“Cherry Pie” is one of those songs that caught lightning in a bottle. Featured on MTV in heavy rotation during 1990 and climbing its way up to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, it was a case of the right song at the right time.
Warrant, the band behind the song, will celebrate it as well as the album of the same name on July 31 at Sweetwater Performance Pavilion in Fort Wayne.
A well-known story by now, “Cherry Pie” was written by late Warrant singer Jani Lane in just 15 minutes. This was because a record company executive demanded one more song for a record that the band thought they had already finished.
It wasn’t difficult to figure out what the song was about, as well as the corresponding video, which stars actress Bobbie Brown. It became an instant MTV staple, propelling the band into the upper tier of rock bands.
In 2006, Lane famously told VH1 that he hated the song, explaining that he “had no intention of writing it.” He later dismissed those comments, stating he had been caught on a bad day.
In an interview with Whatzup, Warrant guitarist Erik Turner set the record straight.
“The song has become an iconic ’80s anthem,” he said. “I wish we had 20 more of them.”
Celebrating a Big Album
When Warrant arrives in Fort Wayne, it will be a special show set to commemorate Cherry Pie, both the album and the song.
“We’re celebrating the 30-year anniversary of Cherry Pie,” Turner said, “so we’re playing the entire album.”
From front to back, you’ll hear everything Cherry Pie had to offer. Songs like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “I Saw Red,” “Blind Faith,” “Mr. Rainmaker,” “Bed of Roses,” “Song and Dance Man,” and the “Cherry Pie” companions “Love in Stereo” and “You’re the Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised.”
“Plus,” Turner added, “(we’ll play) some hit songs from other albums, like ‘Down Boys’ and ‘Heaven.’”
Warrant is continuously on tour, but the nature of touring has changed a lot for them since their early days.
The band played 262 shows in just 16 months to support their debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. They played a couple hundred more shows in support of the follow-up album, Cherry Pie.
Now, they log a more manageable 50 or so shows a year. Most of the shows these days are “fly dates” on the weekend, meaning they fly in and out, so there aren’t a lot of hours spent on a bus going from city to city anymore.
“It’s a nice schedule,” Turner said. “It’s comfortable. We’re home a lot and get to go out and play rock n’ roll for a living.”
He hasn’t forgotten what it was like to tour heavily when the band was still trying to establish themselves.
“The 262 shows — I made a joke at the end of that tour that we came home in body bags,” he reflected. “We were just torn up from partying as hard as we did back then. When you’re young, you can do it, but I don’t care what age you are, 262 rock shows wears you out.”
Turner said the Midwest is where bands like Warrant have always thrived, and they continue to draw big crowds to this day.
“There are great rock n’ roll fans there,” Turner said. “In our heyday, when we were selling millions of records, I’d say the majority of them were sold in the Midwest. Those are our people. We’re really looking forward to rockin’ and rollin’ in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s been a while. I believe Joey Allen, our guitar player, was born in Fort Wayne, so there’s a little trivia for ya there.”
Mr. Big and Trixter, Too
Opening the show is Eric Martin of Mr. Big and PJ Farley of Trixter. The event is hosted by well-known radio personality and champion of the ’80s hard rock era, Eddie Trunk.
Turner said it’s always good to see musicians like Martin and Farley at stops along the way. It gives the band a chance to get reacquainted with old friends who share common history.
“Eric Martin is an uber-talented musician and great singer and songwriter, and PJ is one of my best friends,” he said. “We’ve been friends since the Cherry Pie tour when Trixter and FireHouse were the opening acts.
“I actually got PJ his first tattoo. Now he’s covered in them. It’s all my fault.”
It’s likely that you’ll find most attendees of this, or any Warrant show, above the age of 40. But Turner said it’s not uncommon to find younger fans at their shows, too.
“I think it’s really cool when you see 13-year-olds or 20-year-olds wearing a Warrant shirt coming out to the show and doing the VIP meet and greets,” he said. “We really feel blessed and grateful to be able to still do what we love all these years later, and it’s great to know that our music is appreciated by the next generations.”