Glamrockstar’s Metal fanbase will either stand up and cheer for this post on the American Glam Metal band Poison; others will give it the almighty “Bronx Cheer” instead! Die-hard Glam Metal fans will sneer at the description of “metal” and Poison in the same sentence. Indeed, many rock critics back in the day ripped Poison to shreds for their “three chord songs,” and lack of originality. But who cares? The original band of Bret Michaels, Rikki Rockett, Bobby Dall, C.C. DeVille is still on tour 30 years later and kicking ass with what is always a phenomenal rock show.
So yeah, its more Glam than Metal, but hey, what a damn party. Poison has sold over 45 million records worldwide, had 10 singles off the Billboard Hot 100, with the biggest multi-platinum sellers being Look at What the Cat Dragged in, and Open Up and Say….Ahh! Pretty decent for a band that slept in sleeping bags behind a dry cleaning store in Los Angeles for three years before they said to themselves: how can we stand out? Let’s put on lipstick, eyeliner, and pretty boy rags! All right, it did the trick, and world fame was almost more than Michaels, Rockett, Dall and DeVille could handle after that, with their videos in constant rotation on MTV, and numerous write-ups in the main rock magazines of the day, including Circus, Creem, Rock Express, and Hit Parader. GlamRock4Ever lived for the day when the latest issue of Circus or Creem came out to see what these bands were up to! Remember there was no internet, no 24-7 cable, no nothing media-wise in the 1980s but actually it was better! Enough said.
Poison began in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and consisted of Bret Michaels (vocals) and childhood friend Rockett (drums), who formed a band The Spectres in 1980. The two then teamed up with Bobby Dall (bass), and Matt Smith (guitar), calling the band Paris. After playing local clubs, the band decided in order to really hit it big in the music industry, they had to either head to New York or Los Angeles. According to one band member interviewed on VH1 (“When Metal Ruled the World”) since it was “warmer in L.A. and the women are better-looking” that’s where the group headed after Michaels bought an old ambulance for $700 for their trip. While in Los Angeles, Smith came to the conclusion the group was not going to make it, heading back to Pennsylvania. The rest of the band members auditioned for a new guitarist, narrowing it down to three choices: Steve Silva (Joe Perry Project), Slash (Guns N Roses), and New York city born C.C. DeVille. They decided to go with C.C. DeVille, along with changing their name to Poison.
There is not enough blog space to go over the numerous accomplishments by Poison, so here are highlights of their best-selling albums and singles: Look What the Cat Dragged in (1986) with singles “Talk Dirty to Me,” and “I Won’t Forget You.” Open Up and Say….Ahh! (1988) with singles “Every Rose has Its Thorn,” and “Nothin’ but a Good Time.” Flesh and Blood (1990) featuring smash singles “Unskinny Bop” and “Ride the Wind.” There were certain spectacular events in the band’s history:
Backstage fistfight between Michaels and DeVille at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards; Michaels losing control of his Ferrari in 1994, resulting in numerous injuries; an explicit sex tape made between Bret M and Pamela Anderson in 1998; Bret M starring in a movie with Charlie Sheen called Letter from Death Row, that same year; and after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, Bret Michaels won NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Here is a partial conversation from that episode between the Donald and Bret:
Mr. Trump said on the broadcast that he had spoken to Mr. Michaels’ doctors, and “they didn’t want you to be here tonight. At all. Believe me, not at all.”
Mr. Trump asked, “Are you risking your life being here? This is a lot of pressure.”
“Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life,” Mr. Michaels said, garnering laughs from the audience. He had flown to New York from Los Angeles for the finale.
(Source: New York Times, “Bret Michaels Wins ‘Apprentice’ After Illness, May 24, 2010)
On March 1, 2011 Poison announced “Glam-A-Geddon” tour with New York Dolls and Motley Crue. In 2018, Poison is on tour with Cheap Trick and Pop Evil.