Bobbie Brown speaks out on Jani Lane, Cherry Pie & much more!
Bobbie Brown, much more than just the Cherry Pie girl.
Bobbie Jean Brown is a walking contradiction. She is the definition of a real life Barbie doll to the casual observer but the visuals don’t exactly match up with the actual personality most people expect. In other words… she’s pretty, girl next door-ish and easy to talk to but not at all submissive, she’s down to earth but not in typical, boring ”act polite and don’t ruffle any feathers” fashion. She’s lived a life few can imagine but doesn’t have the same aloof, untouchable tendencies of other famous rock star ”accessories” like Tawny or Pamela or any of those girls who act like they’re doing you a favor by existing. Some people have referred to Bobbie as”Miss Cherry Pie”, “The Ultimate Rock Video Girl”, or even “The Serial Rock Star Dater”. Whatever you wanna call her, there is no doubt that while she is Hollywood to the core you can still sense a little southern hospitality in everything she touches. If she has a bad trait that gets her in trouble it is her unfailing inability to be dishonest or to kiss ass simply to “play the game”. She has a new TV show, a bundle of energy and she’s a great friggin interview. Read on….
Legendary Rock Interviews: It’s awesome to be talking to you Bobbie. I think most guys in my age bracket who are honest will admit they have been following you from the moment we saw you.
Bobbie Jean Brown: (laughs) How old are you?
BJB: Oh, you’re still a baby. You’re ok John.
LRI: Were you afraid I was 61 or even worse, nineteen??
BJB: (laughs). No, no, not that either one of those is a bad thing but I will tell you that some of my daughter’s friends that age are like “Hey Miss Bobbie will you crawl around on the floor on your hands and knees and reenact the “Cherry Pie” video for us??” To which I said “Well, how much money do you have??” and they were like “Whaa???” and I said “Oh, never mind.” (laughs). Yeah, my daughter’s friends are pretty funny. Little smart asses.
LRI: I wanna paint the whole picture of you here and cover you top to bottom. Wait, that doesn’t really sound right now that I said it…well, you know what I mean right?
BJB: Yeah, sounds great, but I talk a lot and a mile a minute so we may be here a while (laughs).
LRI: That’s fine, that’s a typical interview for us. So what was life like as a little bitty Bobbie Jean Brown?? You grew up in Louisiana which is interesting to begin with….
BJB: It was. I’m not sure I really appreciated it at the time because it all seemed so slow and boring but I do now. It was simple I guess, there wasn’t a lot of crime and I never even SAW drugs until I moved out to California. I grew up in Baton Rouge and yeah, Louisiana is awesome, awesome food. It was a good, safe place to grow up but I think mom kind of sheltered me a little and didn’t really expose me to any reality which probably wasn’t the best idea because it was so laid back there and I so wanted the experience of something like what I got when I came here that I JUST LOVED IT when I came out here to California. Maybe a little too much (laughs).
LRI: I’ve seen footage of your mom talking about you which was interesting.
BJB: Oh god…..You HAVE??? Wow. Yeah….she is interesting, she’s hysterical. She was kind of a “stage mom”, not TOO extreme but she definitely made me do things that I freakin hated like going to modeling classes and putting 300 rollers in my hair every night. Every day was picture day and I wasn’t allowed to get dirty so of course I went CRAZY and rebelled a lot and I got in trouble for doing that. That was my existence and I hated it.
LRI: But you DID have dreams of excitement and leaving and everything. Do you think some of that “Little Miss Sunshine” Beauty Pageant bullshit sub-consciously drove you to wanna be something in entertainment ?
BJB: Not at that point. That was all my mom’s choice that was never my choice, I didn’t have a choice of whether or not I WANTED to do it, that was just what I was going to do as far as she was concerned so I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I’m not one of those girls who made it because it was their goal and their dream or whatever. Everybody in those pageants had like that PERMAGRIN and was all “HI …so nice to meet you, I wanna save the planet and blah blah!!!” and so happy and sugary to everyone and accommodating and I was so uncomfortable and unable to do that whole schmoozing thing. I hated that. If I’m in a bad mood I’m not able to just compartmentalize it and stuff it away, I will wear it on my face and let you know about it. I just don’t have that ability that some girls have. My younger brother lives out here in California with me and we joke around about how comfortable we are now and what it’s like to make our own minds up and have our own choices (laughs), which sounds ridiculous for people who are our age but it’s SOOO true. We really weren’t allowed any of that freedom in even the most basic sense, we didn’t get to pick out our own outfits for school, my poor brother had to put up with my mom absolutely HATING everyone he dated. She pretty much had this famous design plan for me that I was going to follow…. this set course that was established for me to be this famous model and once I got past the MISS TEEN thing and started getting into trouble and moved out here I pretty much sabotaged every single part of that plan because it wasn’t really my plan or my dream and I wasn’t a teenager anymore so I didn’t want to listen to anyone. I mean it is true I actually DID come out here to model but that’s only because that’s all I was ever told I could do, I didn’t have any idea of what else to do so I did that…… but I did it all in a really haphazard and fucked up way. It wasn’t like I really struggled or worked hard before I became known. I really became a success in spite of myself. I enjoyed some of those early years like the pageant years and the attention and the money of course when I moved out here but it was always bundled up with this insecurity issue I had because it wasn’t my dream, it was just a lot of unearned attention for not really doing anything or for no reason other than my looks or who I dated. That stress and insecurity kind of led me into some messed up stuff with drugs and self doubt because at that point I hadn’t even figured myself out.
LRI: Comon…you weren’t even a little bit hammy or attention seeking as a young kid? What were you like at 12 or 13?
BJB: Well, I was, I loved the attention don’t get me wrong but I just didn’t like the fakeness or the organized, orchestrated end of it like mom did. I was like really into dancing and R&B or hip hop and I would play dance in front of the TV. I would like play dress up and stuff socks into my mom’s bras and dance with the vacuum cleaner to “Soul Train” which was, of course, shocking in Louisiana. They were like “Oh my god, oh look at her she’s all into that black music and oh dear lord” and of course being a little rebellious and living in a kind of prejudiced state I went COMPLETELY the other way and just hated anyone who was even the tiniest bit prejudiced (laughs). Basically, everything I did was to be rebellious (laughs) or to get a reaction.
LRI: When did you start getting attention from guys for your looks? Was it as far back as you remember? Don’t give me that shit that all hot chicks say about how you were a total dork and noone wanted you.
BJB: No, no it’s so true!!…I was like a little nerd in middle school. I had some friends that were popular in school but I wasn’t. I was this little dork and was flat chested, they called me Boobless Bobbie, that was my nickname. My friends were way more popular than me and I remember my mom yelling at me for offering to pay someone to be my friend. She heard about it and just screamed at me “You don’t EVVVER do that!! You be a leader and never a follower!!” That was like the only thing I ever heard while I was in school and I just hated it, “Be a leader not a follower” and I didn’t even understand and was like “How does that even apply in this context” but that was the only answer she ever gave me (laughs). I wasn’t popular with boys and I remember thinking in middle school “I’m gonna get boobs one day and everything’s gonna change” and years later I moved out to L.A. and I did exactly that (laughs). It sounds so lame.
LRI: You eventually grew into your looks in high school as girls tend to do and did the confidence start to build there?
