In December of 1989, my sister Carolyn helped my friend Mike and me on a simple mission: Meet Motley Crue.
We set out to the Sheraton Hotel, across the street from Lincoln Plaza in Worcester, because that’s where most of the bands stayed at when they played at The Centrum.
Even though it appeared he had just crawled out of bed, he was really nice to us. He posed for pictures, gave autographs, and talked to everyone that was there right up until his tour manager told him it was time to go.
Luckily, I came equipped with my Levi’s winter jacket, RIP t-shirt, and Polaroid camera to capture it all. I wasn’t a huge Warrant fan when I woke up that morning, but when you meet a rock star and they take the time to actually talk to you and don’t leave until everyone gets a signature/picture (see also Tom Keifer), it’s hard not to become a bigger fan.
I ended up meeting Nikki Sixx at a book signing this past May, and that was pretty thrilling. But, it was controlled and a quick, 15-second, “Hi, nice to meet you”, and walking away before you can really talk meeting – I was also 37.
When I met Jani, I was 15 years old and it was more like “hanging out” than waiting for a 15-second “hi and goodbye”. It was also a time when Warrant videos were getting high rotation on MTV, and he signed with a “69” which I thought was hilarious. We may have not met The Crue that day, but we definitely went to the concert happy.
Rest in Peace, Jani. You may be gone, but your songs will certainly live on and make all the hair metalheads of my generation feel young every time they hear them. Thanks for making me a fan almost 22 years ago…