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Wishing Bret Well

I honestly believe decorum is nonexistent in today's society. In the past when someone was either gravely ill or injured, people were polite enough to share a few kind words. If the person had nothing nice to say, well, nothing was said.

When the news broke that Bret Michaels suffered a brain hemorrhage and was rushed to a hospital, I was prepared for the onslaught of panicked comments. What I wasn't ready for was the rash of downright nasty notes.

I'm not particularly talking to anyone here regarding this issue. Obviously if you're reading a website called Bring Back Glam!, you've got at least a modicum of respect for Bret and Poison. Deeper into the Internet, things were less than pretty. Oh sure, there are some genuinely concerned comments on other websites I won't name - and then there are just a ton of horrible jokes and mean spirited messages.

But why? There are reports Bret is stable and that's great and I hope he pulls through. I can't imagine never seeing Poison live again. But what if he doesn't? Wouldn't you feel pretty awful if you'd made some horrible off-hand remark about a man you didn't even know?

For all we know, Bret could be on his deathbed. I don't give a shit if you're not into Poison or Glam or metal period. Have some sense. Your parents raised you better than to talk harsh of the ill and if they didn't, well I'm sorry but that's no excuse. The crux of the matter is that the demographics of this website reflect an older readership. That means even if you had wolves for parents, you should be able to figure out right and wrong on your own by now.

I will not specifically mention the horrible comments I read because I am above them and reprinting them only reduces me to that base level. Real music lovers appreciate all sorts of genres but know when to keep quiet. Look, I don't like Hinder's music - everyone knows that - but I would never wish ill of any band member or make comments praying for their demise. Use common sense and compassion. It's perfectly fine to dislike a band or a new song or album - that's the discourse we love! Hate filled comments steeped in ignorance are what we ignore.

I hope Bret gets well soon. He's young, has kids and lots of fans that love him. Maybe he'll recover and take a little break from working so hard. That's a lesson for all of us.

Reader Comments (22)

some people are classless, no one and I mean no one should ever wish harm on anyone, especially for the most pointless reason that you don't like there music?
Show some compassion, get well Bret.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlooksthatkill
hope you get well soon bret stay strong we love you and are praying for you!
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDRIOT
Well said BBG and let's hope Bret gets well!
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I don't like Poison, and I don't particularly like Brett Michaels, either. But you know what? I really hope that he pulls through, that he recovers, and that he resumes his career (which I will continue to ignore).

The idea that people are savaging a guy who is fighting for his life because they don't like his music, or his band or whatever is both incredibly callous and profoundly depressing. What has happened to us?
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMagpie
only read the news this morning - i do hope Brett pulls through.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSkwint
I think it's important to be honest about people whether they're sick or well, living or dead. Whether Bret Michaels is on stage or on his deathbed, he still sucks. His band is stupid (one of the worst live bands I've ever seen), his show is stupid and his public persona is stupid.

That being said, I don't wish any ill upon him. I hope he pulls through simply because he's a human being and, as such, he has value whether I like him or not.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbobvinyl
Weirdly enough, I spent yesterday night on his Fancast blog, pretty much arguing with people who were being rude to him. But when the news broke today, the commentary on his blog swung AWAY from the really vicious comments (well, mostly) and the whole board just got flooded with people's thoughts and prayers. In many ways, that was nice to see. On the other hand... there's clearly a lot of worry and distress caused by news like this.

However, visiting all of the different news sites that I've passed through today (worrying and biting my nails), there was still the occasional nasty comment. I don't think that there's an excuse for it - I think that some people just have ugly souls. And as for your hopes that they might feel awful if he doesn't pull through... I honestly suspect that you may be expecting too much from those people.

Sure, it makes me angry. Mostly it just makes me dismay for the kind of petty bitterness that some people carry around with them. But I've been a devoted Poison fan for a VERY long time, and I don't know any other Poison fans in this world (outside of the internet!). It's a lonely wee bubble, but it's given me a pretty thick skin. Nobody can say anything about Poison that I haven't heard before. And frankly, I'm kinda bored of it all. People have been ragging on Bret and Poison since day one. You'd think they'd have gotten over it by now and found something else to bitch about.

But I'm not lying when I say that being a Poison fan has actually MADE me the kind of person that I am. I followed the band's example and learned to rise above criticism with a wink and a smile. I learned that stubborn refusal to lay down and die. I've always had an enormous amount of respect for the way that they carried themselves. I've gotta hope that Bret continues that habit of a lifetime over the next few days. Say what you will about Bret Michaels, but he's a fighter.

It was really cheering to see how quickly he was back online after his appendectomy last week, making the odd joke about himself (as he always has). I'm just crossing all my fingers and my toes that he'll be making another one of those posts real soon.

