Last week, the music went quiet all over Northeastern Pennsylvania when beloved local musician Jane Train (Janet Rains) passed away as the result of tragic accident. Her passing left thousands, myself included, to mourn and ask why something so terrible could happen to such a beautiful, amazing person who had so much left to share with the world.
I sit here sobbing as I write this. Sweet Jane had such a deep impact over the last 15 years of my life. As a young, 21-year-old girl, M80 was my absolute favorite local band. I barhopped every weekend to wherever they were playing locally and even felt the bittersweet pangs of jealousy when they’d take a weekend to play in Atlantic City or rock the house somewhere I couldn’t get to. I was proud to see them making it.
It wasn’t until years later that the energetic girl with the amazing red braids jumped off the stage and into my life as a friend instead of an entertainer. Not only did she do a cameo on “Sex and the City,” which I was in awe of, but also, as I got to know the girl behind the microphone better, I learned what a truly remarkable person she was.
Janet was so full of life, wisdom and always gave the best advice. I had consulted with her many times regarding her opinions for my column and had always valued her spot-on, honest input. She had gone through so many personal battles in her own life. One of the most fascinating things about Janet is that she learned and grew from them instead of taking that pain and becoming jaded like so many of us often do. She always had a magical way of turning her pain into something beautiful. Her lust for life and new experiences was something we should all strive to someday have.
Whether she was having an open forum discussion about acceptance and equality or laughing at the crazy antics of our friends, her mere presence lit up the room and made it the place everyone wanted to be. Janet touched so many lives and left this world a better place than it was. She never snubbed a fan or looked down on anyone. She was always inclusive, and if you ever walked into a room with Jane as a stranger, you later left as a friend.
I ask you to honor Jane Train’s memory by going out in the world and doing something good. Talk to someone who looks lonely, share your wisdom, explore the world around you and let life in. She was a force to be reckoned with and will be forever missed. For those of you who didn’t have the chance to experience the talents of this true starlet, do yourself a favor and YouTube Jane Train — her voice will never be silenced.
All of NEPA misses you my dear friend. The wisdom you have passed onto me throughout the years will never be forgotten. I will be my best self in your name and say hello to you every time I see a butterfly. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world and may you find peace and comfort from the love that surrounds you. Rest in peace Jane Train.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.