BJB: Things got a little bit better in high school. I was like Dance Captain and I got more extroverted and popular even though I didn’t have the boobs yet but it was always in the back of my mind that I wasn’t good enough. I had confidence but it was more innately within me, it definitely wasn’t like my mom kissing my ass and telling me “You’re amazing!!” all the time…. if anything my mom had something of a communication issue and sort of meant well but tore me down in ways that she could have communicated differently to me. If I went out with too much blush on it was “What are trying to look like, a WHORE???” and that was a common issue so I would just cry on the way to school every day. I would do dance competitions or solos in front of the whole school but I would never even tell her about it, she had no idea.
LRI: Were you just afraid she would get all “stage mom” on you or something?
BJB: She was just really embarrassing. She would do really embarrassing things like bring a cowbell to competitions and ring it the whole fuckin time. (laughs). I would just be mortified like “Oh my…..” and everyone would be like “Haha, there’s Bobbie’s mom with the cowbell again” so I just sort of stopped inviting her.
LRI: Was she just as harsh on YOUR boyfriends?
BJB: She was just as embarrassing. One time I had a boyfriend over who I went to prom with and we had a picture where he had his mouth open in the picture and she said really loud right in front of him “Oh my, do you know what they say about boys who have their mouth open in pictures, they say they’re retards” and she would like say it right to their face. We should probably be looking into another reality show spinoff where it’s me, my mother and my daughter because let me tell you that is insane John…
LRI: She seemed pretty funny on the clips I saw and she did seem like she genuinely loves you but it seemed like there was a bit of tension or disconnect.
BJB: Well she does but there’s definite tension, she definitely does love us but it’s just like….how do I explain? She’s in her own world. She says things like “Well of course you’re the most beautiful one in the room” and it’s like “No, no mom, they’re gorgeous and you’re saying that because you’re my mom and you’re crazy” and she’s like “No, those other girls are just ugly, I’ve seen their pictures and they’re just ugly girls” and I’m like “Oh my god, what the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you saying that???!!!” That’s my mom, like you can’t take her anywhere because she will just say that in front of anyone and not even care what they think and my stepdad is the same way. He met my older sister that my mom gave up for adoption and told her “You’re not her child, you’re not attractive enough to be one of Judy’s kids” and I was just like “OH MY FUCKIN GOD !!!” Who does shit like that??? That’s hardcore. My mom told me one time not to come home for Christmas if I was fat and it was not a joke, she really meant it. (laughs).
LRI: You’re joking around but honestly that’s psychologically fucked up.
BJB: No, I’m laughing but you’re right it’s totally fucked up and not normal. Me and my brother were not allowed to be fat or unsuccessful or look or dress ugly or be in any way not perfect. It was made clear to us that we wouldn’t be welcome and that’s pretty hard to live up to and very deflating. I love her but she’s very hard to please, this lady.
LRI: Did it ever manifest itself in eating disorders or extremes in weight gain or loss because that would be a pretty normal reaction?
BJB: Well, maybe. Nothing severe but maybe some here or there. Nothing extreme but I definitely had control issues and like for instance when my dad died five years ago and I went home for a year I gained a lot of weight….I got to like a size 12 but of course if you ask my mom she will tell you it was like a size 16 because that’s how she saw me. Like, I would go to the kitchen to get something to eat and she’d tell me not to look in the closet because she got rid of all my fat clothes, she’s like THAT. She’s the kind of person where you’re getting ready to chew and she says “oh are you really gonna eat that?” which of course just makes you wanna eat more even though you shouldn’t.
LRI: Have you ever tried psychoanalyzing her and HER mother’s relationship to see if that’s what the root cause of all of the shit is?
BJB: No, because she’ll just deny things or tell you you’re a liar or you need therapy or do anything she can to avoid going there or ever revisiting or confronting what happened there. That just started even bigger fights so no, we don’t go down that road anymore. It’s pretty hard.
LRI: When you got out to California and started making your own decisions did some that rebellion go away?
BJB: (Laughs). No. I just went from one extreme to the next which is mmmm….my personality (laughs), it’s like freeze or boil and I moved out here and started doing my career my way and things were completely different but I was even more wild. I still hated to have someone tell me what to do or think which does go back to that overly sheltered upbringing. I still had issues with authority figures or feeling like people were trying to control me.
LRI: I just watched the HURRICANE video, “I’m Onto You” on Youtube and suddenly remembered why I love that video so much…. Way before anyone knew who you were you were that super hot girl in the HURRICANE video” When did you get that job for the video and what was that like?
BJB: I was so young! I was super young and it was my first job after moving here. I found this blog that the director wrote about making the video and he was talking about why he chose me and there was a headshot photo of me and written over the top of the pic were the words “She’s only been here two weeks!!” which I just thought was so perfect and so sweet.
LRI: What was the actual shoot like, did it FEEL like work?
BJB: Yeah, to me it did. It was long hours and long days and nights for about three days on shoot. The only job experience I had prior to that was back in Louisiana where I worked behind the counter at my stepdad’s gym (laughs). To me, it felt like work but it was fun and coming from that where I made like no money I was blown away by the money I made and acted totally silly, like “Oh my god, look at all the money I just made!!”. I totally had no concept and just blew through it all! I had an apartment in North Hollywood and a boyfriend that didn’t last because he ended up being totally jealous and PSSSSSSSSSSSYCHO!!!
LRI: And then the game plan from there??
BJB: Well, there really was no game plan I just had an agent and I liked money so I continued to work when someone called for me. I remember I got an L.A. Gear commercial and a Contempo Casuals thing. I was really lucky in that I never had to get a part time job ever and that was without really trying. Trust me, I fucked up a lot of potential jobs with my stupid quirks and lack of work ethic. I got lucky and had a lot of people demand me and say “I want THAT girl” and stuff so I had a lot of work sort of fall in my lap like that. I always think that if I had actually had the business acumen and put my whole effort into it I probably could have been REALLY famous and actually been huge. I just sabotaged so many work opportunities that I could have capitalized on now that I look back on it. I was really young and unreasonably rebellious and had issues and the work I got was mostly by sheer luck rather than effort or auditions. The Hurricane video got exposure on MTV so I got more rock work with GREAT WHITE and then I got Star Search and things just happened from there.
LRI: What did you do for Great White other than the video?
BJB: I did some photo session work for their album cover, I’m on the album cover for TWICE SHY and the single for “House of Broken Love”. I also then did the videos for both of those songs.
LRI: Wow…I’m learning something new after all this time. That’s crazy….those are your legs on the album cover?
BJB: Yeah, I don’t know how many people know that (laughs). Those are my legs and the shark fin running down the middle and also we did some session work with the girl who was on the “ONCE BITTEN” cover and me in the same pics, she was the “Once Bitten” girl and I was the “Twice Shy” new girl….She had on a diamond necklace and I had on the shark teeth necklace (laughs).
LRI: The video for “Twice Shy” was just one of those videos that was on MTV non friggin stop. I know Sebastian Bach said he got tired of seeing himself every 30 minutes on MTV when they overplayed his videos. Did you ever get sick of it ALWAYS being on.?
BJB: No, are you kidding me John? I LOVED it. I loved shooting it, it was a blast!! I wasn’t in those videos as much as I was in CHERRY PIE, which was normal, usually the girls are not in the videos as much as the band (laughs).
LRI: You were in it with a few other girls but you really were on screen quite a bit and were the only one I remember. You got our attention, you’re crazy if you don’t think so.
BJB: Thank you!! That’s so sweet, it’s funny you mention Sebastian Bach because he just said that same thing to me a month ago about that GREAT WHITE video.
