Bret Michaels talks Poison, reality TV, and his health ahead of solo show Saturday

By Nicole Crosbie

Former Poison frontman Bret Michaels has kicked off his solo summer tour, and will perform at the Medina Entertainment Center this Saturday. See what Michaels has to say about reality television, his health, his new album, and reuniting with Poison in his interview with Gimme Noise.

Gimme Noise: In addition to your solo tour, you will be on the road this summer with Poison for a series of gigs with Def Leppard. What are you most looking forward to?

Bret Michaels: What I'm most looking forward to is putting on some great shows for the fans. I'm really excited to get out there with Poison and give the fans the experience of a lifetime. I'm going to be mixing in some solo dates this summer as well, so I'm going to be playing shows constantly and it's definitely going to be a blast.

Your solo album, Get Your Rock On, will hit stores this July and you worked with some amazing singers. Tell me a little bit about the album and how you decided what talent to work with.

My album will be out this summer and I'm really proud of what we've done with it. It's actually going to be called, Bret Michaels and Friends: Get Your Rock On, and I'll explain why: It's really not just a Bret Michaels album. I had so many other talented artists come in and support that it's really a "Bret Michaels & Friends" album.

There's a staggering amount of talent on this album- from Ace Frehley of Kiss to Michael Anthony of Van Halen to Loretta Lynn and Lil Jon. Sal Costa of My Darkest Days, Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Phil Collen of Def Leppard are on there as well. It's been such a fun project for me and I'm excited to share it with the fans.

You were recently awarded the Magic Johnson Health Care Award for your work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation. Why is it so important for you to give back to the community and what was it like to receive that honor?

Receiving the Magic Johnson Health Care Award was a huge honor for me. I'm a lifelong diabetic and I take my health very seriously I always try to give back in any way that I can- whether it's raising money for the JDRF or the ADA or St. Jude's Children's Hospital. There are number of charities that I support, including my own- the Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation- which sends diabetic kids to summer camps where they can just be kids and not feel different because of their health condition.

In the past few years you have had a few health scares [Bret had an emergency appendectomy, a brain hemorrhage, and a hole in his heart]. How are you feeling today? Has your medical situation influenced your outlook on life?

I'm feeling great these days. I'm really just about back to where I want to be, but my health has definitely been a rollercoaster ride the past few years.  My past medical situations have been totally life changing, as you might expect. The doctors said, "If you have children you need to bring them down." Those are words you never want to hear. It transcends scary-it's really the deepest kind of fear. 

When I got out of the hospital I felt like a lot of people expected me to sit at home and wait, and that's not me. If anything the experience said to me, "Life is short. And life is you better go live it." To me, getting back to touring as fast as I did was my way of showing my daughters and my fans that you can't let anything stop you.

You've been in the spotlight, both with your music career and with the reality television that you've done [Bret won Celebrity Apprentice in 2010 and also starred in his own reality series, Rock of Love and Life as I Know It] . Do you feel like people know the "real" you? What would people be surprised to know about you?

I've been doing this for 26 years now, and I do hope that at this point the fans have some idea of what I'm about. I've been fortunate enough to work on a lot of great projects that have really come straight from the heart. I think people would be surprised to know that I have a serious side.

Look, I love to have fun as much as the next guy (okay--probably more than the next guy!), but I'm also really motivated  by and passionate about all of the business projects I have on my plate. I think people caught a glimpse of that side of me when I won Celebrity Apprentice, but I really do live it. I have a line with PetSmart coming out on June 18 that I'm really excited about, and I also have partnerships with Snapple, Ford, and Dean Guitars.

What can people expect if they come to your concert on Saturday, and what is the best part about being in Minnesota?

People can expect great energy and a great time. I'm getting up there with my solo band and we're just going to give 110%. I'm going to play a lot of hits as well as some new material from my upcoming album.

For me the best part of being in Minnesota is the community. I'm fortunate enough to have some really great fans in Minnesota and I'm looking forward to seeing them all out there.

You're an accomplished musician, Celebrity Apprentice winner, reality television star, businessman and philanthropist. What's next for you?

Between my Get Your Rock On solo tour, the upcoming Get Your Rock On album, my summer tour with Poison and Def Leppard, my line with PetSmart coming out on June 18, and my Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation, I definitely have a lot on my plate. But all of these are projects that I'm incredibly passionate about, so I'm really excited to have all of these things happening.


Bret Michaels will play at the Medina Entertainment Center on Saturday, June 2. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. $35.00 + Tax. 21+.


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