"You know, between getting punched in the jaw and hit in the nose, it was a blurry evening at best," says Bret Michaels. "C.C. was just gone, and at that point in my life, I wasn't in much more sober shape."
By all rights it should have been the end of a band. Backstage at the MTV Music Video Awards, guitarist and lead singer of a glam-rock outfit leave the stage and meet Cindy Crawford. But then, chaos. A fistfight ensues right at Cindy's feet. The singer gets on the receiving end of a volley of punches to the face, and the two bandmates drop to the ground kicking, biting, and clawing. Howard Stern is there, and he dives to one side while muttering, "What the fuck?" The guitarist is fired, the singer sinks into a slippery slope that winds up with him totaling his Ferrari and knocking out his front teeth a few years later, and the whole band erupts over its own members' egos and drug problems.
But Poison didn't die. (The only thing the incident proved was that guitarist C.C. DeVille, if it comes down to it, could kick Michaels's ass.) In fact the band is performing this Saturday at MARS Music Amphitheatre as the headlining act for the Glam Slam Metal Jam. And despite a music scene that has passed the band by several times over, Poison vocalist Michaels claims to be on top of the game.
"I have the number-one hair band in America!" Michaels declares. "I wear the sash proudly."
Feminine clothing and/or makeup that Michaels may wear notwithstanding, the band continues to put out albums to a tepid reception compared with its late-'80s heyday. The band's next release is scheduled for 2002, and Michaels says there are two tentative album titles: Glam Slam Kings of Noise and Exile from Mainstream. The latter seems far more fitting, especially because of the unintentionally funny reference to the Rolling Stones, a band whose oeuvre actually has stood the test of time.