LRI: My parents used to bore the living shit out of me with Star Search on tv and the only beacon of light among the dopey bits and pop singers was the hot chick portion. It was the one time besides “Price is Right” where my dad could pretend he was Hugh Hefner and judge all the spokesmodels. Some people might forget just how HUGE that show was at one point and what a fixture you were on it. What was that like?
BJB: (laughs). I’m glad you guys liked it. I had a blast doing that show to tell the truth, I LOVED it. I loved Ed and all of those guys and was of course devastated when I didn’t win, but they became like a family to me, I was there for like a year. I was on 13 times which is a record amont of appearances and each episode took like three weeks to shoot so it was just crazy to be there that long. It was amazing but just made it that much more frustrating that I didn’t win the grand prize which was like 100,000 dollars. I came backstage and everyone was just crying and all “What???!!!” and it sucked but it was an awesome experience and it was really fun. The plus side was that all of those shows I was on were syndicated and repeated which ended up getting me a lot more work in the long run.
LRI: The story goes that Jani caught you on one of those STAR SEARCH episodes right?
BJB: He saw it and had his people call my people and all that. They wanted me to meet him on this certain day and I stood him up. Then they called and said I stood him up and gave me another chance to meet him the next day after I blew him off. They called and said “Well, they still really wanna meet you so please make it a point to show up ” and I was “Ok…..I’ll show up, whatever”. (laughs)
Janil Lane & Bobbie Brown
LRI: Were you just working with all these bands and not all that impressed with the whole rock world you found yourself thrown into? Why would you blow off WARRANT?
BJB: I went through a little rock phase in high school but it just wasn’t my thing I was still really into like hip hop and pop and didn’t really follow rock bands or the scene at all. I wasn’t a groupie whatsoever. I was just offered these rock jobs with Hurricane and Great White and they paid well and I took them. I wasn’t a big “rock” girl by any means it just happened to be what was big in L.A. and big on MTV. When WARRANT called me in to do the Cherry Pie video I was totally unaware of them and their music and somebody said something about “HEAVEN” and I was all “Oh my god you guys do that song “HEAVEN” ??” and they just totally got this look on their faces and were like “Ummm….yeah.. ” and did that whole fake laugh thing. I was like “Oh, I didn’t even know that” and was just a total dork. I guess I should have known but didn’t.
LRI: Give me a break Bobbie…. that is really funny. They were HUGE well before Cherry Pie, they were just starting to peak at that point and were already platinum. Granted I was totally into that scene but WARRANT were stars.
BJB: I just wasn’t into all of that hard rock metal scene the way people thought I was and I honestly was totally unaware. I knew he like wanted me or was pursuing me while they were getting ready to make the video but I didn’t make it a habit to be impressed by anybody or anything back then you know? I was totally off on my own headtrip and all on my own ego trip in life at that point. If people made it a point to act like I SHOULD be impressed by them for whatever reason then I made it a point to be TOTALLY UNIMPRESSED by them for that reason.
LRI: So Jani sought you out for the video and you finally met with him and???
BJB: I met with him and like their director and record company guy or whatever at a deli and I picked up Jani’s plate and ate the food off of his plate and they were all totally horrified but apparently they wanted me so even though he was horrified I could still seemingly do whatever I wanted (laughs). They met with me and just said, “Ok, we want you for this video” and told me about it.
LRI: The rest is history….. classic teenage hormonal history and one of the most watched music videos of all time. When did you start to fall for Jani because obviously a relationship grew and you fell in love?
BJB: I was dating Matthew Nelson at the time and I was not impressed by Jani at ALL. He was cool to work with and the video was obviously fun but it was work and that was it. He started to send me flowers and really went overboard and I was like “Nahhhh”. He went so far as to meet and hang out with my roommate just to like be in my apartment and I was like “Uggh…not havin it” and I would like close my bedroom door. He kept calling me and calling me and I finally told him like “Look, dude, I have your number and if I wanna get ahold of you I will so just stop calling me” and he told me later “God, you broke my heart when you told me that”. Then he took matters into his own hands and went on Howard Stern and said on the air “Matthew Nelson, I don’t even care who you are or what you think. I’m gonna marry Bobbie Brown. I love her and she is the one woman in the world for me” and he just made this HUGE public spectacle and I was like “Oh my god!!”. I knew he liked me but I never considered he would actually do something like THAT. Of course at the time Nelson were very big as well and competing and he just started getting this massive ego himself and being a total dick to everyone including me and broke up with me in Hawaii. I came back to L.A. and I decided I was gonna show him so I called Kathy whose boyfriend was Joey Allen (Warrant guitarist). Her and Joey become friends with me on the shoot and she was very cool so I called her and just let her know that Matthew and I broke up. Five minutes later Jani called me.
LRI: So I have to interrupt you now and ask…. what was mom thinking of her little girl NOW and all this fame and notoriety you were getting?
BJB: Oh, she was just super proud and all “See???” and everything to everyone but at the same time she was really following my every single move and my every fuck up. I would like get a 12 page letter in the mail from her about how fucked up it was that I shaved my eyebrows or something and I was like “WHAT?????”. So I would get this shit from her and just immediately rip it up. So, long story short, she was proud and my career just became her answer to everything, like anytime we would talk and I’d be going through something personally her only answer was just “Well, you’ve just gotta go get another job, you’ve gotta get away and go work”. Which I didn’t wanna hear, I was looking for motherly advice or something so I was like “UGGGGGGGGGGGGH!!”.
LRI: Hmmm, well, looking back she may have been wrong about a few things but right about that ONE thing.
BJB: Yeah, you’re right John, she might have been right about that but guess what? Just because of our relationship and our history that was the ONE thing I didn’t listen to from her. I might have heard every other fucked up thing she said but I was so rebellious that when she said that, which should have made sense, I just didn’t wanna hear it from her or listen to her (laughs). That became the one thing I was just not going to do…like I’ve said to you so many times already……SELF SABOTAGE. You’re right, she was dead on about that one thing so maybe if she would have communicated it differently or tricked me it would have worked. She just barked orders and was so direct. My agent eventually figured out how to play me and would book me to be somewhere like hours earlier than I needed to be just so that I would get there because they knew how I was and stuff. They eventually figured me out (laughs).
LRI: What did mom think of you being on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous or Star Search? Was she just beside herself?
BJB: Oh my god yes. Anything like that she just ate up. She flew out for Star Search and was just so proud and made such a big deal and was all about it. The whole dating rock stars thing was fine with her because it was just something else to keep me in the public eye and what better than to be famous and be with someone else who is famous. To her and anyone else from my past in the south that was just icing on the cake. She did give me some shit for the lifestyle and the partying and put me in rehab and everything which she later held against me but she was just concerned and wanted the best for me.
LRI: I seem to remember your wedding being covered in METAL EDGE magazine which is pretty crazy. How was all that and what was it like to have such a serious, private moment covered so publicly?
BJB: No not at all. It was great!! The wedding was absolutely perfect and huge and there were all these famous people and photographers everywhere but it was fine. You have to remember that at that point we were already sort of used to being followed and photographed and being the “rock” couple and were used to being in the public eye so it wasn’t an intrusion, it was just wonderful and normal. It was an amazing wedding and everything went off without a hitch.
LRI: You have a really high energy personality and are super excitable, ADHD- ish and I know Jani was real high energy and had a lot of personality as well. Did you guys really connect as friends and everything beyond the obvious sexual attraction?
