Bret MichaelsLead vocals, guitar
Bobby DallBass
Rikki RockettDrums
Matt SmithGuitar1983-1985
C.C. DeVilleGuiar1983-1991, 1996-
Richie KotzenGuitar1991-1993
Blues SaracenoGuaitr1993-1996

Poison Artistfacts

  • With absurdly high hair, lots of makeup and girly accessories, the band exemplified the "hair metal" look, an offshoot of glam. Rockett was trained as a hairdresser, and was responsible for much of their image.
  • They never broke up, although they have been inactive for long stretches, notably in the late 90s. Bands they've toured with include Def Leppard, Ratt, Tesla, Mötley Crüe and Cinderella.
  • Michaels extended his celebrity with the 2007 VH1 reality series Rock Of Love, which was like The Bachelor, but a lot sleazier. The show was a ratings success, leading to more reality TV appearances for Michaels (he won Celebrity Apprentice Season 3 in 2010) and some solo tours. During this era, it was up to him if and when Poison toured.
  • The group formed in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania but moved to Los Angeles, where they hit it big. They had moved to LA but had yet to release their first album when original guitarist Matt Smith left the band to return home.

    Slash, who was in a pre-Guns N' Roses band with Axl Rose called Hollywood Rose, auditioned for Poison when Smith left. C.C. DeVille got the gig, in part because he embraced the look, while it was clear Slash was not going to wear makeup.
  • Michaels and Rockett both had health scares: Michaels had a brain hemorrhage in 2010, and Rockett was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015. Both made full recoveries.
  • Michaels has diabetes and constantly monitors his blood sugar levels - even during shows. He will sometimes leave the stage during a guitar solo to prick his finger to test his blood. If it's too low, he'll take liquid glucose; too high, he'll inject himself with insulin.
  • Drug use made DeVille difficult to deal with, and at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, tensions came to a head when he purposely played the wrong song, making his bandmates look foolish. He was ejected from the band after the show; he rejoined in 1996.


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