Jani Lane – “Catch A Falling Star” (Cleopatra Records)
‘…I’m a fighter, I’m a poet, I’m a teacher..’, well you couldn’t find better words to describe Jani Lane, former Warrant vocalist who passed away tragically five years ago. Although gone, Lane touched many hearts from fans to band mates and people who worked with him, and his loss is clearly missed judging by the moving sleeve notes accompanying this release from ex Warrant drummer Bobby Borg. Famed for their infamous ‘Cherry Pie’ video, in which Lane actually married hosed down model Bobbie Brown, Warrant rose with a burgeoning LA scene in the 80s to conquer the world through stadium rock and MTV. Beyond Warrant, Lane was active in movies, television and a healthy solo career – even if alcohol remained prevalent throughout his life, and ultimately led to his untimely death aged only 47. That widespread talent was nurtured from childhood, and unlike many of his peer rockers, a youthful Lane had college, drama scholarships and working career options to him, but opted instead to go where his heart called, to the spirit of rock n roll. What endeared many to him was that despite being a rock icon, he remained a fan himself and lent his vocals to numerous tribute CDs, along with featuring covers in Warrant’s live set. “Catch A Falling Star” takes 9 such covers from Cheap Trick’s ‘I Want You To Want Me’ (featuring Ryan Roxie of Slash’s Snakepit) to Zepps’ ‘The Ocean’ to UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor’ and Priest’s ‘Electric Eye’. Then come the guests such as Jake E Lee on ‘Free For All’ to Chris Holmes on ‘No Surprise’ and finishing aptly, with former Warrant band mates Erik Turner and Jerry Dixon on Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’, definitive in itself of that era. Whatever the style, Lane’s vocals do the covers justice, not being overt in the mix but rather stylized to do the originators respect while still putting his heartfelt mark on them. With matching musicianship, “Catch A Falling Star” may not be an officially sanctioned Warrant tribute, but it is a fitting enough commemoration from those who loved a man who was a true star from birth to death.