Poison frontman and reality TV star Bret Michaels is stopping in the Toledo area for a solo performance today at Centennial Terrace.
Michaels and his glam-metal band scored a string of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "Talk Dirty to Me," "Nothin' But a Good Time," "I Won't Forget You," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Unskinny Bop," and "Something to Believe In."
Centennial Terrace is at 5773 Centennial Rd. in Sylvania. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8. Tickets for reserved seating are $67 and $42, and $34 for general admission, and are available through the Stranahan Theater box office, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., 419-381-8851, at all TicketMaster locations, by phone at 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com, and the Centennial Terrace box office after 4:30 p.m.
In a phone interview with The Blade, Michaels discussed his solo show, being a reality TV fixture, and the business of being a rock star.
Q: You're on the road with Poison as part of a package tour with Def Leppard, and mixing in solo dates as well. That's unusual to tour with your band and as a solo artist at the same time.
A: I've done it probably since 2003. I play most of the year as a solo artist and travel the world and then Poison goes out in the summertime. Over the last few years it's been Poison and KISS or Poison and Motley [Crue] or Poison and Def Leppard. And then I went out one summer and it was Bret Michaels and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and then I went out to a bunch of different festivals by myself as well. I'm a guy who feels like you can do both. I love where I came from, I love doing the Poison stuff, but when I go solo I still add in all the Poison hits. I give them, obviously, a little different twist, and add in the solo music. My solo concert is really as much a party as it is a rock show. It's just a really high-energy great time.
Q: A lot of fans know you more from your reality TV shows than as a rock singer. Can the two types of celebrity coexist?
A: The shows that I have done, thank God, have been successful as far as Rock of Love, Life as I Know It, Celebrity Apprentice, Nashville Star, and all of them deal with music or the music business, or what I've learned from the music business. I managed to bring it all back to what I love, which is music, but I truly believe the two coexist. But let's be honest: TV and being in someone's living room on a daily basis obviously is going to be more recognizable than when you just play music. I've kept all the Poison fans, and yet at the same time a lot of younger fans came along from Rock of Love, and a lot more fans came along from Celebrity Apprentice ... a huge NBC show and I am fortunate enough to have won it.
Q: Critics might contend the added TV exposure is destroying the mystery of being a rock star.
A: The mystery would be destroyed if you go on TV and you're not who you are. I don't think it destroys the mystery, but people are intrigued. They're intrigued by what happens behind what's written. A story written can be spun in any way the writer writes it. I think with YouTube and stuff like that they are giving you more exposure. If you're a good person or people like you, that's a great thing; however, if what they expose is that you're a complete jerk, that's not a good thing. I didn't have to change ... or do anything for TV. I just went on and I was myself. If I was in a great mood, great, if I was in a down mood I let it unfold. I don't know that it takes away the mystery as much as it let's you expose [yourself].
Q: You seem to be all business at this point in your career and less the carefree rock and roller. When did you make that transition?
A: In the entertainment business, if I'm not taking care of my business someone else is, and that's when you become a tragedy. [Poison] has been our own label, I've kept my publishing since the beginning. Because we're at a little over 30 million records sold and we kept our publishing and we own our own label, we're not doing it because we need the money. Like Robert DeNiro. He doesn't need to act because he needs the money; he genuinely enjoys acting. I like playing music, and I truly believe there is no shame in taking care of the business because I've watched this. And you want to know the people who fail? It's the ones who put their head in the sand, and then wake up one day and go, "What the [expletive] happened to my career?"
Contact Kirk Baird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6734.