Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

HEAVY Rotation: Warrant’s “Cherry Pie”

Posted in Heavy Metal, HEAVY Rotation, Music, Obituaries by Jacob Zinn on August 19, 2011

To most, Warrant is a one-hit wonder like so many ‘80s Sunset Strip glam bands, but despite other hit singles, their innuendo-riddled “Cherry Pie” is the song the band will most be remembered for.

As the story goes, lead singer Jani Lane received a phone call from Columbia Records president Don Ienner leading up to the release of their then-untitled sophomore album. Ienner wanted a rock anthem a la Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” to be on the record–something that would get copious amounts of radio airplay.

Within fifteen minutes, Lane had written the lyrics to Warrant’s most well-known single–on a pizza box. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Charts and the album of the same name went double-platinum.

But with mainstream success came accusations of selling out. That three-and-a-half minute song overhauled the marketing of their second album and overshadowed other singles like “Heaven” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

I could shoot myself in the f**king head for writing that song.

Jani Lane
VH1’s HEAVY (2006)

Members of the band didn’t even think it was their best music. In an interview with the VH1 rock doc, HEAVY: The Story of Metal, Lane expressed deep regret for penning the track and giving it to Columbia.

“All of a sudden, the album’s called Cherry Pie, the record’s called Cherry Pie, I’m doing cherry pie-eating contests, the singles ‘Cherry Pie,'” he said. “I could shoot myself in the f**king head for writing that song.”

He later clarified that the producers had caught him on a bad day, but it seems Lane may still have had some resentment for one smash hit almost negating everything else that they ever recorded.

With the recent passing of Lane, hopefully more people will be introduced to Warrant’s music–not just a slice of “Cherry Pie.”

Rest in Peace
Jani Lane
February 1, 1964 ~ August 11, 2011


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