In a perfect world, many of the 80s hair bands would’ve gotten along fine as straight-ahead rock groups without the Aqua Net and spandex. Warrant was one of them and its lead singer, the late Jani Lane, was one of the more talented songwriters of the genre. The band’s debut, “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” featured straight-ahead rock songs like “Down Boys” and “Big Talk” and ballads like “Heaven” and “Sometimes She Cries” and reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts.
For their follow-up, the band tried to transition from hair metal to the 70s rock that influenced them. While the album contained tracks that were firmly rooted in the 80s, like “Mr. Rainmaker” and “I Saw Red,” it also included a cover of Blackfoot’s “Train, Train” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the best song the band ever recorded. In fact, “Cherry Pie” was originally going to be called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
Then Columbia Record said it needed an “anthem track” for the album so Lane wrote “Cherry Pie” in 15 minutes and it became the only song for which the band is remembered. Sadly, the album came out in the twilight of hair metal and even though Warrant’s third album, “Dog Eat Dog,” was its best, their popularity quickly waned.
Until his untimely death in 2011, Lane always had a like/hate relationship with “Cherry Pie.” The below interview captures his feelings at their most visceral.