Welcome to another edition of "Takin’ Out the Trash," a semi-recurring feature from your good pals at Metal Sludge. Whenever some washed-up rock star, producer, manager, or industry person feels like going off on a tangent about someone, this is the place where it gets posted.
Back again for this edition of "Takin’ Out the Trash" is none other than Grandpa Sludge himself, Mr. Stevie Rachelle! About 3 weeks ago, we posted former Warrant singer Jani Lane’s long-awaited Back-4-More. During the intervew, Jani had a few things to say about Stevie Rachelle, and so this is his reply. Enjoy!
"Takin’ Out the Trash and Jani Lane"
by Stevie Rachelle
Stevie Rachelle – Warrant fan – Milwaukee 1988
Let me start by saying I?m a bit long winded. So, grab some coffee and pull up a chair because I got some stuff to clear up and a few other things I?d like to get off my chest as well.
First off, I?d like to set a few things straight with Mr. Jani Lane. Along with anyone else who is not ?in the know? as to how Metal Sludge operates. Even though I was the individual who came up the idea for, brand name, direction of, and concept of Metal Sludge ? I am not, nor have I ever been the sole contributor. Yes I own the site, but like Hef (yes, I just compared myself to Hugh Hefner of Playboy), I don?t do everything. I guess it?s my analogy as to how things work. Hef doesn?t take all the pictures, answer every e-mail, write and conduct the interviews, or edit every page of Playboy. Same goes for me here. There are has been a lot of great minds that help to make this happen, and that includes the tens of thousands of die hard music fans who support this site and all it stands for.
To be clear for those who might have just missed paragraph #2, every single comment, post, poll, interview question, photo shop image, review, slogan, good, bad or ugly presentation is not ? and has never been ? solely supplied by me. It?s not a one man show here, and has never been. There has been dozens of ongoing contributors, and hundreds ? if not likely thousands of individuals, who have along the way, fed some sort of information to the machine known as Metal Sludge.
Let?s get right to the meat and potatoes. Jani Lane did his ?Back 4-More? interview on Thursday night, March 24th in Clifton New Jersey at a club called ?Dingbatz.? The interview was conducted and recorded by C.C. Banana. Please read the interview HERE so you can better understand why my reply is as such.
I first became aware of this completed interview the following morning when I read its initial transcription @ 11:16 am (pst) in my e-mail inbox. I guess you could say Jani ?called me out? and said I owe him an apology and that I should call him. So, I immediately did what Jani asked and e-mailed his manager (Obi Steinman) @ 11:30 am (pst) and offered my information for Jani to contact me. The weekend went by, and so I tried a 2nd time on Monday March 28th @ 4:06 pm (pst). I finally received a reply after the 2nd e-mail, and Obi wrote the following.
?I received your email. Jani is flying today. I forwarded the email to him.?
It?s now April 25th and I have not heard word one from Jani Lane.
It?s my guess that Jani is a little bent over the fact that Metal Sludge has included him in the reindeer games over the years. And for whatever it?s worth, we?ve exposed him for what a phony he can sometimes be. All of our ?Jani Lane? content has always been well received by the fans, and to date Metal Sludge has received over 10 million hits by these very same fans. What?s that old saying? ?10 million Metal Sludge fans can?t be wrong!?
This section should help bring a few people up to speed on why Jani (among others) has gotten so much attention from Metal Sludge over the years.
Ask yourself this. Let?s hypothetically say you were to launch a Web site about NASCAR. Who would be the best drivers to highlight ongoing for your site? If you were to do a website on TENNIS players, who would you most likely base much of your content around? If you were to promote a website that was all about MAGICIANS, who would be the focus for your columns, reviews, trick tips, and so on? Now ask yourself this. If you were to build a website about HAIRBANDS, who would the top artists/bands be, that would best draw the interest of the fan base you were searching for? Did you say Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Tony Stewart? Did you answer Anna Kornakova, the Williams sisters and Andre Agassi? Did you pick David Copperfield, Lance Burton or David Blaine? Can I guess that you might have picked Poison, Warrant, Skid Row, and Motley Crue? There is your very simple answer as to why Jani, Baz, Vince and some others have repeatedly been featured on Metal Sludge.