BJB: Ahh yes….I do have ADHD 100%. You picked up on that? (laughs). Yeah, Jani definitely had a lot of personality as well and we really did hit it off at first but what happened was, we came to realize, as time went on that he and I didn’t really have a lot in common. We didn’t agree or like a lot of the same things and people say opposites attract which I can agree with but the trouble is that only last for a few months. Then, after a few months, opposites just don’t really have anything in common. It was really bizarre to explain, we just ended up realizing how different we both were. Like for instance, he’s a musician but he hated all the music I liked so I didn’t know anything about music according to him and that was a big deal. It sounds silly but little things like that add up when you’re in a close relationship with someone. He was raised totally different than me and had totally different values and opinions. He had a lot of people worshiping him and kissing his ass and telling him things that he wanted to hear and I just didn’t have the ability to stand aside and keep my mouth shut. I would be like “No, you’re wrong, he’s wrong, why are you lying to him and telling him whatever he wants to hear just to get in his good graces?” It was bizarre and it happened ALL the time, we definitely had those differences but like you said we did both share that high energy, take life by the horns attitude which worked for a while and was very exciting.
LRI: We definitely have a more slow and boring way of doing things here in the middle of the country. Did you get a lot of opportunity to come out to OHIO and kick it with Jani’s family “slow style” in the midwest?
BJB: Yes you’re right and yes I did (laughs). It was complicated. Jani’s dad really liked me but his mom didn’t really like me that much and his sisters kind of gave me a hard time at first, not the oldest sister but the others. We all kind of came to like each other eventually but it was weird at first. They tried to give me a hard time and tried to let me know how I was supposed to be a wife and all that and I was like typical me and wasn’t about to be told what to do or back down. Us girls kind of butted heads but the funny thing was his dad liked that about me. He actually died writing me a letter, which they never gave me by the way, but that was weird because he pretty much HATED everybody but for whatever reason he liked me and wrote me a lot which surprised a lot of them. I told Jani a lot of stuff about how I didn’t like the way his family treated him and a lot of times he didn’t like it. He really didn’t like hearing the truth about things from anyone and I have a really hard time NOT speaking up and saying the truth which caused problems. Nobody wants to hear, “Man, your family treats you like shit and that’s bullshit”. Nobody wants to hear that or accept that and I understand that but……
LRI: Did you feel like they weren’t respectful to him or like they were hard on him or…..???
BJB: They didn’t really speak to him for a few years when he moved away, which he’s talked about. They didn’t like his decision to move away from Ohio and try to make it in L.A. as a rock star. They thought he was gonna be a loser and try to make it as a musician and all this blah, blah blah. His dad really wanted him to be an athlete and he kind of had to go it all on his own. But then when he became famousall of a sudden people came around which I just thought was really mean and tacky since they blew him off for so long. I would say things about it but it never went over well. You really hate to say stuff like that because I mean his family truly did love him but at the same time it was really awkward and uncomfortable.
LRI: No, I totally understand what you’re saying because that’s a really weird thing to witness and be a part of. On the other hand, it’s not even about the family loving him or bugging him but about this guy YOU love who, no matter how famous he got, still desperately wanted that approval from them and loved them.
BJB: Exactly and I just couldn’t understand that at that time so I would say things like “That’s just fucked up Jani” and he would understandably get hurt and defensive and be like “You don’t know what the fuck you’re talkin about” and shit and I’d be like “Ok” and just leave it at that. To his credit, to the very end he was always, always there for his family and always helping them out.
LRI: I think Jani was a phenomenal songwriter and I put him up with some of the best writers of that whole genre along with Jon Bon Jovi and Nikki Sixx. Did you get a chance to witness that creativity first hand during your time with him?
BJB: Absolutely. He was extremely creative. I just thought he was such an amazing songwriter and it was amazing to watch him create, just sitting there with an acoustic and writing those sweet songs. The only thing we disagreed on was that he was so focused on the attention of the hard rock community and being in “WARRANT” and being this hard rocker but I just thought he didn’t need to force that when he had this amazing, vulnerable side to him and he was this prolific ballad writer. I would always say to him “Dude, you are so amazing at this that you could just be like Bryan Adams and write a number one hit every few years and have your houses and your cars and be done” because bands just don’t have the same opportunities that songwriters do. Bands and their popularity can come and go with trends and fads. Warrant’s style and vibe just wasn’t going to be accepted or evolve with the changes in new music or whatever, it just wasn’t built that way. I used to tell him that “You guys need to be like KISS or Motley and go away for a while and then come back” If they did that they could stay true to what it is they do rather than try to adapt and force yourselves on people trying to be current. That was really hard for him to hear or accept. I said…”Everyone that does appreciate you is gonna hear you trying to be current and be like ‘What the fuck…that’s not WARRANT’ or whatever…..you just need to go away for a while, do other things and come back”. He was a great songwriter, he could write anything but he really tried to focus on that whole being “serious and relevant” thing for too long rather than just lay back for a while and stick to writing amazing ballads and doing what he did that was so well accepted. I remember saying to him while they were working on the “Dog Eat Dog” record….”Babe….this is the bottom line, the band will be popular and survive if you write those songs they can relate to, dance to or sing along to or if it’s anthem”ish” to the point where they just can’t get it out of their head. Even if you hate that, it’s the cold, hard truth. People don’t want a really deep song from WARRANT about child molestation.” To which he would invariably tell me once again “You don’t know anything about music” and I’d be like “Ok, Jani but I know something about people and I’m just telling you”. I mean, it’s been well documented that it bugged him a little bit to be known so much for “Cherry Pie” because he was capable of so much more musically or lyrically. For a songwriter, that can just really bug or rub you and of course when I would say those things to him it just REALLY bugged him and of course no macho hard rock guy wants to be known as a “ballad writer” he was like “Nooooooo!!!!” but come on, like you said, you’re a guy and you recognize he was GREAT at that.
LRI: He could write hard rock really well like “Mr. Rainmaker” or “Down Boys” or ballads really well but what he truly excelled at was just communicating melody. A really beautiful and timeless melody like “Daydream Believer” or that whole “Mamas and the Papas” sixties knack of making a simple melody line into an amazing piece of music. That was “Heaven” or “Blind Faith”.
BJB: Yes, exactly. “Blind Faith” is one of the best ones, if not the best. I agree with you 100%. Honestly, if you listen to any of the ballads on any of his records, even the later ones, they are all fucking amazing. Each and every single goddamn ballad he wrote. Songs like “Bitter Pill” and stuff that never even got airplay that were every bit as awesome as “I Saw Red”. He had this god given talent or knack to write these heartfelt ballads from his soul that you could relate to and were commercial but were also musically powerful and genius.
LRI: Everybody wants to know if you have some first hand knowledge about what some of those songs were about or even who they were about. For instance, he was actively pursuing you while finishing the Cherry Pie album and with you while making “Dog Eat Dog” were any of Jani’s songs written FOR you??
BJB: Some of them were, yes. “Blind Faith” was about me our new little family, if you watch the video at the end that’s Taylar as a baby. I think a lot of people know and Jani had talked about how “I Saw Red” was about his previous girlfriend Bekka Bramlett and “Sometimes She Cries” was about his sister believe it or not.
LRI: Did you ever have to interrupt him while he was in the process of picking away at an acoustic to be like “Ok, dude, comon we have somewhere to go or someting to do”?
