Warrant’s Cherry Pie, Tawny Kitaen, and O.J.
There are few times when a band releases a song and video that summarizes an entire genre. However, Warrant did just that in 1990 with the single, video, and album Cherry Pie.
In front of a white background, the entire band dressed as firemen and hosed down Pamela Anderson wannabe Bobbi Brown while she dropped a slice of cherry pie directly on her crotch. While swinging it to the left, swinging it to the right –even with Ms. Brown wearing those cutoff shorts — if they thought about baseball they could swing all night. Warrant had done reasonably well before this video with songs like “Heaven” and “Down Boys” from Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich but this took them to the big time. Cherry Pie sold millions, they toured, and lead singer and songwriter Jani Lane married his own featured video vixen, Ms. Brown.
Then it was all over. Warrant’s cartoonish image and it’s contemporaries fell out of favor, grunge took over the earth, Jani Lane divorced Bobbi Brown, he lost all his money, gained 150 pounds, grew a Mohawk, failed miserably at rehab, appeared on every “I Love the 80’s” or similar show VH1 produces, and is probably playing an acoustic set tonight at a bar near you. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Cherry Pie on mandolin.
In all seriousness, Cherry Pie is a pretty solid album and, as a songwriter, Lane was always a little more clever with his lyrics and melodies than his peers. The other singles “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “I Saw Red” and album tracks like “Song and Dance Man,” and “Love in Stereo” are simply well written songs. All the songs are about 3 minutes long, they never overstay their welcome, and the album clocks in at about 30 minutes. Their followup Dog Eat Dog is even better — but nobody cared anymore.
Jani Lane, has said that he regrets that he wrote the song Cherry Pie, that the record label made him do it, and that it destroyed his career. He said this on “Celebrity Fit Club” while sipping on a vodka tonic and looking like he had just been hit by a Mack truck. No, he did not look fit.
Are You F—ing Kidding Me? What an idiot. Jani Lane even mentions during that same interview that in 1990, the top executive at Columbia Records had a framed picture of the cover of Cherry Pie behind his desk. In 1992 it was Alice in Chain’s Dirt. Game over. It didn’t matter if you were Motley Crue, Def Leppard, whoever. By 1992, all of 80’s metal crawled up into the fetal position and hid in the basement until around 2001 when it became “classic rock” and it was cool again to throw up the horns and shout at the devil. He should be happy he wrote that song and that my 13 year old cousin sings along to it while playing Guitar Hero. Those royalties should pay for his next failed stint at rehab.
As a side note, recently on VH1’s That Metal Show they brought up the subject of who was the better 1980’s video vixen. Tawny Kitaen or Bobbi Brown? Arguably, these two ladies were the main reason that Whitesnake and Warrant increased in popularity. Tawny won by a landslide with comedian Jim Florentine stating “Tawny actually dated O.J. in the 80’s and is still alive. For that she has to win.”