Tag Archive | Poison

Christopher Long’s A Shot of Poison Gets Tenth Anniversary Reboot!

A Shot of Poison Cover
“Another Shot of Poison . . .”

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was writing a monthly column (for the now long-defunct Request magazine) called Doctor Feelgood: A Remedy for the Rocks In Your Head, in which I discussed the continuing careers of various beloved ’80s Hair Metal Bands. During those years, I became friendly with a lot of musicians, including Rikki Rockett, drummer for the band Poison. It was this connection, I believe, that prompted an industry friend, Christopher Long, to ask if I would contribute the foreword to a tell-all book he was writing about the band, based on his experiences touring with them as a tech to bassist Bobby Dall. Coincidentally, a story I had just heard from another musician friend that had something to do with the band’s road cases provided me with unique creative inspiration to write that introduction, and Chris just flipped out when he read it, so it all worked out. You can read a little preview I wrote on A Shot of Poison when it was first published in 2010 right here.

Chris emailed me recently to let me know A Shot of Poison is being re-published in an updated version for its 10th Anniversary, and that my foreword would remain a part of the book, which is nice to hear. The new ‘Director’s Cut‘ edition dropped yesterday and is surely worth picking up for anyone who would love to get the dirt on a rock band as polarizing as Poison. I asked Chris if he would like to give me a quote on why he decided to update the story and here’s what he said:

“Since I was a kid, I’ve craved insider rock and roll books — a passion first fueled by Bob Greene’s Billion Dollar Baby — the riveting bestseller that recounted Greene’s unique first-hand experiences while touring with the Alice Cooper Band in 1973. A Shot of Poison came as a result of my own rather eye-opening personal experiences while touring with the band Poison in the early 2000s. Recently, I was inspired by author Anna-Marie O’Brien‘s dazzling debut memoir, Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian. A music industry insider, also with an amazing personal story, O’Brien ‘showed’ me that, while the original 2010 version of A Shot of Poison offered plenty of underbelly insights, I may have missed the bigger ‘story factor.’

In short order, I had a conversation with my publisher and it was decided that the 10th Anniversary was a perfect time to revisit the book — give it a good polishing and expand the narrative to include my array of Poison-related experiences that have played out since the release of the first edition. I think it’s a pretty solid reboot!”

A Shot of Poison: The Directors Cut is now available at Amazon or directly from CG Publishing (for a few bucks less) at This Link.

Movie Review: My Way

My Way Movie Poster

Reminiscent of inspiring music documentaries such as The Punk Singer: A Film About Kathleen Hanna (which provided the Riot Grrrl movement founder with the substantial props she deserved), and Anvil, the Story of Anvil (a film that completely resurrected an unsung band’s entire career), My Way, focusing on singer/songwriter guitarist Rebekah Snyder-Starr, showcases one musician’s quest to find success in the music business while doing things on her own terms.

Directed by Dominique Mollee and Vinny Sisson, My Way centers on an engaging cross-country road trip taken by Starr and her close friend Annika, one of two tambourine players/back up singers in the all-femme Rebekah Starr Band, based in Starr’s home town of Kittanning, Pennsylvania.  Unsatisfied in her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and having recently been fired from her own family’s corporate business, Rebekah is clearly a woman whose dreams have outgrown her small town environment. With little to lose, and no one else in the band able to leave their day jobs or family obligations, Rebekah and Annika map out their adventure from PA to LA, where their goal is to play a gig on the Sunset Strip, and, ultimately, to shoot a video for the titular song, which is Rebekah’s personal “My way or the highway” mantra which keeps her focused on getting what she wants. It does not hurt that she is completely adorable and has actual musical talent.

During the journey (which took place in 2010), the girls play impromptu acoustic gigs in whatever local roadside bar will have them, earn gas money and promote the band by selling their CDs to everyone they meet, reunite with old friends, and make lots of new ones, while working through challenges that arise in their friendship. The storyline is advanced by the appearance of various music industry insiders such as Poison drummer Rikki Rocket (also a Pennsylvania native) who keenly illuminates both what it really means to struggle as an unknown band, as well as the type of relentless effort involved in eventually making it professionally. Enuff Z’Nuff  songwriter/bassist Chip Z’nuff (who has written original material with Rebekah) and former Guns ‘n’ Roses drummer Steven Adler also add their insight, as does veteran Porn Star Ron Jeremy, who appears as comic relief in one of Rebekah’s music videos (available on the DVD as an extra).

Even if you have not heard the Rebekah Starr Band prior to seeing this film, you will become familiar with many of their songs due to the music’s near-ubiquitous presence on the soundtrack, playing like a car radio under almost every scene in the film, adding a kind of biographical narrative enhancement. Comparable to girl bands such as pre-fame Bangles (when the band was know as The Bangs) or Luscious Jackson, Rebekah has an appealing voice, knows how to write a catchy, pop-punk tune and is an accomplished guitarist. The music has both artistic and commercial appeal, and while she certainly cares about looking her best, Rebekah never tries to “get by” on her looks or exploit her sex appeal. Any woman with an ambition to be a rock musician or any genre of artist would take inspiration from Rebekah‘s story while being entertained and also hearing some good music along the way.

