Guest Power Balladologist: Jeff Vrabel
Let it never be said that Warrant didn’t know their way around a metaphor: The cover of their sophomore release Cherry Pie featured a raspberry-lipped waitress dropping a piece of cherry pie, and the plummeting dessert treat was captured by the photographer just as it passed before her nether regions, a genius visual in-joke that’s responsible for making Warrant the hair-metal band of choice among English grad professors.

What could cause such casual misogyny among a group of otherwise anonymous hair-metal dorks, other than it was 1990, and all the cool kids were doing it, except that one of the cool kids was Axl and he did it better than everyone else? Well, you’d feel traumatized and confused by women too, if you walked in on your best chick tagging some other dude as Jani Lane did on “I Saw Red” (download), the power ballad of choice on Cherry Pie and sort of the slutty cousin of “Heaven” (download) who drank all the time and dated a guy named Champ who fixed engines.

“I Saw Red” is the classic walking-in-on-them story, where Lane croons that “I didn’t need to see his face : I saw yours.” Preach it, Jani, preach it! (Though we don’t see his face, I always imagined the other guy to be Bret Michaels, or, sometimes a clown.) “I don’t think I’m gonna love you anymooooooooore:” he finishes, closing the door and walking away to either drown his sorrows in whiskey or, I don’t know, go record the “Ode to Tipper Gore,” whatever the hell that is. I’ll be honest. I didn’t make it through the rest of the album.

Anyway, shortly after the release of Cherry Pie, Warrant walked into the offices of its Sony home and found its CEO having wild sex with Alice in Chains, which effectively ended Warrant’s career and forced them to enjoy their pie alone for the years to come. —JV