BJB: No, I never did that. I would never do that (laughs). First of all, on the rare occasion I did have to say something to him while he was writing or try to talk to him he had this unbelievable ability to just zone out and go to that place in his mind and be lost. I would be like “Jani…..Jani….Babe, hey….hey,.,,” and be right next to him for fifteen minutes trying to talk and I’d be like “Ok, you’re fuckin with me….you can hear me Jani” and then he’d finally snap out of it and be like “Huh???…what??” and it was the first time he actually heard me. He just had this amazing ability to go to that zone and nothing on earth could distract him which to me was really impressive because I’m so ADHD that every fuckin thing distracts me (laughs).
LRI: When did things start to stress on the relationship? Was it a matter of him touring or infidelity on either of your parts or just a combination of all of those differences you spoke of ?
BJB: Well, I was pregnant right away after we got married which I think is often stressful on a new couple anyway and then I was never a cheater but he was and was out on the road and right around that time was when the seriousness of the alcohol addiction started. It didn’t get REALLY bad until after the divorce but it was starting to develop at that time. He was of course a different person when he drank and it would go through fazes during the drinking session where like he’d get wild and happy but eventually he would always, always reach that point where he became a very ANGRY drunk and he would fight. We’d get into or it or he’d come home from somewhere without me and had been drinking and he had obviously gotten to that point so badly that he came in with black eyes and would be all fucked up and bloody.
LRI: I’ve personally been at shows where he would take time out and be incredibly sweet to every single person in the room and other times where he would openly be a dick in front of thousands of people.
BJB: I’m not gonna disagree with anything you said. I agree 100%. That’s exactly it and he could be very sweet. He had that side to him but it was just like freeze or boil there was no in between with Jani. In these last few years he would alternate between those two states in a matter of seconds. Like, I would talk to him and he’d be like “Bob, I love you” and all this mushy…you know very sweet stuff and then two seconds later it was “You fuckin bitch…you fuckin….I hate you so much” and it was like “Whoa, oh my god”. He was just really tormented and tortured, he was such a tortured soul, you know? He was desperate for love but was so embarrassed or insecure or whatever that he wouldn’t allow himself to receive it or have it. He didn’t grow up in a very affectionate home so he didn’t know how to reach out for that.
LRI: I know people gave him shit for being hung up on the success of “Cherry Pie” and talking about it and he later said it was taken out of context and he appreciated that people liked his music but I still have to ask……There was SUCH a public display of admiration and love for Jani when he died and finally such a recognition of the genius of so many of those songs…..Do you think he ever became aware of just how much people loved and appreciated all of his songs and music while he was still alive?
BJB: It’s sad to say but no. No, I really don’t. He was very hard on himself and in constant competition with his former self and with other people and he was the kind of person unfortunately that you could say something to and even if it wasn’t true it would plant a seed in him and fester and he would believe it which would open up a constant doubt in him. He constantly doubted himself. It was weird and if somebody was manipulative enough they could really fuck with him like that which is hard when you’re in the public eye and some percentage of people are obviously gonna talk shit about you, you know? He had a really hard time with that and was never, ever really aware of just how talented he was and never believed that he was worthy of the adoration he received. It was really unfortunate and really weird because that self-assurance is just one of those things that you can’t HAVE just because somebody TELLS you you’re good or you deserve it. You have to believe it yourself. It has to be true in your mind and you have to come to terms with it on your own. Unfortunately, he had all these things over the years in his career that ate at him coupled with no closure from some things from his childhood and no, he was not aware of how much he was loved or what kind of impact he made while he was with us. He was not aware.
LRI: I don’t really like to confront or consider the afterlife or any of that shit in my interviews but Jani is one of those guys that I really do think about and I hope that there was some moment where he was able to look down and see some of that public display of affection from his fans and fellow musicians.
BJB: I think he did. I have to be honest with you…..I had a medium reading when that happened because I felt his presence a lot and very heavily and it was really intense so much so that I could like see him in photos or feel him around and it was like “Ok, Jani’s here” and just other weird things that happened and I just couldn’t shake this feeling that part of him was still “around”. So, I had a medium reading and that was one of the things that he said during the medium reading was that when his life passed before his eyes he realized where he was wrong and where he was misinformed and knew how much I loved him and how much people loved him and how much he “got it”. He apologized for having so much anger and so much disbelief and it was really weird John. He saw it. He knows now, he does.
LRI: Okay, well you told me something heavy so I might as well counter. I did two interviews this past year with WARRANT. I liked their new album and new singer and talked about it and everything with Joey and Erik.
I did an interview with Erik a month after Jani died that ended up lost on a hard drive but was really weird. He really seemed very angry about the whole situation with Jani and everything that went along with what the alcohol did to the band and their career. When he redid the interview it kind of took on a more normal tone but those guys did several OTHER interviews where they sort of vented about Jani and it was kind of awkward. What is your take on the way they are moving on and handling all this difficult shit and how close were those guys when you knew them all?
BJB: They were very close in the early days and all that but you have to understand that their bitterness comes from all the years that came after that. First of all, everyone knows that Jani wrote everything, Jani was WARRANT and when he decided to leave the band and do his own solo thing or started pulling out of tours and that shit, that’s where that resentment started on the part of the other guys. He would commit and then pull out, commit and pull out and they would really be stuck by Jani’s constant torment about what he wanted to do musically or artistically or how he wanted to be seen which would fuck with WARRANT really bad. These guys really relied on him for being the face of WARRANT and the songs and so on and they got Jamie St. James to sing for them when Jani left but it was never quite the same and it never will be. Then, finally, finally, FINALLY, they tried so hard to make all of these amends and get it right for that last attempt at a reunion in 2008 and Jani just fucked the whole entire thing up with his alcoholism, not intentionally but just because of his disease and WARRANT had a lot riding on that so they just fuckin HAD it with him and his shit and replaced him. That was like a really big moment for them to do like Motley and capitalize on the original lineup “reunion” thing and tour and keep it going and Jani just fucked the whole thing up. The first show in he was fuckin up and it was all over the internet and that’s those guys’ livelihood now and they all have families and people relying on them so they really invested a lot in the hope that Jani would get it together and follow through but he just couldn’t. He crashed and burned and ruined it with his alcoholism, publicity wise, finance wise and that’s why they are still carrying that chip on their shoulder about it.
LRI: Well, I sort of understand that privately, I really do but what I didn’t understand was going public about it in some of the interviews. From a publicity angle and a fan angle that seemed like the wrong move when Jani was so crucial to the success of the band and the catalog, even if you hate the guy he’s gone now so why split the fanbase. It seemed like Erik got that the second time around when we talked.