My Way opens at NYC’s Quad Cinema, located at 34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011 on Friday, February 27th. Run Time: 93 minutes. This film is Not Rated but is (probably) fine for ages 13 and up..

GRADE: B+

A Shot of Poison Coming Soon to a Bookseller Near You!

shot of poison book cover
The Doctor Is In

Last summer, I spent a few minutes penning a witty foreword to a Rock & Roll Tell-all biography called A Shot of Poison, written by my friend Christopher Long. A Shot of Poison is crammed full of Chris’s true-life escapades and various forms of torture that he endured while working as part of Poison’s road crew for years and years. Since part of Chris’s duties involved being the handler/babysitter/whipping boy for bassist Bobby Dall, a good part of the book concerns what a Doucheasaurus Rex Dall is. But there is a lot of other good dirt that you are not going to know even if you are the world’s biggest Poison fan, and it was a fun read! Here’s what Amazon.com has to say:

“Underscoring life on the road, backstage and in the studio throughout the last 20 years, this biography paints a vivid portrait of the multiplatinum rock band Poison. Based on amazing personal experiences and encounters, this striking recollection spins tales of rivalry within the group, drug use and private recording sessions, revealing a side of the legendary act that will shock and intrigue even their most faithful followers. Proving they were just as vulnerable to the common pitfalls of most successful musicians, this investigation discloses a variety of private issues, from Bret Michaels’ reclusive behavior and the group’s possessive — and often psychotic — fans to their constant competition for the spotlight, notoriety and women. A review of drummer Rikki Rockett’s highly publicized 2008 arrest — taken from an exclusive interview with Rockett himself — is also included.”

What I can definitely tell you is that everything I suggested that Chris not put in the book, because it was so embarrassingly personal, is in the book. So, obviously he didn’t give a shit about maintaining any illusion of having a business relationship or friendship with any member of Poison once this thing hits the stores. Bridge burning! I hope it sells a gazillion copies. A Shot of Poison will be released in April 2010, but you can pre-order your copy now at Amazon.

Happy Birthday, Rikki Rockett!

Rikki Rockett
“Don’t Hate Me Because I Lie About My Age”

Poison drummer, animal rights activist and chain-smoking vegan Rikki Rockett (Born Richard Allan Ream) celebrates a birthday today, having been born on August 8th, 1959. The last time I was on the phone with Rikki – and I admit this was a few years ago – and the subject of age came up, he insisted that he was two years younger than me. Which, no. Gee whiz. It’s one thing to lie about your age to the press, but it’s extremely bad form to lie when that member of the press is supposedly a friend. So, Happy Birthday, Rikki! And just keep in mind that as long as this thing called the Internet exists, people who know how to use the Google will always be able to call you out!

Happy Birthday Ian Astbury and CC DeVille!

(Left) Ian Doing His Best “Jim Morrison,” and (Right) CC Making a “Guitar Face.”

Today, May 14th, is the shared birthday of both Ian Astbury – former sex god and singer for The Cult – and Poison guitarist CC Deville. Both gentlemen claim to have been born in 1962, which would make them the exact same age today! Your mileage may vary. I interviewed Ian back in 2000 and that was a good time. Not only did he confess to being completely and totally obsessed with Cuban guerrilla leader Che Guevara, but I do recall that it was also nearly impossible get him off the phone. I’ve never interviewed CC, but I have met him in person and I can say that up close he is quiet scary looking. For a taste of CC at his best, musically, feel free to ditch Poison’s entire catalog and try to find a copy of the long-out-of-print first CD by CC’s side project, Samantha Seven, which is excellent. Happy Birthday, Boys!

Rock Of Love Three: It’s On!

Botox Bandi
Bret Michaels: Still Looking for Love

Surely no one who has seen either season of VH1’s Rock Of Love will be too surprised to hear the news that Poison Front Man / Reality Show Whore Bret Michaels and his latest “True Love,” Ambre Lake have broken up. Shocking! My take on Rock Of Love is that it operates along the lines of these various wars (Vietnam, Iraq) our Government gets us into so that Oil Barons and Foreign Banks can augment their wealth: It’s not so much a battle that can be won as it is an effort that needs to be maintained so that people behind the scenes can stuff their pockets with cash. Brett Michaels is a washed-up, borderline retarded, wig-wearing ‘80s Rock Star /Botox Junkie. If he was really looking for a girlfriend he could find one in two seconds. But then VH1 would lose out on all those ratings, and I wouldn’t have anything to watch at 9:00 PM on Sunday nights. And that would just be sad. According to the link above, this upcoming season takes place in Brett’s natural habitat: a gross, skank-ridden tour bus! YAY! Let the rampant tits-flashing and BJ-giving begin!

Rikki Rockett, Drummer, Poison

What a breath of fresh air Gail is! A rock fan turned critic who actually "gets it." My God, what a concept!