We're all pulling for you, Bret. This world (and your kids) ain't done with you yet.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki Chrome
You also have to realize that some people just post mean stuff to get a rise out of some people too. I think that a good majority of people dont wish anyone harm, but do enjoy fanning the fire. Ya know?
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
This is why i love this site,It is a place for people who really appreciate this type of music. We can come here and not be judged. A day does not go by where i am not made fun of for liking glam. Why is it funny to like Motley or Poison? I will defend my love for this muisc to the grave. It is who I am. I want to take this opprotunity to wish bret well. I myself also suffer from type 1 diabetes and am frightened at what could happen to me because of the disease. Brett will pull through and we will all be rocking to "nuthin but a good time" before we know it.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteral rose
I'm still pretty nervous about bret's recovery but I'm so thankful things appear to be looking positive. Yesterday was like one of my worst fears coming true. I truly hope Bret is able to fully recover and just STOP for a WHILE! He needs to stay off the road, take care of himself and spend time with his family. Bret, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. I know you'll be back rockin' that stage again, but take all the time you need! We love you!!!!
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Saturday, August 6th, 1986

I had it made.

I was halfway out to Bethany Beach, Delaware on my way to my chick Carol's parent's summer place right on the Atlantic Ocean.

I had a new job in D.C. making decent coin (well, decent coin for someone who was eating baked bean sandwiches just a year earlier in order to follow my dreams) doing what I loved -- well, I wanted to be a lead singer, but I could never remember the words and missed a helluva lot more notes than Michaels ever did and ever will.

So this entry level job in Advertising I landed out of sheer grit was a semi-decent way to make a living while getting away with walking around an office barefoot with Robert Plant hair (circa "In Through The Out Door").

Carol was driving her '84 silver T-Top Camaro (hahaha!!! -- for real!) and I was in the passenger seat soakin' up the rays and takin' in the scenery. About an hour past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge heading east, I spotted a record store in a strip mall...

"Carol! Hey there's a record store! Let's get some tapes!" (Her Camaro had a standard-equipped cassette player like most other cars at that time -- hahaha!!!)...

She turned in and parked right in front of the record store. It was 11 am-ish and the whole strip mall was pretty much dead. It was also kinda dead because we were out in the middle of semi-nowhere on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which still remains a beautiful and largely untouched area today. Anyway, the store had speakers turned up borderline too loud outside.

Immediately what was playin' on them just grabbed me...

...What I heard was something like I had never heard before, well, I had heard it before but not in that combination...

It was part Beach Boys, part Led Zeppelin, part Cheap Trick, part Motley Crue and part New York Dolls all wrapped up into one song (a song I realized didn't even have an original title once I learned what it was)...

I raced into the store (I think I even forgot to hold the door for Carol -- what a cad!) and spied this huge disheveled guy wearing coke bottle glasses with a quite long and actually sort of hippyish comb-over, if that's possible (that stuck straight out on the left side of his head), behind the counter.

"Who's that playin'?!", I asked over the song which was cranked up even louder in the store.

I couldn't hear his response.


Then he held up the album cover.

It's almost like he saw me comin', sized me up, and slapped it on the turntable (remember those?) right when we pulled up, but I think he was diggin' it, too!

I took one look at the album cover, having no idea who the hell the band was or anything except the song that was playin' at the store...

I laughed and was momentarily riveted by the hilarious supergraphics and cool looking logo on the cover...

"I'll take it!"

...and I grabbed the cassette version of it, paid and said, "Carol, let's go!"

I think she was lookin' through the Journey racks or somethin'.

I was thinkin', "No need to buy anything else now"...

And I wanted to hear this album right then and there. I was like a kid in a candy store and that cassette in my hand was the candy. I really was, and still am, into the instant gratification of getting the latest album by someone I never heard of, usually, right when it comes out and stopping everything until I got it crankin' ("LWTCDI" came out that day, as it turns out!)...

It was rude of me to be so abrupt (think I'm a jerk now from my comments on this site, you shoulda met me back then! Geez, I think of what a semi-chauvinist narcissistic primadonna I used to be! No, I didn't learn this in therapy, just got yelled at by chicks a lot until it sunk in)...

The world does not revolve around us, people, no matter how self absorbed this little story I'm tellin' here may sound!

More on this later...

This is really about how Brett Michaels affected my life...

I had pretty much been listening to a mix of stuff like AC/DC, Motley Crue, Ratt, Hanoi Rocks, Accept, Scorpions, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Saxon and Europe (hahaha! But I was able to win back Carol like a year later "singing" their hit, "Carrie" to Carol) on one end of the spectrum, and Motorhead, Megadeth, Overkill and yes, believe it or not, Metallica (the latter long since put away, I'm afraid, folks -- bores me to tears now, sorry) and Best of Metal Blade compilations, etc. on the other, back then...

