally as highly and not been such a prima donna.

In an interview recently aired just last Saturday on "That Metal Show", Lane made it sound like he ran the show while in Warrant. And I remember Turner tellin' me in '90 things that made it clear he didn't respect Lane. In retrospect it sounded like envy, which is crazy cuz Turner's guitar playing is phenomenal and really helped define that quintessential "80's Hair Metal" sound. No one made it sound sweeter.

If these guys just could have given " one more shot...". Yeah, they tried, but maybe just one more. In any case, they should have tried to mend the fences a little more. If that was seemingly impossible when Lane was alive, at least they could have done it done it in his death kinda like Cher did with Sonny Bono.

That's class.

p.s. It's never too late guys -- you can still do it -- whenever you're ready.
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Capt, while that statement on warrant's web site is nice, actions speak louder than words, and the half-ass dedication they did to him in Milwaukee is all the action you need to see to determine the level of classlessness. I understand completely that Warrant most likely did have other obligations on the night of this tribute concert so my problem isn't with the fact that they didn't attend. On that night in Milwaukee, however, they had all the time they needed, and a captive audience, and they did practically nothing. In fact, I'd venture to say that doing nothing would have been better than what they actually did.
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Speaking of magic, MEWISEMAGIC: I've often wondered about of the genesis of this song and I heard from a very credible source about DLR's intention and inspiration for it's lyrics. Despite, his reputation for being a prima donna, he often looked at the greater good and according to legend, he was looking at the photo on the back cover of Women and Children First- the one where he is preening for the camera, has his foot up on Eddie's guitar, while his cupped hand is strategically placed in front of (and between) the VH brothers enticing the viewer to take a good look at foundation of the band. Michael Anthony is on the right end of the photo with his hand raised with his fingers about to snap and his thought-bubble would probably read, "Abra-cadabra" Hence, the song Me Wise Magic was reportedly written as a tribute to the Mighty, Mighty Van Halen Band!

Me= David Lee Roth
Wise= The musical geniuses of the Van Halen Brothers
Magic= The collective whole of the group

I wish more bands had this vision.
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergary
Yeah, but that was Roth's vision in hindsight. Who knows what The Brothers Van Halen thought, though I do know someone who partied (and I mean PARTIED!) with VH Mark I every time they came to Denver, and she gave me the impression that they were a band very much together, which was not the impression I got of Warrant when I met Lane and Turner in '90.
September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Granted, it all unraveled eventually between Roth and the VH Brothers, but they were definitely a band together, as Gary notes -- more so than Warrant ever was.

And, to Bob's point, Warrant lamed out in the way they handled themselves at their show immediately following Lane's death. Unmoving, halfhearted and thinly veiled passive aggression. It 's like they didn't even care, as evidenced in the clip on Al's post on the subject. Just look at Turner's body language. It even looks like Turner could use some "shrinking out" -- maybe even more than Lane ever did.

I'd like to think it was shock they were suffering from, nut it just seems more like permanent disconnectedness. Hell, sorry I'm even gonna say this, but it almost looks like they're dancin' on the man's grave and oin' it to the songs he made 'em rich with! As I said before -- N.C.
September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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