Albums, History, Members, Songs, and Tours
Bret, C.C., Rikki, and Bobby are OG Glam gangstas. And, if you are ranking hair metal bands, you need to include Poison near the top of the list. Nothin' But A Good Time, Unskinny Bop, Fallen Angel, Talk Dirty to Me, and of course, Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Poison enjoyed the Sunset Strip lifestyle, and, they put the hair in hair metal.
Poison, the band, and not Alice Cooper's song, wasn't hard to like. That's not to say Cooper's song Poison was bad, it wasn't, it's just not what we're discussing here. Poison had catchy hair metal tunes, sing-a-long choruses, hit singles, and every now and then, just enough authenticity to actualize a song with some emotion, like 1990's Something To Believe In off of the album Flesh and Blood.
And of course, a Top 3 power ballad of power ballads, Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Growing up, it was the obligatory slow song played on all of the hard rock/heavy metal stations. Even some classic rock radio snuck it in when you weren't paying attention.
The History of Poison
The rock band, formerly known as Paris, cut their teeth playing covers while making their rounds at local bars & clubs. This inevitably led to them getting signed by Enigma Records and as well as recording a studio version of Rock and Roll All Nite by glam metal progenitor, Kiss. The guys in Poison had moved out to LA at this point, as all Hollywood rockers and successful rock bands did at the time.
The Sunset Strip was a far cry from their Mechanicsburg/Harrisburg, Pennsylvania roots though. And, it was in Los Angeles that lead guitarist Matt Smith was replaced by C.C. DeVille, though not before auditioning future Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash first.
Guitarist C.C. DeVille, considered a core member of Poison now, would become a mainstay in the band until he and Bret found themselves in a knuckleduster after the 1991 MTV Music Awards.
The Richie Kotzen Years
After that Richie Kotzen was brought on board. Kotzen lasted long enough to influence the music on Native Tongue, and of course, get himself in trouble with drummer Rikki Rockett's future wife. Needless to say, Rockett, a founding member of the band, was not thrilled.
If we're being honest though, Kotzen was a legendary talent and triple threat on guitar, vocals, and in the looks department. And, hair metal being hair metal, no one should have been surprised that Kotzen was caught smooching the drummer's girl.
Changing Guitar Players Again
Enter Blues Saraceno who took over in the guitar solo department for a few years. Blues sipped his Poison cup of coffee long enough to finish it as DeVille returned in time for a Greatest Hits Reunion Tour.
And folks, that's Poison. You remember them because they were good enough to ascend to the upper echelon of Cock Rock. What they lacked in Billboard charting was made up for by absolutely nailing the look of the genre. No band looked more glam rock, and no individual did it better than frontman Bret Michaels.
Before we move on, we must acknowledge that bassist Bobby Dall did an amazing job of keeping out of the spotlight. The bassist must hold down the fort. It's an unwritten band rule. If you play bass, you always keep your cool.
Poison Band Members
- Bret Michaels (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano)
- C.C. DeVille (Lead Guitar)
- Rikki Rockett (Drums)
- Bobby Dall (Bass)
Other Members of Poison
- Matt Smith (Lead Guitar)
- Richie Kotzen (Lead Guitar)
- Blues Saraceno (Lead Guitar)
- Look What the Cat Dragged In
- Open Up and Say ... Ahh!
- Flesh & Blood
- Crack a Smile ... and More!
Look What the Cat Dragged In
Open Up and Say ... Ahh!
Poison's Biggest hit: Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Every Rose Has Its Thorn is power balladry at its finest. If you need proof, check out DeVille laying down slow bend whammy technique all over the solo like it's country-gone-metal on his B.C. Rich and Ibanez RG Series guitars.
Other Poison Hit Songs
Here's our list of the Top 10 Poison songs.
- Fallen Angel
- I Won't Forget You
- Nothin' but a Good Time
- Ride the Wind
- Something to Believe In
- Talk Dirty to Me
- Unskinny Bop
Poison Tours were exactly what you think they were: booze-fueled ragers with babes, blow, and more babes. They weren't The Crue, but then no one could be. That didn't stop Poison from having their share of female-field lawsuits, high performance sports car crashes, backstage blowups, and on-stage collapses.
Poison did it all. They lived the dream. They toured around the world owning the hair band lifestyle while simultaneously keeping Aqua Net in business.
Can't wait to see Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett on tour next summer in 2022. Going to see and hear it all in the former lands of rock radio station, WAAF, Boston's Fenway Park. Fitting, as that is where we heard Poison for the very first time.
- Look What the Cat Dragged In Tour (1986–1987)
- Open Up and Say Ahh! Tour (1988–1989)
- Flesh & Blood World Tour (1990–1991)
- Native Tongue World Tour (1993-1994)
- Greatest Hits Reunion Tour (1999)
- Power to the People Tour (2000)
- Glam, Slam, Metal, Jam Tour (2001)
- Hollyweird World Tour (2002)
- Harder, Louder, Faster Tour (2003)
- Rock the Nation World Tour (2004)
- 20 Years of Rock World Tour (2006)
- POISON'D Summer Tour (2007)
- Live, Raw & Uncut Summer Tour (2008)
- 42-city Summer Tour (2009)
- Glam-A-Geddon 25/30/40 Tour (2011)
- Rock of Ages Tour (2012)
- 30th Anniversary North American Comeback Tour (2017)
- Nothing But a Good Time Tour (2018)
- The Stadium Tour (2022)
Poison's Band Logo
Where are the original members of Poison now?
The current lineup of band members in Poison is Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall. This is the original lineup.
Is Poison the band still together?
Yes, Poison the band is still together. They are still touring, wrapping up The Stadium Tour last summer with Motley Crue and Def Leppard.
Who was the lead guitar for Poison?
C.C. DeVille was (and is) the lead guitarist of Poison. He was replaced by Richie Kotzen for a spell in the 90s. Prior to C.C. was Matt Smith.
Why did Poison turn down Slash?
It seems that the feeling was mutual, as Poison and Slash both realized that they weren't a great fit for one another. Slash had more grit and classic rock influence than what Poison was looking for.
Who replaced CC in Poison?
Richie Kotzen replaced C.C. in Poison during the Native Tongue years.
Why did Poison replace Kotzen?
We're certain that there were some internal politics involved, but the rumors suggest that Kotzen may have struck up the wrong relationships with those around him. Kotzen was also a force to be reckoned with on all fronts (looks, talent, songwriting, etc.), and that's not good when a band's lead singer isn't the focal point.
Blues Saraceno replaced Kotzen.
Reviews of Poison Albums
References & Sources