Saying Thanks

It’s hard to wrap our minds around why certain celebrity deaths affect us more than others. Sometimes we just feel blindsided by it. Sometimes, in some odd way, we feel like we lost someone we knew.

For me, today, I think I know why. Looking back over my adolescence I can easily pinpoint where my toughest years were. They were junior high. I started junior high trying very hard to keep up with the cool kids. The cool clothes, the cool hair and all that goes with it. I ended junior high with black hair, converse and heavy metal rock posters plastered all over my bedroom walls. I found my natural rhythm and managed to find the path that would eventually lead to becoming my own person.

For many this news doesn't matter. But for this little girl it does.

I think I survived that transformation and the tumultuous years in between the beginning and end of junior high with the help of my deepest passion, music. Silly as it sounds to some, when I found myself drowning in the depths of adolescent drama, the kind no adult can ever really understand, music was where I found my solace. I remember my first rock concert was a pretty spiritual experience. Somehow I had found my people.

Through music, I found a place where I felt I belonged. Friends that understood me and all the things that made my later years in life wonderful.

So when it come to the music that carried my through those years, I still feel a very strong personal connection. I feel a strange obligation to those musicians and always feel thankful for the music they made.

So last night when I heard the news that Jani Lane, the lead singer of Warrant, had died the young troubled adolescent girl in me felt it.

I don’t know how he died, and I’m not going write about all the dangers of fame and alcohol and how our society likes to chew up celebrities and spit them back out. Though I’m tempted.

What am I going to write is that, once upon a time I used to be able to crawl into my bed and close my eyes and listen to Jani Lane’s soft voice carry me into a better place.

I am who I am today because of all the music that has ever touched me, including Jani’s.

Rest in peace Jani. No matter how you left this world, nothing will ever change the fact that you left a mark on many others and me. Thank you.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melissa
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 13:05:47

    it matters to me. I am 39 years old, and I saw Warrant in my honey moon 20 years ago when I was 19 years old on their Cherry Pie tour with Fire House and Trixter. One of the best shows I ever been too. You could not have said it better about Jani. I feel a part of my childhood has died.

    Reply

  2. Jennifer
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 13:43:33

    It matters to me also. I’m 36 years old and still listen to the music of my teen years, something about it got me through some tough times even to this day. I may of never been able to see Warrant and the one time they did come out something happened and Jani was not able to play. For whatever the reason he died he will sorely be missed and his music will live on. He was taken too soon and still had a lot to offer.

    Reply

  3. Mary Beth Browning
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 13:51:24

    I knew him from Ohio going back to when he was about 22. He was magical, luminous and charming. It matters to me. It always will

    Reply

  4. Erin
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 13:57:40

    I was the same little girl! Dancing in my back yard to Quiet Riot’s Metal Health and daydreaming to lyrics like the ones Jani wrote. Thanks for writing this….it struck me, and that little girl inside of me, 100%. 🙂

    Reply

  5. RikkiSixx
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 15:03:10

    Your post was reposted by a friend of mine and it perfectly sums up what I have had a hard time explaining to people who don’t understand why some celebrity deaths shake me to my core.
    This was beautifully written and it has warmed my heart in such a sad time to see how loved Jani was, I just wish he had known it too.
    Thanks for this.

    Reply

  6. Linda Canapp
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 19:04:54

    Yes… true to all of this. I am 48 and believe me this band was very important to me when I was growing up. His death brought back so many fond memories from my past! I did cry when I heard the news
    And Jani looks just like a guy I dated back in the day….

    Linda

    Reply

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