Warrant is a Glam Metal band formed in 1984 by guitarist Erik Turner, lead vocalist Adam Shore, drummer Max Asher, guitarist Josh Lewis, and bassist Chris Vincent, (then replaced by Jerry Dixon). The band played a lot of gigs in California, opening for Ted Nugent, Stryper, and Black N Blue. In 1986, Shore and Asher quit to form another group. Later, Erik saw a band playing the L.A. club scene, and being impressed with their performance, invited lead singer Jani Lane and drummer Steven Sweet to jam with him, and some of his band. Thus, Warrant was born.
The band recorded a demo tape in 1987 for Paisley Park records, a label owned by rock star Prince. Shortly thereafter, Warrant was signed by Columbia records, and the band began touring with the release of their first album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. From this debut were four hit singles:
“Heaven,” “Sometimes She Cries,” “Down Boys,” and “Big Talk.” Warrant fit right into the Glam Metal West coast scene of the 1980s with their long hair, leather jackets, pretty boy looks, and killer riffs. Warrant toured with Poison, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Cinderella, and Kingdom Come.
Warrant’s second album was Cherry Pie, and featured Jani Lane’s girlfriend (and later wife) Bobbi Brown. The oft repeated story about the song “Cherry Pie” is that Jani Lane hated it since it was so commercial; however, Lane had written the anthem after a record company executive from Columbia ran into Lane and said he wanted the band to record something along the lines of Aerosmith’s hit “Love in an Elevator.” Cherry Pie debuted at Number 7 on the Billboard Top 200, and featured guest appearances by Poison’s CC Deville, and Danger Danger’s Bruno Ravel and Steve West. Other singles off the album were “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (with its very creepy video), “Blind Faith,” and “I Saw Red.” There are many Warrant super-fans who have gotten tattoos with the phrase “I Saw Red.”
Cherry Pie went on to sell 3 million copies, and Warrant went on tour with Poison, which ended in 1991 due to conflict between the bands. 1992 saw the release of Dog Eat Dog, which many die-hard fans believe is Warrant’s best album. This album only achieved gold status, followed by a tour with Iron Maiden, featuring singles “Machine Gun,” “Bitter Pill,” and “Hole in My Wall.”
The band’s history is much more extensive, but the day that the classic Glam Rock and Glam Metal sound of Warrant ended was with the death of lead singer Jani Lane in 2011. To this author, GlamRock4Ever, Warrant is no longer Warrant, because Jani Lane made the band what it was. Here’s the deal on what occurred. On September 10, 2008 Rock Report informed the entertainment world that Jani Lane was out of the band due to song-writing disagreements. Lane was replaced by Robert Mason of Lynch Mob. Fast forward to August 11, 2011, where it was reported by the L.A.P.D. that Jani Lane had been found dead in a Comfort Inn motel room off Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills, California. Janie Lane was notorious for his alcohol problems and several DUIs, but WTF? How does a major rock star die alone in a nondescript motel room with only a bottle of vodka? Judge for yourself from these reports at the time:
”Members of Jani Lane’s family are furious that a “friend” did not offer proper help to the 47 year old when aware of his substance abuse problems, according to TMZ. TMZ also claim that the musician’s Comfort Inn room was not purchased by him.” From: “I am Jani Lane” Bizarre note found in dead Warrant singer’s pocket” DailyMail.com 8.23.11
“We never thought that when the song “Heaven” was written that we would be playing it someday in memory of Jani’s untimely death,” guitarist Erik Turner said. From: “Warrant Singer Jani Lane died from alcohol poisoning” Fox News 10.5.11
Sebastian Bach of Skid Row said, “Its all too typical of what a rock musician’s life actually is; for some, the bottle of vodka or whatever becomes the friend that’s always there for you, while others come and go.” From: “Lane ‘killed by only friend’” Rock News Desk 8.14.11.
A public memorial concert was held on 8.29.11 at the Key Club in Hollywood, with Great White, Quiet Riot, and L.A. Guns performing in tribute to the Warrant lead singer. Warrant continues to record and tour these days, but the sound without Lane is very different, more hard rock, and not as unique as the band’s heydays of the L.A. scene.