The amount of traffic to this site since Bret Michaels was rushed to the ICU with a brain hemorrhage has spiked tremendously. It's fascinating how many people are coming out of the woodwork in support of Bret and just expressing general concern for his well-being. Of course, Bret's condition also puts a spotlight on Glam metal in general and should remind us all that we're being watched.
Suddenly, clips of vintage Poison videos are rotating on CNN with surprising regularity. Satellite radio is playing more Poison than ever before. Metal websites that normally mock Poison suddenly post updates. Obviously, this is a direct result of Bret's illness - but this renewed exposure could also have some really positive ramifications for our favorite genre of music. The way we represent our music and continue to support our favorite acts will go a long way toward shaping how the mainstream media reports on Bret's condition.
I use the quantifier "mainstream" to signal cable news and print outlets. Obviously, anyone who has been paying attention during the last decade or so knows that online media is where its at - especially when it comes to music. I'm amazed at the sheer number of errors cable outlets have made when referring to Bret. The number one error is calling him the "former" Poison frontman. Then there's referring to him as the singer of "Cherry Pie." Really, the list goes on and on. A lot of what people know about Glam is second-hand garbage. You either love this music, or you don't but I've come to learn that a lot of the people in the "don't" category are really just uneducated of the genre. They either came to the party too late or they never liked Glam much to begin with. Then there are those who actually believe grunge killed Glam, an incorrect thought people like me are still trying to clean up all these years later. No, not one thing "killed" Glam as the genre isn't dead and grunge certainly didn't wipe Motley Crue off the face of the earth, either. For awhile, grunge and Glam happily coexisted -- oh the discussions we'd be having if that had remained the case for the long haul!
When someone asks you a question about Bret - and if you wear your music on your sleeve, you'll be approached - please remember to give the man and the genre some dignity. Don't let the haters wear you down and pay it forward: offer some tips about some new Glam bands, too. Bret's illness is horrible and I am getting flooded with emails asking for updates on his condition. The fact is, I just don't have any special pipeline to the news and I get my updates just like you: from Bretmichaels.com and even TMZ.com. Maybe the best thing we can do for Bret right now is to keep hoping for a positive outlook while promoting Glam. After all, Bret never turned his back on the genre and a whole new flock of kids could be discovering Look What the Cat Dragged In right now. We need to welcome those fans into our special fraternity don't you think?