Bret Michaels Talks Boys & Girls Club, the Barrow Neurological Institute, Sharing a Stage with Motley Crüe and Rock of Love

Categories: Interview
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Nancy Mazzei
Bret Michaels is set to rock the Scottsdale waterfront this Friday in support of the Phoenix Children's Hospital and The Boy's & Girls Club of Scottsdale


It's no real secret that I am a fan of Bret Michaels. I always had an appreciation for what he accomplished as the lead singer of hair metal band Poison back in the heyday of the Sunset Strip. I maintain that the rock/metal movement of the Sunset Strip in the 1980s is the one music scene I wish I could have been a part of -- I mean, can you imagine the people-watching back then? It's mind-boggling -- yet Michaels was the face of one of that scene's most beloved bands. Oh, to be there for of some of those parties.

I digress. Michaels re-upped his image in 2007 with his VH1 reality dating show Rock of Love, availing himself to a new, younger generation of fans -- myself included. The show was beyond a guilty pleasure for myself -- it was something I truly enjoyed watching, as "trashy" and whatever else others derogatorily deemed it to be. I saw the genius behind Bret Michaels truly come to light during the three seasons of Rock of Love.

When asked if I would want to do an interview with Bret Michaels in anticipation of his upcoming Friday night show at the Scottsdale Waterfront, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

However, in my excitement over my interview with Bret Michaels, I somehow managed to not record our conversation. My immediate regret once I realized what I had done was of an unbelievable nature, and I apologize to any and all of his fans for not doing a sufficient enough job. What I can do, however, is offer up some of the more important parts of our conversation -- ones that I could jot down once I realized my egregious error. Please, bear with me as I recount our conversation about his show this Friday night.

On playing a show for charity:
Michaels reiterated many times that the show was in support of the Boys & Girls Club, as well as the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Michaels has been a lifelong diabetic, so he is more than happy to give his talents in support of research and funding.

On Arizona and his time spent at Barrow Neurological Institute:
Michaels had a great appreciation for the doctors and staff at Phoenix's Barrow Neurological Institute, who both helped him with his brain hemorrhage in April of last year and his heart surgery this past January. Michaels noted that he was lucky to have been in Arizona -- where he has had a house since 2005 -- so that he could seek treatment at Barrow as quickly as he did.

Michaels also talked about how much he enjoyed his show at the Arizona State Fair last October, as well as mentioning that he has yet another State Fair show lined up for this October. That particular show was featured in the finale of Michaels' "docudrama/docusoap," Life as We Know It, an experience that showed Michaels' life in Arizona as well as being one that he very much enjoyed being a part of.

On Poison's 25th anniversary and sharing a stage with Mötley Crüe:
Michaels noted that Poison's upcoming summer tour with Mötley Crüe will not be the first time both bands have shared a stage. That distinction goes to the second day of the 1987 edition of Bill Graham's Days on the Green concert series at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (now Overstock.com Coliseum). He is excited to share a stage with a band like Mötley Crüe, whose music he loves. Michaels also noted that when he tours with a band he enjoys (Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS), he'll watch their set and then head back to his bus and listen to some more of their music. He noted that he loves all types of music -- not just rock.

Michaels also noted that when Poison came to fame in the early 1980s, they self-released their own material, acting as their own record label. He noted that there was no Internet like in today's times, so the band had to self-release their music, which then got wider release through major labels like EMI and Capitol. Michaels was also excited to reunite with his Poison bandmates. He said he didn't care about the "egos and other obstacles" of reuniting the band -- he simply wants to go out there and play music.

On Rock of Love:
Michaels very much enjoyed his time spent on Rock of Love. He had nothing but respect for all the women on the show. While he didn't always get to choose the different competitions the girls competed in, he did mention how much he loved to see the girls go out there and compete like that. He enjoyed partying with the girls, whom he dubbed as "crazy -- crazy fun."

On his fans:
What was most evident about our interview was how Michaels was appreciative of his fans. The man spends hours after shows at the merch table meeting his fans and signing autographs. He mentioned how he still likes to party with and entertain his fans as he did back in Poison's heyday, yet the whole process has slowed down a bit now that he's older. Michaels loves to see the energy from his more passionate fans at his shows, something that drives him perform and leave everything onstage. 

Rock the Waterfront, featuring Bret Michaels, will be held this Friday, May 13, at the Scottsdale Waterfront from 4 to 11pm. Bret Michaels is scheduled to take the stage at 9 p.m. Poison is also scheduled to play Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion with Motley Crüe and New York Dolls on Friday, June 17.

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