The fact that some of these very individuals have not so gracefully fallen off the top of their game certainly didn?t make it too hard to keep them in the Metal Sludge limelight as well. It?s nothing personal, just business.
For the record, Jani Lane and myself have never been friends. We?ve never been in a vehicle together, never talked on the phone, never exchanged numbers, never toured together, we never co-wrote a song, never jammed on stage together, and he?s never extended any interest in us doing any of the above. Tuff shared the stage with Warrant twice while we were both Hollywood local bands in the 80s, and that?s about it. Of course, there was the night at X-Poseur 54 in Hollywood when Mr. Lane was being a big shot buying everyone shots of booze and offered me one as well. I declined and told him I don?t drink. He proceeded to push the issue, so I informed him that if he could beat me arm wrestling I?d gladly drink the shot. He accepted, and after I put his arm through the table more than once, he finally gave up and drank the shot himself. Of course, he then wanted me to arm wrestle Steven Sweet and half of his entourage. Ah the good old days. Aside from the occasional ?hey? or casual nod at a club, in nearly 20 years, we?ve barley communicated. Matter of fact, I?ve spent more quality time with Bobbie Brown than I did with Jani Lane.
I?ll ask myself this: would I have liked to have been buddies with a guy who sold millions of records, headlined 15,000 seat venues, and might have given me the chance to strut my stuff in front of his crowd? For sure, and who wouldn?t? Do I respect Jani as a singer, songwriter, a great front man and live performer? Yes, without a doubt. Do I respect him as a responsible touring musician? Not completely. Why? Because according to various Warrant band members from over the years, Jani has quit or walked off more tours than most guys could dream of even being part of. Some of these decisions have likely helped to complicate aspects of his own life, and also caused havoc on the people around him. Do I respect him for that? Not a chance, and no more than I?d respect the guy on COPS who can?t seem to get his life straight either.
You see, planning a tour takes many weeks and months to organize. There are usually anywhere from 10 -100 people involved in that tour depending on the size or success of the band. So, if the lead guy walks off because he has personal issues, demons or dependencies ? then the other 9-99 people are affected as well. The agents, the manager, the record label, the road crew, the other band members and so on. The sound, the lighting, and the merchandise companies have also invested time. Not to mention the locals that put on shows in their area, the radio and print ads, the venues, their staff, and ultimately the fans. These are all people who worked on, planned for, and looked to do a job, to make their money, to pay the bills, and in many cases ? care for their families. If a guy is physically not capable, or a family emergency calls, it?s understood. But when a guy goes MIA because he can?t handle it anymore, maybe it?s time to look for a new line of work.
My point is this: there is a pattern here, and it?s not a good one. Read the first hand experiences of these past and present Warrant members.
Joey Allen said the following about Jani: "If anyone would like to know why I have NO respect (what some people see as bitter) for Jani ask the 100 people/companies that were financially affected by his selfish ways when he ‘single handily caused a multi million dollar bankruptcy (what is commonly known as pulling a ‘Lane’)."
Then Metal Sludge asked Jerry Dixon / Bass / Warrant: "Would you agree with those (Joey Allen) comments?"
Jerry Dixon said: ?There was a year that we where all pissed off at Lane for doing things that effected all of our lives. However there is no I in band. We made it as one and fell as one. With out Lane writing hit songs we would never have got a dime anyway, so is the cup half full or half empty? I blame all the yes people that kissed his ass and told him lies to make him think he was invincible. When you have back stabbing managers , lawyers and accountants telling him he is a god and can do anything he wants as long as they get there commissions any one of us would have done the same thing. As far as the money is concerned we never gave back one penny to any one. All our debt was discharged. So those members that spent all of there money on pools and expensive houses tend to be more bitter.?
A comment on Jerry?s quote of ?However there is no I in band. We made it as one and fell as one?? Since we?re looking at it that way Jerry, did you share the money the same? Or was there more of an ?I wrote? the songs from Jani Lane, in ?the band? when the publishing deal was laid out?
Metal sludge also asked Jerry Dixon (9-12-2000): "What’s up with Jani leaving right in the middle of Warrant tours without telling anybody? He did that in Europe years ago and he did that again a few months back? Don’t you think that is totally unprofessional?"
