Tributes planned for ex-Warrant frontman Jani Lane

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2011 7:25 PM
Tributes planned for ex-Warrant frontman Jani Lane

As investigators searched for clues Friday as to what killed Jani Lane, the former lead singer of the metal rock band Warrant, his family and friends prepared for a pair of memorial services to honor the rocker.

Lane, 47, was found around dead Thursday in a hotel room in the San Fernando Valley, which is north of downtown Los Angeles.

Coroner's officials did not determine a cause of death after an autopsy Friday, but said they would wait to see the results of toxicology testing that could take up to two months.

With his long blond hair and tight leather outfits, Lane embodied the excess of 1980s "hair metal" rock bands. He joined Warrant in 1984 and wrote such hits as "Heaven," "Down Boys" and "Cherry Pie."

He had an on-and-off relationship with the band, leaving it in 1992 before returning and quitting several times. He left the band for good in 2008.

The current band will offer a tribute to Lane at a performance Friday night in Grand Forks, N.D., their publicist said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," the band wrote in a statement. "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."

His family will convene Sunday for a private memorial service, Lane's manager and longtime friend Obi Steinman said. A public memorial with performances by fellow metal rock bands including Great White and L.A. Guns will be held in Hollywood on Aug. 24 at a venue to be announced later, he said.

"He was one of the great rock-and-roll frontmen and singers of all time," Steinman said. "His music helped shape the '80s."

Lane had a pair of drunken driving arrests in recent years. Steinman said he battled alcoholism for years.

"He finally succumbed to that," Steinman said. "He lost his battle over alcohol."

"Cherry Pie" became a hit record when it was released in 1990, but Lane had mixed feelings about the song over the years.

Lane wrote the song after a record executive told him they needed a radio-worthy single for Warrant's second album. "As a joke, Jani wrote 'Cherry Pie' overnight in a hotel room," Steinman said.

It became the album's title and the band and Lane's biggest hit.

The racy music video for the song was also a hit, and Lane married the model who starred in it, Bobbie Brown.

"He used to laugh," Steinman said. "It was a curse and a blessing all at the same time."

Although Lane denounced the song in the 1990s, Steinman said the rocker later embraced it, but just didn't want it to "define his artistry."

He spent recent years writing music for other musicians and himself, Steinman said. He also appeared in a season of VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club."

Lane had been married for about two years to his third wife, Kimberly, Steinman said. He has two daughters from two previous marriages.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/celebritydocket


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