Poison - 2006
Poison exploded out of the LA club scene
and onto the national stage in 1986. After years of paying their dues,
the controversial glam metal punks, whose stage show was hailed by
one critic "as the Sex
Pistols meets Kiss on acid", could not be ignored. Combining streetwise,
catchy songs which lead vocalist Bret Michaels called "the soundtrack
to our lives" and a strong video image, helped to make their 1986
independent debut album, Look What The Cat Dragged In a multi-platinum
Top Ten smash. Soon Capitol Records came calling, however Poison refused
to subdue any of its music or image to fit into the mainstream. They
stuck to their guns. Poison’s outrageous image and attitude caused
as many people to hate the band as fans who loved them. There was no
middle-of- the-road attitude with this band. With the MTV and radio success
of the singles "Cry Tough," "Talk Dirty To Me," "I
Want Action," "I Won't Forget You," and an opening act
slot on the Ratt tour, Poison had become a household name by the summer
of '87. Poison was, and still is, one of the few bands who, because of
constant touring and having over the top, no-holds-barred stage shows,
has formed one of the most loyal fans bases in the world, allowing them
to tour arenas for the last 16 years, as many of their peers fell by
In 1988, Poison released their second album, Open
Up And Say...Ahh!, which was originally slated to be produced by Paul
Stanley of Kiss, but due to scheduling conflicts, the band worked with
legendary producer Tom Werman instead. The record quickly went platinum
and its first single, "Nothin'
But A Good Time" raced up both the MTV and Billboard charts. The
band hit the road opening for David Lee Roth, but by that summer, it
became obvious that they were capable of selling out arenas on their
own. They soon found themselves as headliners with three more hit singles: "Fallen
Angel," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (their first #1 single), "Your
Mamma Don't Dance" and an album that would ultimately go on to sell
eight million copies worldwide, and were featured in Time Magazine alongside
Metallica as one of the largest grossing touring acts of that era.
They kicked off the 90's with the release of their
third album, Flesh And Blood, and once again embarked on another World
Tour. Flesh & Blood
reached #2 on the charts, and went multi-platinum, and spawning three
more gold singles ("Unskinny Bop", "Ride the Wind" and
the mega-hit, "Something To Believe In"). But cracks in the
band's foundation were already beginning to surface. Rock 'n' roll's
excesses, and tension between Bret and C.C., were threatening to tear
the band apart. A fist fight broke out between Bret and C.C. in New Orleans.
The conflict continued, making for an "infamous" appearance
on 1991's MTV Music Awards, where Bret and C.C. slugged it out backstage
C.C. departed the band that night. It became clear to everyone that things
were about to change. However, Capitol Records continued with the release
of the double live CD, Swallow This Live in early 1992, despite the fact
the band had no guitar player.
Guitarist Richie Kotzen was recruited to replace C.C.,
and in 1993 at the height of the "grunge" movement, Poison
racked up yet another Top 20 gold album and successful World Tour with
the release of Native Tongue. After personal situations arose, however,
Kotzen was summarily dismissed from the band.
In 1994, guitarist Blues Saraceno came on board to record the album
Crack A Smile. But a severe car wreck would change things when vocalist
Bret Michaels lost control of his Ferrari in May of 1994, suffering
a broken nose and upper jawbone, broken ribs and fingers and the loss
of four front teeth. The accident put the production of Crack A Smile
on hold. In 1995, upon Michaels' recovery, the band continued with
the recording of Crack A Smile. But due to a shift in the Capitol Records
staff, the label chose to put the album on the back burner and instead
decided to prepare a Poison Greatest Hits record with two cuts from
Crack A Smile as bonus tracks. Poison’s future became uncertain.
During this down period the Poison vocalist remained in the spotlight.
Bret Michaels and good friend Charlie Sheen formed a movie production
company, Sheen/Michaels Entertainment, in which Bret wrote, directed,
and starred in several of their film productions, and his stormy relationship
with Pamela Anderson and the ensuing sex tape scandal
kept things interesting.
In 1996, Capitol Records released Poison's Greatest
Hits. Even though the band had been out of the spotlight for a couple
of years, the record went Platinum, proving the loyalty of Poison’s
fans and the overwhelming demand for the original lineup to get back
together and hit the road,
but Michaels and DeVille had still not patched things up.
Michaels continued creatively moving forward with
the critically acclaimed film and soundtrack, A Letter From Death Row
and special guest appearances in Sony Pictures' In God’s Hands,
CBS' hit comedy Yes Dear, action series Martial Law, the Miramax film
No Code Of Conduct and Showtime's The Chris Isaak Show. Rikki and C.C.
also spent time working their own projects: Rikki with his Glitter
For Your Soul record, his own clothing line, comic books and animal
rights work with the Last Chance For Animals organization; and later
C.C. toured and released a record with his band, Samantha 7.
As the band members continued to stay busy, unknown
to Bret, Bobby Dall and C.C. had been talking about C.C. returning
to the band, and a phone call in late 1998 would see the impossible
come true…DeVille and
Michaels spoke, made up, and in the summer of 1999, the original four
members hit the road for the first time together in eight years. And
in true Poison tradition, the stage show was a spectacle.
The Greatest Hits tour proved to be a monster success.
They kicked off the tour at Pine Knob Amphitheater in Detroit to a
sold out crowd of 18,000. The rest of the tour proved to be just as
successful, drawing an average of 12,000 fans each night. Their VH1 "Behind The Music" episode
was seen by over five million viewers that summer, and suddenly the band
began popping up on various other television programs all over the country.
2000 finally brought the release of the Crack A Smile record as well
as Power To The People, a live album featuring five new studio tracks.
Proving that the 1999 Greatest Hits tour was no fluke, the Power To The
People tour was also a major success.
Firmly re-established as a major box office draw,
Poison made it three hot summers in a row in 2001 when their "Glam Slam Metal Jam" tour
also filled arenas and amphitheatres coast to coast. They also released
the successful Greatest Hits DVD to coincide with "Metal Jam" tour.
The "Glam Slam Metal Jam" came to a halt,
however, three weeks short
of its completion. Bassist Bobby Dall was rushed by ambulance to Omaha's
University Of Nebraska Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery
on his back from an injury suffered while performing onstage. A neurosurgeon
replaced several discs in Dall's spine and said
that at least six months of rehab and recovery would be necessary.
Poison hit the road in 2002 in support of their new
studio album, Hollyweird, which included the first single, a cover
of The Who's "Squeeze
Box." The tour was presented by VH1 Classic and Best Buy Music.
2003 will see the band present another huge summer tour. Poison promises
this will be their biggest, best stage spectacle to date, thus, adding
more pages to their already incredible rock 'n' roll success story.
Moondance Jam 2014 Lineup
Bands to be announced soon.
"Soundtrack of Summer"
With many more bands announced soon!