Jerry: "Yes, I think it’s unprofessional but I also understand Jani and how he works. He is very talented and very different than anyone I know. He gives it up on stage every night harder than any singer I have ever seen. He doesn’t just stand there shoe gazing like a moron to protect his voice for tomorrow. To him this is it, this is his show and you get it all. If we don’t make it all the way we will come back but at least when we do you get 100%."
Well Jerry that?s great. Jani Lane is very talented and gives his all every time he comes to work. But I think it?s safe to say that most employers, co-workers and customers would ALWAYS want 100%, and in addition be able to depend on this ?great? worker.
Metal Sludge asked Warrant touring guitarist Keri Kelli the following: "Is it true that Jani Lane left the last Warrant tour without telling any of you guys and don’t you think that’s sort of fucked up?"
Keri Said: (pause) ?Well….I do think it was kind of fucked. I mean we only had like a week left so it wasn’t really that bad. It wasn’t like, you know, we were half way through but, uh, he, (laughs) the last show that we had did on that run before the show he said he couldn’t do it. He goes, "Dude. I can’t handle it anymore." For whatever his reasons are, you know. Everybody has their own little demons that they have to deal with, or whatever. So he said, "Dude, we’ve got to quit, we’ve got to quit." And then whoever, I don’t know who it was, but convinced him to do this last show. And uh, so we did it and we were driving to Texas I believe and uh, I woke up in the morning and he was gone. So yeah it was kind of fuckin’ weird and I go to the driver, this Jimmy guy and go, "Hey Jimmy, where’s Lane, is he inside?" cause we were at a truck stop and he goes, "Oh no" in his country accent, "Oh no, I dropped Jani off back in like Texarkana at the airport like four hours ago." "Oh, alright." Then I just got on the phone with a travel agent and booked a flight.?
On December 14th, 2000, Metal Sludge asked Jani Lane this: "What’s up with you leaving in the middle of tours? Don’t you think that’s unprofessional? Many bands have toured just as long if not longer and they don’t run home. Why do you do that?"
Jani Lane: "Uh… I left 3 or 4 tours… but usually right at the very end. And I think it’s probably burn-out. We also toured more than the average band. So if we were staying in the Ritz-Carlton and satelliting out of Dallas I think it’d be a little easier. I reached a point where I would tell our management and booking agents, "6 weeks I could do, 7 weeks you’re pushing it. 8 weeks… I made my quota. I can go home."
Well, Jani admits to leaving 3 or 4 tours and that was over 4 years ago. Add in the ?BBOM? tour and next thing you know you?re headed towards a half dozen tours. Multiply that by ?X? number of dates, times ?X? thousands of dollars, with ?X? number of band mates, road crew and related peoples income and salaries affected and you have a fucking problem. Pretty lame in my eyes. I know dudes who would cut off a ball to go on the road making the money he makes.
Jani Lane Quote from December 2001: ?I can’t honestly say that Metal Sludge has helped… anything!! Oh my God, I’ll get blasted for that, but I don’t give a fuck!?
Honestly Jani, it?s probably very likely that Metal Sludge has helped you and Warrant, along with the rest of the 80s Hair Bands with a lot more exposure than you think.
Mike Fasano Interview w/ Metal Sludge May 2003: "What are you up to?" "Well, despite the Jani Lane "sucker punch" of being replaced from Warrant, I’m doing really well."
To read in great detail some of the shenanigans that have went on in the Warrant camp, please feel free to check out Mike Fasano?s first hand experiences in his Rewind and 3-Wind. They tell a great story about how dis-fucking-functional one band can be. Seriously, you can read it in his words, that he really enjoyed being part of that group. You can also read how he was really bummed out and appears to have felt betrayed and shit on more than once.
