Warrant :: Heaven

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Songs
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Warrant :: Heaven
Available on Amazon: MP3 | Album | CD

I cannot watch this without my eyes tearing. This performance was the first time I ever laid eyes on Jani Lane. I had tuned in to watch New Kids on the Block but was immediately intrigued when this beat-up, long-haired creature turned up and started to croon. Back then, the most metal I’d ingested came from snatches of Hendrix and Iron Maiden bleeding through the walls of my uncle’s room. That was his music though, not mine.

Got a picture of your house, and you’re standing by the door
It’s black and white and faded, and it’s looking pretty worn

See the factory where I worked, silhouetted in the back
The memories are gray, but man, they’re really coming back

I don’t need to be the king of the world
As long as I’m the hero of this little girl…

The lyrics paint such a clear picture, I had no trouble seeing it despite my youth. Most of the music I’d been listening to at that point was sugary sweet and bubblegum pop. There was little to no substance. Oh, I’d been introduced to Dylan and the Beatles but I didn’t really understand a lot of things because I was so young. This was the first song that… I just got.

It was almost a revelation, a turning point of sorts. It brought home the fact that life is finite, a concept I hadn’t really internalized. In a way, it marked the moment I started to leave childhood behind. This wasn’t a song about puppy love or fantasy. This was about a man who had lived and lost; who actually held in his hand, a picture of someone he loved, along with all the memories that went with it. I remember my tiny little mind being blown. It was a beautiful image, juxtaposed with the battered, freaky-looking weirdo singing about it.

Watching this now is particularly difficult, knowing that Jani is gone. Oh, I loved Jerry and Erik and Joey and Steve as well but it was Jani’s songwriting and lyrics that entrenched Warrant forever into my psyche. They were my #1 band for 10 years. Even now, I revisit their work when I’m in need. It’s bittersweet though. While the songs have the same impact, it hits hard realizing that the artist who had helped shape part of my life would never make music again.

Thank you forever, Jani.

On a lighter note, I’ve watched this video more times than I care to admit, both on my battered VHS tape, and now on Youtube. One of my favorite parts is still during the solo, when the “twins” are in the background headbanging in synch. And of course, Jani’s sweet smile at the end. It pains me to admit my first high school crush had more than a passing resemblance to him (and would often deny the fact). I have so many memories wrapped up in this band, it’s ridiculous. Another day.


Originally posted here.


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