“If I would have been in Menudo my career would have been over a long time ago,” Rikki Rockett said recently in an interview with The Michigan Daily. Yet Rockett and the other men in Poison find themselves still trekking well into the new millennium.

Paul Wong
Rikki Rockett and the boys of Poison prove they can still rock this 4th of July<br><br>Courtesy of Capitol

After the early 90s invasion of grunge bands, Poison was banished from MTV and the radio. Grunge gave the ozone a much-needed break from the relentless attack of Aqua Net and soothed eyes gone sore from staring at one too many fluorescent spandex outfits. The age of flannel cleaned house, taking no prisoners. “A lot of good ones got thrown out with the bad ones … And that is a shame. There were some of them that did deserve it, I don”t think we were one of them,” Rockett said. No need to name any names, “I don”t want to drudge it up and make anyone feel bad, I don”t think anyone comes out and tries to be shitty.”

The age of the antihero entered and men named Kurt and Eddie ruled the charts. Rock shows became mundane. Gone were the pyrotechnics and acrobatic front man. “There was a generation of rock fans throughout the “90s just coming of age being able to go see shows. I think a lot of artists who were out at that time weren”t giving them what they had heard about,” Rockett said. The lack of showmanship, the distaste for fame and angst in general lost its appeal and left rock in a precarious position. Rap/Metal came in to form a temporary stop-gap but by no means was or is a permanent solution. Once again the winds of change are blowing and the breeze smells of hairspray

Poison has toured three years straight primarily on the strength of their back catalogue. This year will be no different as Poison comes to the DTE Energy Music Theatre on the 4th of July headlining the Glam Slam Metal Jam which proudly features Enuff Z” Nuff, Quiet Riot, Warrant and Poison. The annual Greatest Hits tour has served Poison well but by no means do they plan to rest on their laurels. “We”re totally committed to doing a new album … If there is ever a time it”s now,” Rockett said.

Most would argue Poison had their time and too much of it at that, but Rockett feels a return to the mainstream for Poison is in the cards. “There are a lot of people on our side … There are a lot of people who want to see it happen for us, kind of like the way it was for Aerosmith.”

Rockett said things are better now than they ever were. “[During] The epitome of our quote unquote “career” in “89 I didn”t feel what I feel now. I feel much more fulfilled now than I did then.” No longer are the faces of Brett and Rikki plastered on every teen magazine and they certainly are not buddy-buddy with Carson Daly on TRL, yet their shows are still pulling in 12,000 people a night. “When we were the flavor of the month everyone wanted to get involved and see what was happening. So you”d have a quarter hardcore fans … The people are more enthusiastic now. The people that like us (now) really fuckin” like us,” Rockett said.

Some things are different, “The girls are smarter, they bring their own condoms.” The Makeup? “I still wear makeup, in fact the older I get the more I need it.” And of course the music is just as loud and flamboyant as ever. Poison hopes for another hit but even if there is never another “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “Nothin” But a Good Time” Rockett will be okay with that too.

“I know what I”m about. I am proud of what I”ve done and where I”ve been, but I am also proud of where I am and where I am going.”

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