Now some of you might be saying: ?Gee Stevie, you sound bitter!? My answer to that is NO, I?m not bitter, annoyed or maybe angry ? yes, but not bitter. And I will quote what Joey Allen said, ?what some people see as bitter.? And while I have your attention, let me make mention of a few things. I look back at the years I toured the country for 8-9 weeks at a clip, playing for $ 100.00 to $ 500.00 guarantees in the smallest of markets. Places like North Webster, Indiana; Tioga, Pennsylvania; and Clovis, New Mexico. I?ve pulled into towns and learned that we?d be opening for the local tribute band as they had a bigger draw. I?d gladly accept our time slot and graciously give respect to all on any bill we ever shared. I recall a gig in Toledo, Ohio on a Sunday night. The club owner called me a few days before the gig and explained that he had sold less than 10 tickets in advance, and could not give me the $ 200.00 guarantee. He pushed to cancel the show all together. I begged him to let the date go on, and that Tuff would play for free. We had to go from Cleveland to Detroit anyway, and it was right on the way. We needed the gas money and everyone?s $ 10.00 a day (yes I said TEN dollars) per-diem. He allowed us to play, and I remember us selling about $ 400.00 worth of merchandise to the crowd of less than 50 people. He gave us the $ 200.00 anyway, and was very appreciative of the effort that we put forth. That $ 600.00 on a Sunday night was a virtual goldmine to all 7 of us grown men and my dog; all who traveled in a Ryder truck with make shit wooden bunk beds in the back. Yes in the back, where the road cases and equipment was stored. We did this for years, and never walked on a single date. Never! I remember checking out of our motel rooms daily and rounding up every roll of toilet paper, the bars of soap, and little shampoo bottles. This was all stored in milk crates in the truck and put to use in the band house after we got back to Los Angeles. Do the math, spending 60 days on the road, and grabbing 2-3 rolls of toilet paper a day added up. We paid for the rooms, so I?d make sure I used all of the freebies that were there for the taking. I look back at years of this, and then hear about jackasses who still have it God damn good and how they snapped, couldn?t hang, needed a break or whatever. Fucking pussies, I?ll walk a mile in your shoes any day, and carry the truck on my back.
Going on the road requires some survival skills, especially if you?re doing it at the level that Tuff, Pretty Boy Floyd, Enuff Z?Nuff, Dangerous Toys, or Every Mothers Nightmare did year after year. It?s like a fucking war out there ? a battlefield ? and everyone has to work together. Everyone has to perform their role, and we all rely on each other. Touring with Warrant would be a fucking piece of cake for any of these guys above who have buckled down during the hardest of times. If someone bails, then everyone else gets fucked too. Imagine this Jani-bailing scenario with a professional sports team. ?Yeah, our quarterback isn?t here because he only wanted to play 12 games, not 16. So he left us in the middle of the night and now we have to scramble like idiots.? Imagine this Jani-bailing scenario on a real battlefield.
This shit reminds of a situation Tuff experienced first hand. In the spring of 1990 we flew to the East Coast to do a few weeks? worth of dates supporting Britny Fox. We planned for it for a few months. What little finance we did have at the time was pooled together, along with the help of our then-manager Brian Kushner. He managed both bands. We fly into Philadelphia, get our rental van, and spend the night in a couple of motel rooms. The next day we drive to Providence, Rhode Island. We are on cloud fucking nine as we pull into ?The Living Room? nightclub parking lot. Britny Fox of course is on their tour bus, and yes, there are fans waiting at sound check. We do the show, meet the fans, party and go back to some motel where our first night on the East Coast is in full swing. The next day we wake up and drive to Boston to play the ?Axis? nightclub. We as a band are fucking thrilled to death to be there as the opening band, with little stage room and rented gear. We check into the motel and within a few hours head to the local mall. While driving we hear the radio spots for the show. It sounds huge, (in the super deep radio guy voice) ?Britny Fox with special guest, Los Angeles bad boys TUFF.? It had us all smiling ear to ear. We return from the mall to hear noise in the hallway. We open our motel doors to a full on Britny Fox brawl. Dean has beaten up the guitarist and broken his arm. Dean packs his bags, quits the band and heads home. Tour over. One show, thousands of miles traveled, thousands of dollars spent, and 4 guys? dreams shattered in less than 48 hours. Why? Who the fuck knows, but I guess you could call it typical band bullshit, and I?m sure some ego. I?m sure it?s deeper than that. But fact is, Dean?s actions cost everybody money, time, and the friendship of many. I?ve remained in contact with these guys, and all seem cool. I?ve even spoken with Dean over the years, but I have to say, we were severely bummed out that all that we worked so hard for was taken away by one person?s actions.
Some people have commented along the way that they feel sorry for Jani Lane. Should I feel sorry for Jani Lane? Do you feel sorry for Jani Lane? Let me help answer the question for you.