BJB: Right, I totally agree and think that’s a bad move because a lot of people know he also split his publishing with them and brought them along on the record deal which wasn’t something he HAD to do. He wrote those songs and the label had interest in them and wanted them because of those original songs that HE wrote. He didn’t have to split the publishing with them and if anything he got them to where they are today. Yeah, it sucks that he fucked it all up, it sucks for us, it sucks for Warrant and it sucked for Jani but those guys weren’t perfect either. There was a lot of jealousy over the amount of attention Jani got and the fact that people knew he wrote the songs. To be honest with you, Jani did the majority of the the creative end of it all and if he wrote a song and they couldn’t play it in the studio they would hire somebody to come and play their parts on the records. They would basically just hand them the tape and say here’s your parts, learn them. Jani played drums on the majority of the tracks, he was a drummer before he was a singer. Those songs were his babies, he wrote them and for anyone to not acknowledge the huge part he played in that band making it is just STUPID. It’s not cool that they feel like they shouldn’t show emotion towards Jani or show up at the memorial because he was so important to them and crucial to their career. The fans know that and deep down WARRANT knows that, for them to be so publicly bitter about someone who just died is really fucked up. Like I said, those guys were at one point very close as a band and a lot of shit happened that was totally Jani’s doing and Jani’s fault but the other thing is, in Jani’s defense, he was SUCH a big part of it all that it was really a lot of pressure for him to live up to when they got back together. Think about it…. when he tried to come back and do the reunion thing, he was such a huge part of it that he had to take on that pressure again and live up to his past and it was too much, it just crushed him. It was so obvious that they needed him because he fuckin did everything for them historically. So they needed him for that reunion and he sensed that pressure and that fed into the anxiety and the disease and everything got fucked up. They didn’t support him or take him to a hospital or slap him across the face or do what friends do, they just replaced him and moved on. He desperately wanted to be sober and make it work right for them and the fans and it wasn’t anything he had any control over by that point so for them to not be there to support him or be friendly towards him after he passed away is fucked up, they should have at least acknowledged him in their show or sent a video to the memorial or something.
LRI: The Great White guys told us that the shows he did with them were some of the best performances of his career and that he was really doing amazingly well and was super professional.
BJB: Yeah, I would talk to him at some points then and he would just be really sober and coherent and happy and he’d be like “Man, I’m feeling good and singing good and I just hit a note I probably haven’t been able to sing in ten years” and I’d be like “Jani, that’s fuckin awesome, good for you”. The only time you can better from certain things is when people don’t want or expect as much from you and they extend love to you unconditionally and they just want the best for you. That’s how the Great White guys were treating him but that’s not all that common to find guys that fit that criteria and especially wasn’t the case in the band WARRANT.
LRI: Were you shocked that they didn’t show up or at least acknowledge the memorial for Jani in Hollywood?
BJB: I was, I was upset that they didn’t show up or do anything for him and that they did these interviews where they were kind of shittalking him. It was like “Comon dude, he wasn’t trying to fuck your life up intentionally, it wasn’t something he set out to do.” If anything he was the one that gave you a career and a life because without those songs nobody would have ever even heard of WARRANT. They would not exist today so they should be more grateful to Jani than anyone. I know that they had a lot invested in Jani’s return and his disease fucked everything up for them but to be honest with you they didn’t care about ANY of that. They only cared about the band’s career and were in it to win it and pull it off for themselves. They could give a fuck less about Jani’s problems, they just wanted that sweet reunion tour glory and payday. The fact that none of them showed up was very hurtful to us.
LRI: I think I was more shocked that they didn’t initially make the right moves as far as acknowledging him when he died. Why divide the fanbase when so many clearly supported Jani? They are now in the perfect position to both celebrate the catalog and make new music for people that want it. As sick as it sounds, they were in the perfect position to ride the wave of public love that was being directed towards the WARRANT hits, the whole entire planet would seem to be there to lend a sympathetic ear if they just handled it professionally rather than coming off callous.
BJB: Exactly John. It was the stupidest move ever but people saw it and told them that but guess what? If you have to be told that, if you’re that stupid, then there’s just no hope for you. That attitude towards Jani isn’t going to get them anywhere. They should be lighting a fuckin candle every night to their brother and acknowledging his importance but instead they are so stupidly self-serving that they don’t get it. So they get what they deserve.
LRI: Mark Kendall told us that he was really shocked when he heard that Jani actually died. Eddie Trunk publicly said the same thing. He said based on what he knew and saw of Jani’s progress shortly before he was really not expecting that at that moment. I know you and your daughter were well aware of the issue but how shocked were you when you heard the news?
BJB: We were definitely shocked. We knew it was a long time coming and we knew that it was going to be eventual but that little moment that was the one moment that we WEREN’T expecting that phone call. My daughter says the same thing. Ironically, according to that medium reading neither did Jani. In that reading he said that wasn’t what he thought would happen that night. The guy who was doing the medium reading who, to be honest with you, seemed totally straight and nerdy and didn’t swear or anything cussed exactly like Jani when Jani was talking “through” him and he just goes….”I am so sorry I didn’t think that was going to happen….. but FUCK, I’m dead….what can I do about it now?.” (laughs). I shit you not, that was what he said and I was just like wow cause that was just total Jani. He said a bunch of other things too. It was an amazing, amazing, amazing reading and I really can’t say enough about the guy. It was so cool. I totally believe that he did not go to that hotel meaning to do that, he did not have that intention and had no idea that it was going to happen in that moment. It IS how he died and everything but I think it was a total accident. There’s more factual details to it all that are sort of scandalous that I’m not going to mention to you in too much detail which made me say “WOAH!!” when I found out but I WILL say that he had no idea and WE had no idea that he was THAT close.
LRI: I know a lot of people were surprised to hear about the pills and meds in addition to the alcohol that was found at the scene because it was a known fact that Jani wasn’t a big “drug” guy. Did that surprise you?
BJB: Uhh yeah! There also were NO drugs or meds actually found in his autopsy at all and we feel like that might have even been planted by someone, I don’t even know. There’s a lot of information about this death and investigation that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of. Like, I can tell that you were following it but you only heard about the bottle of pills at the scene, you didn’t know that it WASN’T in his system. I’m not sure what people are really aware of but a lot of them have the wrong idea and think it’s a closed case, it ISN’T. There is an investigation still pending and there were a lot of weird circumstances that happened like the note that was in his pocket. Did you hear about that?
LRI: No, but now that you mention it I’m seeing something up on TMZ about it.
BJB: Yeah, it was reported some places that I knew of. Also, he was not checked in under his name or pseudonym, he was checked in by someone else and had no shoes no luggage, the room was perfect and immaculate with a do not disturb sign on the door and with a note in his pocket that said “I am Jani Lane”. Like I said, he was in the hotel but he was not checked in under his name but was snuck into the room by I don’t know who. In my medium reading the guy said, he’s showing me some kind of footage, some kind of surveillance footage and he keeps telling me to get this tape and I was like “What!!!???” He kept saying you can see him on the tape right before he dies so I’m thinking maybe the hotel has some kind of tape that showed who he was with maybe.
LRI: That’s pretty creepy.
