Nothing but a good time

B ret Michaels is everywhere these days. He’s the face of Life Rocks, a foundation that raises money for diabetes (Bret was diagnosed as a child). He had a product line with PetSmart called Pets Rock. He’s done reality TV (and won Celebrity Apprentice). He hocks candles on his website. He does guest spots on […]

Bad boy Bret Michaels returns to J.D. Legends


Bret Michaels. Photo: Mark Mazzanti.

By Allyson B. Crawford

Bret Michaels is everywhere these days. He’s the face of Life Rocks, a foundation that raises money for diabetes (Bret was diagnosed as a child). He had a product line with PetSmart called Pets Rock. He’s done reality TV (and won Celebrity Apprentice). He hocks candles on his website. He does guest spots on TV shows, like Rock and Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar. Michaels even talks about his love of cars to anyone who will listen, including Motor Trend magazine. He’s also in a little, multi-platinum selling band named Poison and in between all those other projects, he spends many nights of the year on the road as a solo act.

The Bret Michaels Band will return to the stage at J.D. Legends (65 Millard Drive) in Franklin on Saturday, July 28.

Poison made Michaels famous. The quartet just wrapped up a very successful summer run, dubbed the Nothing But A Good Time Tour. Called the “the original glam, slam, kings of noise,” Poison has been rocking out to and creating party hits across America and the world for more than 30 years.

While on the road with Poison, the band sticks mainly to the hits, rarely delving into deep album cuts. During his solo shows, Michaels plays Poison songs too, but also draws from an ever-growing catalog of music that he has released as an independent artist. If Poison is all eyeliner and glitter, Michaels himself is more introspective and country-esque.

That musical switch has allowed Michaels to stay at the top of the business. While his contemporaries are fighting with bandmates and playing for table scraps (see the multiple touring versions of RATT for example), Michaels—and by extension Poison—are able to sell thousands of tickets nightly to fans who just want to forget their troubles for about 90 minutes and remember the glory days.

Back on stage, Michaels seems to benefit from boundless energy. At 55 years old, the rocker has no plans to slow down. He already has solo dates booked through the end of the year, including a date the day after Christmas.

“I just gave up sleep. It was simple. I just stopped sleeping, or any form of rest,” Bret Michaels explains during a recent interview with Apple News. “Going out on the road, I don’t look at it as work: I look at it as going out there, and having a great time getting to live out my dream. I’m grateful for the fans; I’m grateful they’ve been there through this journey.”

With Michaels, what you see is what you get at both solo and Poison shows. That means the signature bandana with flat-ironed hair, tight jeans and a completely unadulterated live experience.

“There’s no Pro Tools, no click track—it’s just live music,” Michaels recently told Cleveland.Com. “I don’t even use in-ear monitors. I feed off the live energy of the crowd.”

Back in his charity role, Michaels raises money for several causes important to him. By far his biggest cause is raising money and awareness for kids with diabetes.

After he started making money through music, Michaels started sending kids to diabetic camp. His Life Rocks Foundation has zero administration, so it’s donations in and donations out.

For Michaels, charity work gives him a purpose beyond the microphone.

His other big passion is honoring veterans. Long a staple of Poison and his solo gigs is the time where Michaels turns the spotlight on veterans and first responders, thanking them for their service to their respective communities and the country. Michaels’ father is a veteran and he comes from a military family, so honoring these heroes comes naturally.

After the patriotic nod, it’s time to get back to the rock. Fans have been clamoring for new music from Poison for decades now. The band’s last album of new material was the 2002 release Hollyweird. To those calls for new material, Michaels has recently responded saying fans can at least expect a new song or two and another Poison tour for 2020.

In the meantime, Michaels would want you to rock out with him in Franklin. Bring some friends and high five after “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

Bret Michaels will appear at J.D. Legends, 65 Millard Drive, Franklin on July 28. Tickets start at $33.50. Tables and VIP packages are available. Mick Blankenship and Mad Hatter will provide support. For more information, call 937.746.4950, or visit jdlegends.com. More information about Bret Michaels can be found at bretmichaels.com.

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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