"Thanks, man-n-n-n... echo... echo...", as the hydraulic front door slowly started closing behind us.

We hoped back in the car before the door to the store even shut and I'm scrapin' the cellophane off the tape box as fast as I can...

...popped the tape in...

...and on came the same song we heard at the store...

Remember the nights we sat
And talked about all our dreams
Well little did we know then
They were more distant than they seemed
Well I knew it
You knew it too
The things we'd go through
We knew the things we had to do
To make it, baby

You gotta cry tough
Out on the streets
To make your dreams happen
You gotta cry out
Out to the world
To make them all come true

Life ain't no easy ride
At least that's what I'm told
Sometimes the rainbow baby
Is better than a pot of gold
You've got to stick it out
Whether your wrong or right
And you can't give in without a fight
To make it baby


You gotta aim high, baby
Whether you lose or win
And when you get to the top
You gotta get off or go right back down again


Carol and I thought that song was so cool. It rocked and it just hit us. We both actually almost wanted to cry. She had just gotten divorced like two months before then, at age 26 (I had just met her a month before we found ourselves drivin' out to the beach that day...), and I kept goin' broke and starvin' while going to school at night in NYC.

And at last we both made it, at least for the moment.

And that's what was cool about that song.

It just hit us right in the moment.

Don't ever give up. Believe. Don't get discouraged. Don't get sucked in by what other people think. Or sidetracked from your mission. And you'll make it.

The rest of the album, "Look What The Cat Dragged In" by Poison, made us laugh and dance our as*es off right in our car seats all the way out to the beach -- I'm surprised we didn't wreck.

The tape was basically looped the whole weekend and we listened to it everywhere (as many here may already know or already lived it, by then most cassette tape decks auto-flipped from side to side, making it possible to listen to a tape for infinity or until either the tape or the tape player gave out, which was quite likely, the way we were crankin' this one. On the boom box on the beach, at night in the beach house (I swear we saved her 4 other sisters -- life was ruff back then, boys -- from a life of U2 and Springsteen, at least for the weekend). Hell, I was even thinkin' about it when we were at the nightclub that night.

I still listen to the songs from "Look What The Cat Dragged In" on playlists and sometimes the whole album. Sure they've got a lot of great stuff including a #1 hit and a lot of other Top 10 hits, but this album really is one of those perfect albums. Not a dud track on the whole thing. All killer and no filler!

And the whole Glam Metal scene was never quite the same after that. Everyone followed suit and tons of bands got signed all following in their footsteps and giving us a lot of FUN Metal to listen to.

I'm convinced my second fave Glam Metal album, Pretty Boy Floyd, "Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz" (my first is Accept, "Metal Heart", though some would argue that's not Glam Metal) wouldn't have existed were it not for "LWTCDI". And I'd have to say, without makin' a list, "LWTCDI" is right after it followed by Crue's "Too Fast For Love"...

Anyway, you see where I'm goin' with it all. "LWTCDI" was pretty much the standard bearer, and Poison, the standard bearers of Glam Metal, at least in my book. Yeah, you could argue that Crue is and all that but I just think Poison crystallized it more and also made it more accessible.

Thanks Brett, for changin' my life and makin' it more fun and giving me a song that makes me never give up.

I'll be runnin' to it and the entire "LWTCDI" in your honor on the beach tomorrow -- and prayin' you're gonna pull through!

But some how I know you will!

And remember your own words, man...

"And when you get to the top
You gotta get off or go right back down again"

I know you'll be back and not only rockin' the stage but rockin' the world with an even bigger cause than anything you've ever undertaken before!

...but for now, just chill for awhile, as so many are recommending here...

I said it once and I'll say it again, "Cry Tough", man...

