This isn’t the first time I’ve been on during the daytime at a rock station. I began cracking the mic back in the late ’80s. A lot of the music from that era was disposable. And a lot of that disposable music was produced by hair bands.
With their perfect ’dos, caked-on make-up, and really-hot-but-wait-that’s-a-dude (!) lead singer Bret Michaels, no one would be faulted for lumping Poison into the same category as the Bulletboys or Warrant. Their debut, Look What the Cat Dragged In, did little to make one think they’d still be part of the pop-culture fabric 22 years later.
Then, in ’88, they scored: Bret and the boys had every girl in the arena wanting more than just a good time with his victim’s ode called “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” This was evident in Louisville sometime in late ’88 or early ’89. I can’t remember exactly, but I was on the air at LRS-102 and Poison made a stop into town and staggered from the fog of their buses to take the stage amidst their bottles of Jack and stacks of amps.
Before Poison played, we went back for the official meet-n-greet. There was the customary handshake, small talk, group photo, and a great deal of speculation if any of the teenage girls sporting their screen-printed fabric “pre-show” passes actually left their homes wearing the same type of clothing they were now wearing backstage. We didn’t have Charlotte Russe stores in Louisville…but apparently a chain of Jailbait Sluts had opened overnight to supply the River City’s under-18 set with the requisite see-through tops and pleather pants that might get them a private, late-night tour of the band’s bus.
Despite the temptation that these corn-fed cuties offered, Bret didn’t do anything scandalous that I could see. He was gracious and kind. Perhaps he somehow knew something none of us did…that thanks to his pop melodies and good looks, he’d weather the storms of time to sail again in a new millennium.
DJ: Jim Richards
Station: 101.5 KGB FM
Shift: Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.