Despite the full-fledged '80s resurgence that we are currently flashdancing through, you can bet your sweet mullet that hair metal won't weasel its way past the first tollbooth in the underground. Why not? Because hipsters, bless their black little hearts, are cultural necrophiliacs. And you can't revive something that ain't died yet.
Poison frontman Bret Michaels primarily attributes the vitality of his band's brand of sugarcoated cock-rock to that usual suspect, lovin' what you're doin'. But there's also a sort of Top 40 Darwinism that's kept Poison and its glammy ilk working arenas from West Palm Beach to Santa Rosa. "Too many bands assume that if something starts to change a little bit in a trend, they immediately have to jump to something else that maybe they're not into," he explains. "For eighteen years we've never pulled our show back. If you look at every genre of music that's been popular, it's happened in every one. So when grunge came along, it passed away, and one or two [bands] survived out of that, and when that female folk alternative thing happened, that all died out, and a couple of good ones stuck around."
Given that hair metal gets such short, snarky shrift from the media at large, Michaels gives no ground when asked why no one ever saw Poison guitarist CC DeVille and Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes in the same room during the '80s. It's really hard to feel good about kicking these guys, though. As Michaels says, "For some reason the press loves to give our genre the most beating. I think they get the most fun out of it. But they love it because they know that was also the most fun for them. That's the way that rock 'n' roll was meant to be and lived out."
Poison plays Sunday at the Redwood Amphitheater at Paramount's Great America, between headliner Vince Neil and openers Skid Row. The theme park is located at 4701 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara. The show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets cost between $40 and $45 at 1-888-742-7277.
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