Jani Lane and Warrant signed a major label recording deal and publishing deal in or around 1988. Jani was 24 at the time, and according to sources, was paid the lion?s share of the publishing deal. This is most likely true, as he was the primary songwriter for the group. The band went on to sell several million copies of their work. They spent years touring the world in luxury busses, aircraft and staying in 5 star hotels. Then nightly, they would take the stage in front of thousands of die hard fans. Some of these gigs would see the band making in the tens of thousands of dollars for a single 75 minute performance. Many of the band members bought houses, sports cars, and married beautiful women. Most of this before any of them reached the age of 30. Now, 15 years later at what could be called the lowest point of their collective professional careers, they still make bank. The band Warrant can still command 5-10 thousand dollars for a single gig. These are some of the things that millions of musicians, artists, performers, and bands can only dream of. Not to mention the average everyday young man. And we should feel sorry for this guy? Who the fuck is kidding who?
This is all great ? a dream come true or a fantasy for anyone. And who would I be kidding to say I wouldn?t have wished for or wanted this. I did, I would and I do. But my take is that here is a guy who basically won the fucking lottery, acted the big shot fool, stepped on toes, torched some bridges, threw friendships to the wind, and even played ?I?m the king? to his own band over time. Nearly every guy he?s ever played with has voiced some opinion that doesn?t make Jani sound like the greatest of guys when his demons take over. Now, after he?s fallen off his throne and the ladder rungs have broken, he?s apologizing and looking for sympathy.
How about this angle: maybe we should feel sorry for Jani Lane because he?s gained weight, lost some hair or went through a divorce? Should we feel sorry for Jani Lane because he quit his own band (twice) and is now, by his own admission, going through his second divorce? Should we feel bad that he has to pay child support? Should we feel sorry for Jani Lane because he only gets to play in front of 500 people a night instead of 5,000 now that his career has shifted gears a bit from the heyday? The answer to all of these questions is simple, resounding NO!
What about the 43 year old guy from IOWA who drives a truck for $ 450.00 a week? What about the guy from Texas who has worked in an oil refinery for 15 years with 3 kids and a mortgage? What about the bartender in Denver who has a car payment and relies solely on tips to get by? The tips that average about $ 75.00 bucks a night plus their minimum wage check. Of course, a few dozen employees will make those very monies on the average night when Jani will likely get a $ 2-3,000.00 guarantee for him to appear as a solo artist on stage for 60 minutes. What about those people? How about some sorrow for them, instead of the guy who had it all, and lost it all ? mainly due to his own decisions. His own behavior has dealt him the cards he now holds.
For some odd reason, Jani seems to play the victim, yet he brings a lot of his own drama on. Here is a guy who, when asked in his first Metal Sludge interview about Joey Allen & Steven Sweet, he referred to them both as ?disgruntled employees.? How about friends, band mates, business partners and so on? What about the guys who were part of the ?Blood, Sweat & Beers? for years? Jani acts like these were his fucking gardeners.
Now after years of mud slinging, shit talking and bitterness, the whole band is back together minus Mr. Lane. Now he says to Steven, ?Sorry, call me? and said this about Erik; ??is one of my best friends in the world and I’m very upset that he won’t call me.? Jani also said that ?the other guys? fired Steven. Yet the ?other guys? are all playing with him right now and not Jani. I wonder if these ?other guys? are the same ?other guys? who were the ?senior partners? in Warrant who fired Mike Fasano as well. Inside sources claim that the firing was allegedly ordered by Mr. Jani Lane, but his spine was not up to the task, so he had ?the other guys? make the call. This is also a guy who in his most recent Metal Sludge interview said the following.
Last time you saw Metal Skool = I just jammed with them! ?.And Ralph is a very good friend of mine.
Last time you threw up (on a bar or otherwise) = You mean, you don’t wanna ask me about Ralph’s wife? Did you throw up on Ralph’s wife? Yes. Once. That was a joke, okay? Don’t print that.
How about we print it but include the part where you say, "That was a joke." = (no response)
It’s up to you. = (no response)
Whatever you say goes. = (no response)
Gee Jani, your very good friend Ralph, and then you make a comment about his wife. That reads and then insinuates something not so ?good friend-like? when it?s followed by you saying ?don?t print that.?
