Jani Lane of Warrant Fame Found Dead at 47
In February, Lane (born John Kennedy Oswald on February 1, 1964) canceled all of his previously announced solo tour dates two days before the first show was due to take place. No explanation was offered for the cancelation.
WARRANT announced in September 2008 that it was splitting with Lane six months after the band reunited with the troubled vocalist. He has since been replaced by Robert Mason (LYNCH MOB, CRY OF LOVE, BIG COCK).
Lane originally left WARRANT in March 1993 but rejoined the band in September 1994. The group went on to record the “Ultraphobic” (1995), “Belly To Belly” (1996) and “Greatest & Latest” (1999) albums and issued and collection of covers, “Under The Influence”, in 2001. Jani quit WARRANT again in 2004 before reuniting with the group four years later.
Lane released a solo album, “Back Down to One”, in 2003, but shortly after was admitted to a rehab center for alcohol and drug-related exhaustion. He also appeared on VH1‘s reality series “Celebrity Fit Club”.
On July 19, 2010, Lane pled no contest to DUI stemming from his arrest two months earlier — and was ordered to serve 120 days in jail. In addition, Lane lost his license for three years and had to complete a 30-month alcohol-education program.
Prior to serving time in jail for his most recent legal troubles, Lane issued a statement in which he said, in part, “My true hope is that anyone out there dealing with personal problems… the consequences do not get lighter. I can only say I’ve never regretted a good decision or action and never been proud of bad ones. People have an astounding ability to forgive… I have to start with forgiving myself. That is something that I find far more difficult than I imagined. I think it starts with gratitude.”
In a June 2010 interview, Lane spoke about his battle with alcoholism and the negative impact it has had on his career.
“The last year, I’ve suffered some consequences from drinking that I’ve never suffered in my entire life,” he said. “It’s really made me take a step back and go, ‘Is this how you want to continue? Is this how you want to finish up?’ The answer is no.”
He continued, “I’ll tell you, one day you think that this is absolutely normal, this is expected, ‘This has been my lifestyle for 20 years, what’s the problem?’ And, all of a sudden, things take a turn, and you go, ‘I don’t like these consequences. I don’t like how this affects my family, I don’t like how this affects my career, I don’t like how this affects anything.’ Then you begin to work.”
When asked if his treatment involved going to a rehab, Lane replied, “I have gone to rehabilitation, absolutely. I know some people who want to be quiet about that kind of stuff, but I am not the kind of person who pride is going to win out over saying, ‘Hey, I’m honestly getting this in check and fixing this.’ It is a very important thing to me. I mean, this just doesn’t affect me like it used to. It affects everything in my life, including the people I love. To be honest, I get tired of giving ammo to the people who don’t wish me well.”
Musician/music industry tributes:
Nikki Sixx (MÖTLEY CRÜE, SIXX: A.M.): “I just heard the sad news about Jani Lane. So hard to swallow when people have kids. RIP.”
Michael Sweet (STRYPER): “My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jani Lane. Had the pleasure of meeting him on ‘That Metal Show’ and he was a great guy.”
Steven Adler (GUNS N’ ROSES, ADLER’S APPETITE): “Jani Lane, you were a great talent. The world will miss you. R.I.P. my brother.”
Slash (GUNS N’ ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER): “Just heard about Jani Lane. What a shame. RIP man.”
Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK SABBATH): “[Rest in peace] Jani Lane… another one lost. . . We must remember that the unlucky ones who lose their life to alcohol and drugs, are those that could not completely surrender. Sad day.”
Tony Harnell (TNT): “RIP Jani. Really getting tired of hearing about my fellow artists falling away. We have to get healthy. Love to his family. Very sad.”
Michael Starr (STEEL PANTHER): “It truly saddens me to lose Jani Lane. You were my inspiration for what I love to do: ROCK!”
Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER): “Fly to the angels, Jani. RIP my friend.”
Eddie Trunk (VH1 Classic‘s “That Metal Show”): “My God, Jani Lane found dead. Just saw him and he is in the new season of ‘That Metal Show’. I am stunned. So sad. . . Just had a great time with him in L.A. RIP. Another talent gone way too soon.”
Chris Jericho (FOZZY): “Sad to hear about the passing of Jani Lane. Jani was a good guy and one of the best songwriters in the late ’80s. ‘Dog Eat Dog’ — very underrated.”
Bret Michaels (POISON): “We’d like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Jani Lane regarding their loss.”
Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW): “So sad about Jani. The death rate in our business seems awful high huh.”
Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED, KINGDOM OF SORROW): “Sad news about Jani Lane. 47 is too young to go.”
Dito Godwin (multi-platinum-award-winning producer who has previously worked with MÖTLEY CRÜE, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley and GREAT WHITE, among others): “I’ve been working with Jani Lane over the last few months putting songs together in an effort to supply some of my clients with his incredible songs as well as putting a record together for him to possibly release on my label. His passing has shocked and saddened me to the point of tears. A great person whose talent was far greater than most people will ever know. I produced a number of songs for his solo project in the late ’90s. My connection with Jani as artist and producer was textbook perfect. Upon completion of those sessions, we both said it was a mind-blowing experience to work together and we would do it again, [and] we did. The world will truly miss Jani Lane. I’m so lucky to have been a small part of his life. RIP Jani. I’m numb!!”
TRIXTER: “Thoughts and prayers for Jani Lane‘s family and friends. Jani will be missed. Heaven isn’t too far away…”
BLACK TIDE: “RIP Jani Lane, you were such a huge inspiration, and you will be missed greatly. It was an honor to meet you.”
Zach Myers (SHINEDOWN): “Terrible news about Jani Lane. Life is fragile, people ….Help somebody every chance you get…”
Wednesday 13 (MURDERDOLLS): “Just heard, so sad…former WARRANT singer Jani Lane dead At 47, R.I.P.”
Stephen Pearcy (RATT): “Sad to hear today. R.I.P. Jani Lane.”
Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM): “RIP Jani Lane…. You will be survived by the music you gave us! Rock dem Angels!”
Robb Rivera (NONPOINT): “Sorry to hear about Jani Lane passing away, always sad to see people in your industry go like that. I did not know him personally but i know the significance and influence WARRANT had on the music community. Rest in peace Jani…”
SHAI HULUD: “Rest In peace, Jani Lane. Seems like he had quite a struggle for many years. Truly an unfortunate way to live, consequently dying far too young. It’s safe to say we Huluds weren’t necessarily WARRANT fans, but we respect Jani‘s talents, and his honesty about his pursuit of sobriety. Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans.”
DJ Ashba (GUNS N’ ROSES, SIXX: A.M.): “It’s sad that sometimes it takes someone you know to lose their life to put yours into perspective, It’s funny how life is so easily taken for granted sometimes. I think back to all the petty things in my life that I spent hours if not days stressing over, just to look back and realize how it was merely a waste of time and never really mattered in the big picture. Life is so short, so live! Live every day as if it’s your last. No regrets.”
Jani Lane on the set of VH1 Classic‘s “That Metal Show” (photos taken on July 23, 2011)