Ex-Warrant singer Jani Lane's body was found beside a bottle of vodka and prescription medication, California police have said – leading Sebastian Bach to reflect: "His only real friend killed him in the end."
An autopsy on the 47-year-old was inconclusive following his death on Thursday in a Comfort Inn motel. Former bandmates and other musicians have paid tribute to Lane while his manager, Obi Steinman, says: "I lost a very dear friend. His family, including his young children, asks for privacy during this difficult time."
Bach, ex of Skid Row, says Lane's tragic end is "all too typical of what a rock musician’s life actually is."
He comments: "It's a life marked by extremes. Extreme attention from people you don't know while the work and travel take you away from those you do know."
"Playing to thousands of people then going back to your hotel room and shutting the door. When the door shuts the quiet is the exact opposite of the volume of the concert. The solitude of the room becomes the parallel of the adulation of strangers."
"For some, the bottle of vodka or whatever becomes a friend that's always there for you while others come and go. I've felt those emotions myself."
Bach says it's another reminder to share fond words with people you care about – while you still can. "I guarantee Jani would not have anticipated everyone coming out of the woodwork extolling his life and times", the singer continues. "Which is why he probably died alone in a hotel room with his only real friend."
His cause of death cannot be confirmed until toxicology reports are completed, which may take up to eight weeks. In the meantime investigators suspect accidental overdose or possibly natural causes.
The family of Lane, real name John Kennedy Oswald, have gathered today for a private memorial service. His sister Vicky Oswald-Ley says: "Alcoholism is something he fought every day – and it just won."
"There were no drugs; that was one thing he could not tolerate. But he'd get clean and sober then fall off the wagon."
"He was talented and witty and bright – but he shut his siblings out, and I know that's because he was ashamed of his drinking. There wasn't a day when one of us didn't try to contact him."
But she hasn't yet heard from Lane's wife. "We have so many questions and don't know where to turn for answers", she says. "Why was he in a hotel? Why was he away from his wife? Why was there isolation?"