When Guns N? Roses is brought up in his recent interview Jani Lane says:
Jani Lane: ?I love Duff… even though I slept with his ex-wife.. uh, that was bad… but we got over that….?
Jani also says, ?But I apologized. I always apologized. Always apologized.? This doesn?t really hold much water when your behavior goes back to doing the very things you?re supposedly apologizing for. To anyone out there who might have an addiction, is an abusive person, or someone who steps on toes, their apologies over time will became invalid when they go back to their old ways. When you say you?re sorry after the 4th, 5th or 6th time, it?s more of an insult.
Am I airing dirty laundry for tens of thousands to read? Fuck yes I am, and I also aired Jani?s comments towards me to the same audience in his recent interview. I?m trying to make my point clear with examples. He had the floor, now I do. And if he wants so badly to talk to me, he?s had my information now for nearly a month. It can be private, one on one, or we could video tape it for the whole rock n? roll world to see. Hell, have the whole band show up and we?ll do it in a conference room at Obi?s office. I?ll come all alone or bring a handful of Sludge writers to take notes. It?s all your call.
Here is some more information for the masses. I don?t believe I wrote one single question for this recent Jani Lane interview, along with many others. I?m not running from anything here, just telling it like it is. Oddly enough, many of the Metal Sludge interviews over the years have been researched and detailed with questions that came from former band mates, past girl friends, ex-wives, and people who worked directly with the artists in the industry.
As for Jani?s comment that I owe him an apology ? I don?t. And I will not apologize for anything I believe in. Did I write all of the comments in regards to Jani, or his band (Warrant) over the last several years? No! But do I support and stand by what was written? Abso-fucking-lutely 100%.
Metal Sludge has been called the National Enquirer of rock n? roll. That suits me just fine, and I accept that. Many love and many hate both. I accept that too. If you make an ass of yourself, and show your true colors ? we will report it to the planet. That is our job here at Metal Sludge.
Jani, you?re one of the premier poster children for the 80s / hair band era. Like it or lump it, it?s true. You should embrace it, and not run from it. You only make yourself look like a phony when you shame your own material on stage, and reach for respect by donning that whole punk image you displayed a while back. The very fans who bought your music in 1989 are the same ones who are showing up at ?Dingbatz? in New Jersey today. If you?re so ashamed of the songs, why don?t you donate your next publishing check to Metal Sludge? We?ll have a contest for the fans to ?Win Jani Lane?s Money.?
So what is the point of this whole post? That too is simple ? I am not dodging anyone, and my balls are bigger than most. I don?t conduct our interviews Jani, but if you want to talk to me, your manager has my contact numbers. Maybe I could shed some light on the rock n? roll side that never went Platinum. The not so glamorous side that has toured for nearly 20 years but spent most of it in Ryder trucks and mini-vans. The side that has played a few thousand gigs and 95% were in front of less than 300 people. The side that loaded the equipment, drove the trucks, mailed out the merchandise, and then when the microphone was handed to me, I, too, sang my ass off and gave 110% to my audience. The reality side of what 99% of us went through. And guess what? I never quit, I never walked away, and sang more nights to less people, with shittier monitors than you?ve ever dealt with. And I?m still doing it ? not for the dream, but because it?s in my blood.
Hey Jani, be happy, you lived that dream for many years. Most of us can only fantasize about that side. Now it seems that you may have joined us on the ?reality? side. Come on in! There is plenty of room.
Lastly, in the recent months I?ve spoken to countless comrades, musicians and industry related people, all whom I have passed the same message to. ?If anyone wants to talk to me, meet with me, or has something else in mind ? Metal Sludge related or other, I?m right here!?
Stevie Rachelle ?Still From Hell?
Metal Sludge 4 Fucking Life
Are you a disgruntled musician or industry person with a big chip on their shoulder? Has your manager just imbezzled 20k from your record company advance? Did you just catch your guitar player nailing your chick? Are you bald, bitter, bloated and broke? Has someone pissed you off so bad that you can’t see straight, but you just don’t know what to do about it? Then why not blow off some steam and take out someone in the press!! Send your rant to TrashBin@metalsludge.tv and we’ll post it here for all the world to see. Trust us, it will make you feel better.