p.s. On Al's current post today... You are right, Al! Look, I'm the first to admit it, I can get a little carried away (a little? -- hahaha!!!) about musical preferences on here sometimes. But rarely do I attack somebody personally and if I ever do, it's usually after I have been attacked. I usually strive to add the element of absurdity to the whole argument, too, to emphasize that it should all not be taken too seriously. I mean, what's my biggest beef? That I think Anthrax sucks? That doesn't mean I want Scott Ian to frickin' die or that I would make fun of him if he were in the hospital in critical condition. In the bigger picture, any respect for anyone is pretty much gone today, and, unfortunately, for Brett Michaels, as well, who's apparently getting negative comments on the web, even though it's touch and go for him right now. People, people, people! We are all the same! We are all connected! No one is better than anyone else, regardless of displays of talent, intelligence, or background. We are all creatures lucky to inhabit this beautiful earth and we should respect the privilege of being on it just as we should respect ourselves and each other. We are all different and that's what makes us all the same -- that's what we all have in common. Sure it's great to have differing opinions, that's what makes the public discourse in our culture and society engaging and fascinating. But turn it nasty, cheap and uneducated and you've lost the debate. "Do not judge, and ye shall not be judged." Yes, there are bad people out there. Don't become one of them by misjudging another and if you do, make sure you admit it. The current out-of-control vitriol running rampant in American society can pretty much be blamed on one person, Roger Aisles. If people don't know who he is, Google him. And if you are faced with the harsh reality that you have been drinkin' his Kool-Aid, throw it out and head straight for detox now!
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Well said, everybody. I've seen a lot of the same nasty comments on other websites, and it is just sad. I hope that Brett will be ok, and that he'll be making music and taking care of his kids for years to come.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNIgel
Well said, I was really looking forward to seeing him on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd in June. Now I just hope he takes some time off and takes care of himself. Bret and Poison are a first class act. He thinks so much of his fans that he almost sacrificed his life. He wanted to go on even sick and in pain. It is unfortunate their are such assholes out there to wish anyone harm.
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
My prayers are with Bret and his family. His music and all 80's music is #1 in my book and can make me laugh, cry and get fired up all in the same day. I won't comment on the ones making the rude comments except for this. If you do it on a site like BBG or other comparable ones, you don't belong there because saying Bret or Poison sucks or any other band from that genere while on an 80's website is just plain hypocritical.

Especially you bobvinyl
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Great posts, everyone. Allyson, you took the words right out of my mouth: What happened to civility and decorum these days?? Just because you're an 'unknown' on a message boards shouldn't give you the right to be a classless, vindictive jerk. Sadly, it goes on a lot - especially in the political arena. It seems to me like anyone that posts a rude / angry comment on a message board regarding an individual (or group) they purport to despise is the very definition of hypocrisy - or it could just be a loser who has nothing better to do.

Great comment as always, Metalboy. I didn't discover Poison until early 1987 when a few "brave" radio stations actually played 'Talk Dirty To Me'. Kudos to them, as a lot of stations during that time wouldn't DARE play a song " that". Unless it was 'Round and Round' or a little Motley Crue, good luck hearing anything glam-related on "mainstream rock radio"! Anyway, I went out and bought LWTCDI based on that 1 song, popped the cassette in, and immediately became enchanted by the first song, Cry Tough. Over the next few days, it became my favorite song on the record, and remains one of my favorites 'til this day.

I wish Bret Michaels all the best, and would do the same even if it was a singer, or actor, or politician I despised. My parents instilled that in me, and I'd like to also think it is a little thing called "humanity".

Get well soon, Bret.
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGator
Hear, Hear, all!

Where is the civility?

Where is the decorum?

Where is the compassion?

Where is the class?

These are the cries of wisdom Allyson and all the good souls here have so eloquently made.

Speaking of "soul", there are some commenting out there who obviously need to get one.

God Bless and Get Better soon, Brett!

Cry Tough!
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
While I don't wish death upon any God fearing, compassionate, good-hearted individual, I don't understand how some say they "love" someone they don't know. Or how a strangers health can make ones life upside down.
I've had loved-ones die (even yesterday) and know the pain death can cause family and friends. But, when acelebriyy dies I will not lose sleep since we were never friends anyway. Death us a pRt of the cycle.
Now, I would prefer for Brett Michaels to keep kicking for his families sake. Not for my self-fullfilled hope to see Poison again. That's just selfish.
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
Sorry for some typos. It's a little trick from my iTouch.
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
Greg, I hear what you're saying, but weeelllll... I don't really agree. Man, I wish you could read my (really long!) Poison blog, because I went through all of that stuff that you're talking about: How can someone say that they love a person that they've never met? And what sort of form can that love take? And is it really love in the first place, or just a delusion? There are an awful lot of crazy fans out there who want to turn their idols into something that they're just not. I agree with your point on a lot of levels - just not every level.

Boiled right down, I make no secret of the fact that I love all of the guys in Poison. I'm not talking about romantic love - I don't know them that well as human beings - but I still care about them deeply. They created something in their music which, inadvertently, had a hugely positive effect on my life. I owe them a great debt. And for that reason: I care.

But I'm also open-minded about these things. I've met and worked with an awful lot of performers in my lifetime. I understand that they're just people. It's quite possible that, if I got to know the guys in Poison better, I wouldn't actually like them as people... but that doesn't change the fact that I like what they've done with their lives. And it doesn't change the fact that my feelings towards them would remain very altruistic.

It pains me deeply to see bad things happen to Bret. I want him to live a long and happy life. I would do anything in my power to give him that, should he seek it from me. It doesn't matter whether or not we'd be "friends", because love is unconditional.

Kinda make sense?
April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki Chrome
April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMETALMAN17

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