BJB: Tell me about it, and fully dressed but with no shoes, a bottle of pills the bottle of alcohol next to the room which was untouched. Anybody that knows anything about Jani knows he had a reputation for trashing a room and was even thrown out of a few for it but this room was spotless and untouched. There were reports that someone had brought him food but there was no food in his system for the last two days.Shit like that horrifies me when i hear that shit, it makes me question things that I wouldn’t have questioned normally and there’s a lot more to it than I even feel comfortable to say to you because I don’t wanna fuck up the investigation or tip anyone off either.But I do think a lot of the stuff about the whole thing is very fucking weird like the note…..really? “I am Jani Lane?” that’s fucking weird that that was all he had on him, no luggage, no ID, no phone , pills conveniently by the bed but not in his system, a lot of it just looks like this elaborate thing that was staged. I know for a fact that a lot of times Jani checked into a hotel room drunk so that the children wouldn’t see him or family wouldn’t see him all fucked up but by the time he had to leave the hotel that room was fuckin demolished and littered and he would always be in there butt fuckin naked. I would always be like “JEEEEZUS CHRIST!!!” because he would be in there butt naked and the room would be unfuckinbelievale condition. All of that contradictory information combined just baffles me. It just smelled like there was so much we DON’T know. Like who checked him in? Supposedly the room was under someone’s name, so WHO and who put the note in his pocket?? Why did the hotel say that they brought him food but they didn’t find any food or any food in his system. Why did so and so say that they were with him for two days but then say he was at the hotel the whole time??? I just wanna know why certain people said certain things and how would they know that if that’s not the case and I don’t know. I probably can’t say any more but there’s just a lot of weirdness to the whole thing that will come out. Then after the fact, people were trying to say, “Well, he always put a note in his pocket that said “I’m Jani Lane”……Bull fucking shit. That’s total bullshit and I know it. Three weeks before he died he called me and asked me if he could move into my place. I was like “Are you fuckin crazy…no way dude!!” and he was like “No really Bobbie, I need a place to stay “. Now in retrospect of course I’m like fuck….maybe I should have let him move into my apartment but I wasn’t trying to sign up for that at all. I was just like “Whoa!!, No fuckin way dude” because that was not par for the course for my ex-husband to call me to try to come live with me you know?? He was separated from his wife and needed a place but now that I think about it that might have been him trying to reach out to me for help you know? Unfortunately that was also at the same time as his two daughters were deciding to do the tough love thing with him. I sorta understood because they had tried every other way they could think of to get through to him so they tried the whole tough love thing and said “Don’t call me, I fuckin hate you. I’m mad at you” trick but that’s just fucked up. He was trying to call them and reach them and tell them he loved them and get my number and they’d be like yelling at me like “Don’t call him back!!” but I did and when he asked me to move in I said no. But then felt like I had fucked up, maybe I should have let him come stay with me and this wouldn’t have happened.
LRI: The greatest thing that came out of your relationship of course was your daughter. Does she seem to be able to process the whole thing?
BJB: Yes. Better than anyone. She’s not devastated by it she gets it more than I ever will. I’m sure it breaks her heart here and there but she’s the kind of person that gets the big picture point of life. I wish I did (laughs). She had a thing with her dad where she could see through his bullshit down to his core. Like I said he had so many yes men and people kissing his ass and people walking on eggshells afraid to upset him because he could be really intimidating and had a strong personality but she didn’t have that with him. She’d be like “Ok, Dad cut the crap you and I both know that’s not true” which really did get his attention from time to time and she would just be like “Ok, you’re full of it I’m gonna hang up now” and he would just come around to her thinking and be like ’OK, I’m sorry, you’re right’ which was amazing. They had this special bond and this love that was there but they were very real and very rough on each other as well because they were so much alike. I used to worry about it and tell her that when she would try the whole tough love thing like “Are you sure? I mean the way he is something could happen” but she was just like ”No, mom, something’s gotta work, something’s gotta work mom and this is just the last thing but something has to work” and when it didn’t work I was just a mess and I was so worried about her and she just calmed me right down. She was just like ”Mom, he was so tortured and so miserable on a daily basis. Dad was such a sad creature to watch and witness and I feel like he is just so much more at peace now. He doesn’t have to struggle and battle himself anymore or battle the public or feelings of doubt or his non-closure with his family he is just so happy now and we are so much happier now because we don’t have to worry about him because we feel like he is in such a better place than this place he was in here. He is finally at peace” I was like “That’s really smart” and her boyfriend was like “Well, aren’t you gonna miss seeing his face?” and she said “I see it every day when I look in the mirror”.
LRI: Well she does look a lot like him in a lot of the baby pictures I’ve seen, she has a lot of the same features.
BJB: Oh my god EXACTLY like him when she was a baby. I know and I know the pictures you’re talking about. She has such a great sense of humor she is just crazy and fun. She is very, very wise beyond her years and is far more mature than I am even now and she really “gets it”. I feel very, very blessed and very LUCKY she has turned out to be such a great kid. She is so smart and so sure of herself. She’s a writer, she’s in college but she’s already written some amazing things. She and Jani would compete with their writing I can tell you that. At the medium reading the guy doing it he didn’t even know my name and knew nothing about me, this was over the phone. He was like, “Your ex husband….he was a writer of sorts” and I was like “Yes” and he was like “And so is your daughter” and I was like “Yes, she is because she’s going to school to be a writer and that’s what she does” and he was like “Well, he wants me to tell you that he is going to be her muse and send his energy through her and she is going to be very successful in her thirties” and I was just like “No way !” and he said “He wants me to tell you that although the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and she is just like him not to worry because she isn’t going to fuck it up” and I will be honest with you dude I just cried right then at that moment. She heard the reading and she was just like “Wow”. So apparently he’s gonna send his love and vibes to her and we’re all gonna see something great from her in about ten years. She really IS talented but in a different way. She has stagefright and has a good voice but she’s got too much stagefright to like get up and sing a song for you she will just write something that you will read and your jaw will drop with how thoughtful and creative it is. Like she just has this really smart way of dealing with things and words. When her dad died, of course there were a few assholes on youtube that would say some really dicky things like “God you must wanna kill yourself for being the spawn of Warrant” or something. Just really dicky things about her or her dad. I just wanted to crawl through the internet and kill these motherfuckers. Some people can be so cruel and so fuckin hateful but she responded to them and just handled the whole thing with such grace and intelligence. I was so proud of her. She is amazing and so good at expressing herself and so confident and just handled them. I read it and just wanted to type up a storm but Athena ( Bobbie’s co star on Ex-Wives Rock ) was just like “Don’t do it Bobbie don’t do it” so I didn’t. I guess I did a good enough job of raising her to have enough confidence and intelligence to handle herself and fight her own battles. I’m really proud of her.
LRI: It’s so difficult to raise a kid when there’s a divorce and then you factor in a touring dad who was struggling with sobriety and a career and all that I imagine it was really tough on all of you. What did you see honestly as far as Jani’s DESIRE to be a father?
BJB: Ugh. I really love him and wish I could say something better in this respect…..how do I put it nicely? Jani loved his kids to the best of his ability he always thought similarly to my mother in that he wasn’t a good father if he didn’t have as much money as he should to provide or their lives were like this certain way. He was raised with that conservative all or nothing mentality. This is the way it is or else it’s completely fucked up. I used to just say to him “Jani, she has no idea or concept of how much money you make you could be sitting in a cardboard box with her spending quality time with her and she would have no idea or whatever about your career or your net worth. It doesn’t matter. That doesn’t make you a good dad, spending time with her does.” He didn’t see things like that and there was a long time where they just didn’t have a connection at all. She wasn’t concerned with him being a “rockstar” or any of the money or the things he would worry about. She never saw him like that or wanted any part of that. She would go to shows and he would try to bring her onstage and she would be like “NO!!!” He would go to get ready to go onstage and she would be like “Are you really gonna go onstage looking like that or dressed like that?” and he would be like ”Huh??,, What?” She didn’t treat him like all of his decisions were golden, she was very real with him and he just didn’t have anyone in his life like that so that was pretty special to watch. He really needed that but he really wasn’t in her life as often as he should have, he was probably around and a little closer to Madison who was his daughter with his second wife Rowanne. He did become much closer with us in these last few years though.
LRI: How close are the two girls?
BJB: Very, very close bond except Madison’s mom is not very eager to have Taylar in her life. She doesn’t like me. I’m the kind of person that’s like “Have everybody over for Thanksgiving, invite everyone in the family, invite ALL the wives and I wanna see everybody and if you’re cool to my kid I’m gonna love you even more”. I would go out of my way to take Madison here and there and take her out with Taylar and it was like pulling teeth to get her to be the same way. She’d be like “One hour visitation, be back here at 9 o clock” and I’d be like “Goddamn”….She’s not very liberal or loving like that.
