Jani Lane, Barstools and Me

In this space where I really should be writing some sort of post about my BlogHer ’11 experience, praising the perfection that is the weather in San Diego, thanking Diva Cup for sponsoring me, telling you about the amazing people I met and posting pictures of my internet friends, instead I find myself wanting to tell you the story about the singer from Warrant and barstools.

As you may or may not know, Jani Lane was found dead in a hotel in Los Angeles last night. At the time I am typing this the cause of death is unknown.

What you probably don’t know (unless you are Tammy, Ritch or someone that brings up Warrant a lot in casual conversation) is that back in the 90s Jani Lane used to have a club in Orlando called Jani Lane’s Sunset Strip. It opened in 1994 and in they had a fabulous Friday happy hour.

I don’t remember the exact deal – maybe $1 domestics or something but between that, decent music and the fact that in the summer of 1995 I was only taking two classes and had a lot of free time, we spent a lot of Fridays in downtown Orlando.

One night, it was particularly crowded. We had been there for a while and we were standing at a high top. Tammy said “This place needs barstools.”

“The next time I see Jani Lane I will complain about this!” I announced.

This was hilarious. We had been going to this bar once a week for three months and Jani Lane had never been in there. That is like expecting to see Don Shula in a Shula’s or Wendy at Wendy’s.

We had seen Nicko McBrain in there but I think he actually had a house in Orlando and taught local drum clinics.

Yet! An hour later, there he was. The man himself, Jani Lane.

I made as if to approach Mr. Lane then I turned to Tammy and said “What was I going to ask him?”

“You were going to demand more barstools.”

I blinked and thought about it for a minute. I pictured myself walking up to Jani (who has collected a sort of crowd that was following him around the club) and shouting “Get thee to a barstoolery!” It was so absurd that I started laughing so hard I could barely breathe. By the time I collected my wits he was gone. He was probably in the VIP lounge or something and in 1995 it didn’t seem that pressing to introduce myself to an ex-rock star.

Now that I am older and wiser and slightly less prone to hysteria, I will always approach someone who is interesting. Why squander an opportunity like that? It might not have changed my life in any way, but it would have been nice to say “I met him once” and every celebrity you meet makes the Kevin Bacon game easier.

Jani Lane may have had his issues, but he left behind a family and I am very sorry for their loss.

I actually kind of hate this song, but it seems fitting.

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  1. You really are only slightly less prone to hysteria.

    Wendy at Wendy’s. WENDY AT WENDY’S. I can’t stop it.

  2. “Get thee to a barstoolery!” is my new 2010 catchphrase.
    It says so much really. About barstools and the need for them in crowded bars and the U.S. economic situation.

  3. Oh crap. I’m snorting. Wendy at Wendy’s. Indeed.

    And now I have that song in my head. Remind me to trip you next time we’re wandering around a massive hotel.

  4. I feel sad about this. I had a major crush on Jani Lane, and Cherry Pie totally made me want to go out and have premarital sex.

    I’m three degrees from Kevin Bacon myself. Me, to Danny Glover, to Jack Nicholson, to the Baconator.

  5. I saw Warrant in concert twice when I was in junior high. The first time, they were opening for Poison. The second time, they were headlining – the opening acts were Firehouse and Trixter. (Oh, yeah.) My little 13 year-old self thought I was a total badass getting to go to those shows.

    I kind of thought Jani Lane evolved into a bit of a joke later with the Celebrity Fit Club stuff and all that. But the guy had a daughter, and dammit, 47 is just too young. Sad stuff.

  6. barstoolery. I so love you.

  7. Barstoolery. BARSTOOLERY. This is hilarious.

    Also? I never really thought about my degrees to Kevin Bacon. Which. Michael Clarke Duncan – Tom Hanks – Kevin Bacon. BOOM.

  8. THIS is how I learn of his passing? Damn.

  9. I had completely forgotten about that! You should have demanded barstools, maybe the place would have lasted a little longer. I do remember trying to grab a table as people were leaving. That was enough of a pain!

    I think we still have a picture of Sexual Chocolate somewhere!

  10. :( Oh Jani. I saw them open for Poison at Red Rocks. My boyfriend held me as they sang “Heaven” (our song, of course) and we stared at the night sky with a perfect full moon.

    It is one of my most favorite memories.

    RIP Jani.

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