I just had a flashback. (I guess that’ll keep happening from here on out.) I’m recalling the time a piece I wrote in 1987 for The Asbury Park Press made it into a VH1 “Behind the Music” special in which Poison singer Brett Michaels muses about committing a violent act upon me — well, a figurative me, anyway.
My brother was so proud. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
So in ’87, I was writing a lot about “hair bands” (though the term had not yet been invented) for the Press and the magazine Faces Rocks. In the Press, I wrote a snipe-y piece about Poison with the headline: “Ignore Poison; maybe they’ll just go away.”
That wasn’t very a clever headline. A play on the name Poison would have worked better. Like, “There’s no antidote for Poison.” Get it?
Anyway, a decade or so later, VH1 was working on a “Behind the Music” documentary about Poison. Somehow, they found out about my article, probably via a thing called Nexus-Lexus. (This was still the Pre-Google Age.) The VH1 folks called and asked me to mail them a hard copy of the article to show in the documentary. I sent that, plus a Poison comic strip I drew for Faces.
I mentioned to my brother that I’d heard from VH1, and never thought about it again.
Months later, my brother called me at the office. “I saw it! It’s awesome! Brett Michaels wants to punch you!”
I found the entire VH1 special on YouTube. My article is visible for a few seconds (at the 14:30 point) during a sequence on the initial critical backlash against Poison. Of the thousand of articles that could illustrate this, they picked mine? But what Michaels said in the sequence was gold:
“The problem that you have is this: Do I go to their house? Do I smash their face in? Do I beat ’em over the head with a bat? Which is inevitably what I’d really like to do.”
I think it’s the proudest my brother has ever been of me.
P.S.: In the 2000s, I interviewed all four members of the band and had a lot of fun speaking with them, especially Brett Michaels and C.C. Deville.