The Ballad Of Jayne

Album: Cocked And Loaded (1990)
Charted: 53 33

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about Jayne Mansfield, a blonde bombshell who was a popular actress and pin-up girl in the '50s and '60s. She was often compared to Marilyn Monroe, and also died young. Mansfield was killed in a car accident when she was 34: "Now she's breakin' hearts in heaven."
  • Bass player Kelly Nickels and lead singer Phil Lewis wrote this song, although it's credited to the entire band because they split songwriting credits evenly. Lewis explained to The Morning Call: "When we wrote that song, Kelly was thinking about Jayne Mansfield and I was thinking about every unsuccessful actress that was becoming a waitress and fading into Hollywood."
  • This sensitive ballad is an outlier for the rock band L.A. Guns, but it's by far their most popular song. Released on their second album, Cocked & Loaded, it was issued as a single after "Rip And Tear," a song that was much more in form for the band but went nowhere. "The Ballad of Jayne" came at a time when hair metal bands were scoring with power ballads, and it followed that trend, getting a big boost from MTV. The video, shot on the grounds of a mansion of the kind Jayne Mansfield used to live in, did well on the network.
  • The band's guitarist, Tracii Guns, is the "Guns" of Guns N' Roses - that band formed when L.A. Guns merged with Axl Rose's band Hollywood Rose. Tracii didn't stick with Guns N' Roses though, instead re-forming L.A. Guns. Their first three albums all charted, but in the early '90s they didn't sell nearly as well and started going through lineup changes. Eventually, two versions of the band emerged, one led by Tracii Guns, another by Kelly Nickels and drummer Steve Riley.

Comments: 16

  • Jason from OklahomaMandy S. from TN.......of course, what woman wouldn't want to marry an out of control wife beater.
  • Davii Guns from EarthTracii Guns himself has publicly said that this song was never about Jane Mansfield.
  • Thebeaz from GaWas quite surprised when I found out yesterday this song was by L.A. Guns. NEVER ENOUGH is one of the most kick-ass songs ever and on every Spotify list I have. Sadly, I only found out about them recently on Hair Nation. Wish I could've enjoyed their music years ago on 96Rock-WKLS when it was still around...But better late than never!
  • AnonymousMy mom died in the same way as Jayne in 1997
    Under the back of a tractor trailer. This song is peace and solidarity For me
  • Mandy S. from Tn. Sweetest ballad EVER. The lead singer is super cute but I have to admit that axl had em beat in every way possible. Young Axl was my 1st crush at 8yrs old I think. And I'm still crazy in love wth the guy. I loved this song since I heard it as a kid. But I used to think he was singing "what a shame what happened today" lol. I only found out who jayne was when I asked my 18yr old sister what had happened today in that LA Gunns song? 39 yrs old and she's STILL laughing at me about that.
    Btw, I'd still "do" Axl even now.
  • Nancy from Baltimore, MdWhy does the girl in the video have dark hair? Who is she?
  • Leah from Brooklyn, NyYes, there was an episode of the Sci-Fi TV series FIREFLY that featured "The Ballad of Jayne." This Jayne was one of the members of the FIREFLY crew, a guy, and it was an extremely funny episode.
  • Erika from Dallas, TxGillian Gibbons
    06-26-1971 * 09/12/1989
  • Megan from Denham Springs, LaOKay, so I am reading up on Jane Mansfield, and I suddenly get hit with the info that Mariska Hargitay is her daughter. I am a religiously faithful, so to speak, viewer of Law and Order: SVU and I love both Mariska and Christopher Meloni. Anyway, I can see a major resemblance between Mariska and her mom. And if this song IS really about Jayne Mansfield, all I can say is WELL DONE!! I love the song, and Tracii Guns and I have the same birthday, so hey. It doesn't get much better than this. I LOVE this song, I love the guns, and I used to think that Phil Lewis (for those of you who don't know, he's the lead singer) was HOT!!! SO yeah, LA Guns kick some serious ass, and I LOVE THIS SONG!!!
  • Mel!ssa from Pittsburgh, PaStill one of my favorite songs!
  • Daniel from Leighton, AlThis Song Has A Really Good Sounding Guitar
  • Jeff from Columbia, ScI guess axel never heard of Electric Gypsy, I wanna be your man, Magdalaine, or Sex Action. This band was grossly popular until Poison and Warrant killed heavy metal, and they still perform today. "Popularity breeds contempt."
  • Travis from Orange, CaWell Axel...you obviously dont know what your talking about...L.A. Guns have never written a one.

    This song rules just as much as everyother song of L.A. Guns
  • Steven from Melbourne, AustraliaThe name remind anyone else about Firefly? Specifically the episode Jaynestown? Just a thought.
  • Jeff from Archbald, PaI was little at the time. My mom used to leave for each concert around the US. They even came to her wedding. She was friends with some Mary Jane who was married to one of the members. I don't know the members or songs I just know my step-dad would get P.O.ed knowing she'd be with them and the opening band all the time. My step-dad was also the member of an indie band called Fuzz Pipe.
  • Axel Titus from Lake Forest, CaThis is a one-hit wonder.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Donald Fagen

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And Scandals

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.