LRI: Don’t you think now more than ever the sisters need that with each other?
BJB: Yeah, I do but it’s so hard because she’s still young and her mom is very controlling and won’t allow it. She has to abide by what her mom says and does. I think they will get closer when Madison gets older and gets out on her own and has opinions and decisions of her own but unfortunately Madison gets shuffled around because Rowanne is just as much of an alcoholic as Jani was and they battled back and forth constantly for custody of her. Madison has really seen and been through a lot as a little girl and she is very strong and very sweet and maybe too strong because she’s always trying to be there for her mom and BE the mom. Madison tries to be the best person for her mom but her mom has a lot of problems and doesn’t live in that “home” environment. I’m not saying this to be a fuckin bitch I’m just saying it because it’s the truth. It’s unfortunate because I think when Madison is able to get out from under her mom and the rejection from her mom and that situation with the alcoholism and being shuffled around she will really blossom. She and Taylar will have an amazing relationship because of course they do naturally have that bond. When they do see each other they squeeze the living shit out of each other and love each other to death they just don’t get to connect as often as they should.
Sharise, Susan, Bobbie & Athena – the cast of "Ex Wives Rock"
LRI: We’ve come this far in the interview and haven’t even touched on your new TV show yet. How did you get involved with it to begin with?
BJB: Yeah, I think it’s really different and unique. I had been out of the entertainment industry and working with this company that trained animals which is really weird I know but they got involved with a reality show themselves and I was on it and they liked me on it and wanted to do a spinoff reality show about me being a single cougar (laughs). We did a pilot but it wasn’t picked up but it did get me to become active again in the entertainment industry and I started working with VH1 and writing the documentary Do it For the Band which won best rock doc of the year a couple years back. I met and was working with Lorraine Lewis who co-wrote and produced it and Lorraine contacted me about a reality show concept that she and the show creator Lisa had come up with which we’re tentatively calling EX-WIVES ROCK. It’s something we’ve been working on for a while now off and on and we’ve changed things and switched things up a few times but it finally got picked up for broadcast in Canada. It’s been a long road as these TV things often are but it’s shaping up to be really good. It doesn’t air until April but so far it’s gotten a great reaction from those who have had a chance to see it, hopefully if everyone feels that way about it in Canada and it does well it will get picked up here for broadcast in the States.
LRI: Athena told us a lot about it but you are kind of the TV veteran of the bunch and you’ve been on camera of course many times before in Married With Children and had tons of appearances over the years. How much different is this than the work you’ve done before?
BJB: It’s completely different. It’s not acting, it’s not scripted, there’s nothing to rehearse. This is the only reality show I have ever heard of where they don’t have a script or predetermined thing they tell us that we have to do, it’s totally off the cuff and they just call us and ask us what’s going on in our lives and decide whether to come over and shoot it. If something’s going on like Jani’s death and we’re reacting to it they are just there and the cameras are going as we are living and going about our lives. It’s just really natural and real but the really, really cool thing that really makes it unique is that we weren’t just thrown together. We were all really good friends and all knew each other and hung out together unlike a lot of these shows where they just take random people and throw them all in a house together. These are people we’ve known for years and basically we’re getting paid to hang out with our friends (laughs). It’s pretty cool. I know personally a lot of people and have been involved with a lot of people that have done traditional reality shows and many of them are not very real at all. They are a lot of bullshit and every situation is carefully managed or pre-arranged and in some cases even scripted or at least scripted situation wise. This is our lives and you will see what I mean when you actually see it John. Half this shit there is no fuckin way that we could ever conceive or write it. It’s totally just our goofy real lives which are stranger than anything you could come up with anyway. The shit that happens to us is unbelievable and I know that it’s going to leave everybody on the edge of their seats and wanting to know what happens next. There is no fuckin way that somebody will watch it and say, “Uh-uh I don’t care about watching this or what happens next”
LRI: How did you get to know all of the girls individually, for those who aren’t aware of the connections?
BJB: Well, Athena of course because I was engaged to her brother Tommy Lee (laughs). Sharise Neil was one of my best friends all those years ago when I was married to Jani. I met her because Vince hit on me and I was really irritated by that and thought it was really tacky because I knew he had a wife so I just walked up to her and introduced myself to her in front of him after he hit on me just to freak him out and we ended up becoming best friends (laughs). Of course I knew Blue as Susan Dixon she was married to Jerry Dixon who was in WARRANT. I knew her as Susan and then she was Blue but now I guess she’s going back to Susan. I don’t know what the fuck to call her but she’s fuckin crazy. (laughs).
LRI: Haha. Yeah, that’s basically what Athena said. She said I’d like her because she gets naked all the time.
BJB: (laughs). She’s something else. In our little teaser trailer she’s like “I’m the most together of the four of us” which makes us all laugh hysterically when we see it because she’s just so far out there but she and Sharise like to play it off like they’re the most normal when in fact each and every one of us is a nutjob!
LRI: I just love Athena and her whole personality. You guys are all similar but different in certain ways, what do you think you bring to the table?
BJB: I really do love her yeah and think she is just raw energy and she and I feed well off each other on and off camera because we both kind of have that hyperactivity. We’re like soul sisters and anyone that knows us knows that we are basically attached at the hip. I guess I am kind of the pervy pottymouth of the bunch. I’m the most inappropriate and tactless one of the bunch and just spit out constant thoughts on anything and don’t think before I speak. I just sort of say what everyone else is thinking. I don’t have an edit button as you can see from this interview and it can either be roundly hated or resoundingly enjoyed. There’s really no middle ground on me but Athena seems to get it and we like to feed off each others’ energy and constantly push buttons and fuck with people. The other two are a little more reserved and often the target of our bullshit. Like I get a kick out of playing practical jokes on Blue and pissing her off because she’s so uptight so that’s my personal thrill. Over the duration of the show you will see me affecting the other girls in a way they may not appreciate or like but in a way that really amuses me personally. We’re all friends but there’s some personality tensions that make it interesting.
LRI: You’re one of those people that no offense, I wouldn’t have expected to get one of my best interviews from just based on what everybody knows about you. I mean some people have heard you speak before but most people really don’t KNOW you. Do you think this show has the potential to shatter those perceptions about you from people that only know you as the girl that had a bunch of guys spray her down with fire hoses and had a pie fall in her lap?
BJB: Well, just like this interview they are going to actually get to know me and they may love me or they may hate me but I’m pretty sure they will have an opinion either way (laughs). I think there’s a lot of people that will see it and say “Holy shit, I never dreamed that girl would be like THAT!” whether that’s good or bad is another matter. They have preconceived notions about me based on seeing my pictures or those videos and are either like “Wow, you’re way smarter than I thought you’d be” or “Wow, you’re way prettier than I thought you’d be” or “You’re way more like a real person than I thought you’d be” (laughs). Whatever it is it seems that people know my face or whatever but just never really got to KNOW me like you said. They will now. There’s no way to not get to know me if you are confronted with me or my life (laughs). I can’t bring you into my world without being completely real and honest. To bring it back one last time to my mom it’s something she always says to me…..”Can’t you just leave something to chance or something to mystery about your life??” I can’t do it because if I do it will just freak people out later on down the road when they get to know me.
We would like to give big shout out to our friends at LegendaryRockInterviews