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.
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.