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Jani Lane was born as John Kennedy Oswald on February 1, 1964 in Akron, Ohio, the youngest of five children of Robert and Eileen Oswald and youngest brother to Marcy, Eric, Michelle, and Victoria. Having an older brother (Eric Oswald) as an accomplished guitarist already, and having learned to play drums at the age of four with his brother guiding and teaching him, he was then introduced to bands by his sister Vicky (Ley) and his parents, Bob and Eileen. Lane played drums under the name “Mitch Dynomite” in clubs by age 11 (“Mitch Dynomite” is listed as the drummer in the credits for Warrant’s Latest and Greatest CD). Throughout the years, Lane would sometimes jump behind the kit to play with his band, and he has played the drums in various formats and gigs.
By age 11, his older siblings had left for college or marriage except Vicky. Between his parents and his sister, he made the rounds as an amateur protege’ drummer, making quite a name for himself. Not a shy youngster, he took over the family home inside and out with his drum equipment and fellow musicians until he graduated from high school. Although he chose a path of the most difficult nature, he was a terrific football quarterback and had been offered scholarships to various colleges. He worked throughout high school to acquire his own drum equipment, setting a fine example to his friends and co-workers that he was not afraid to do anything for his dream of becoming a song writer/entertainer.
It was at this time that Jani realized his true desire was not only to play in the band but to actually sing his own songs up front and not hidden behind a drum kit.