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Is Another Bret Michaels Reality Series Too Much?

Bret Michaels will be the star of yet another reality series. The series, called Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, will air on VH1. The show promises an inside look at Michaels' home life as he juggles his rock career with being a modern dad. A special sneak-peek will air Monday, May 31 at 10pm.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In this first-look special and the forthcoming series, viewers will not only get a taste of Bret's life on the road, but for the first time ever, a look at his home life, a sprawling compound where his daughters and their mother, Kristi Gibson, reside. But raising two little girls and being a rock icon don't always go hand-in-hand. Now fans get to take a peek at what keeps Bret going. Is it the hoards of wild fans, the glory of super stardom, or is it the unconditional love from his family? Watch as Bret juggles life on the road, his career, raising two kids and managing his on again off again relationship with their beautiful mom, Kristi. Tune in Memorial Day night for a first-look sneak peak into the next chapter of Bret's life.

The full series has been pushed back and will likely air in the fall.

I guess the bigger question here is "why?" Why do we need to know about Bret's private life with his two girls? After his recent health scare, it seemed like Bret was ready to make some concessions and give up constant work in exchange for more time at home with his family. Now we learn he's going to put the personal lives of his daughters and girlfriend Kristi Gibson under the public microscope. It's his decision but I think it's a bad one.

I've said it before, if not for Poison there would be no Bring Back Glam! Back in the 80s they were "it" for me. No Bring Back Glam! means no job with Noisecreep and a bunch of other writing jobs no one even knows about. So for me, Poison = passion. They are why I started writing about music. But more and more, I'm getting sad about Bret's business moves. I wish he'd focus on his music a little more. Sure, he's releasing another solo album this summer...but what about Poison? I know he doesn't have any interest in that band anymore, but you'd think he'd want to do one more proper Poison record before closing that chapter of his life. After all, Poison got him where he is today. If not for Poison, Bret wouldn't have had his trashy Rock of Love series, his run on Celebrity Apprentice and his late night infomercial hosting gigs. Because he's the front man - and attractive - he gets all the plum rewards 20+ years later while the rest of the guys in Poison wait. Now we have another reality show to schedule around.

There's something to be said for striking while the iron is hot. Bret didn't waste any time getting publicity after his near-death experience last month with a brain bleed. You'll notice I'm not one of the jaded ones: I still honestly believe Bret was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage. I also think he's incredibly lucky and that some Hollywood execs are happy to help him cash in on his good fortune.

Tomorrow, Bret will be on Oprah, which is a huge boon to any celebrity's career. Maybe Oprah will ask Bret about the Poison days and even show some old clips. Maybe some new fans will be converted. I hope the Queen of All Media doesn't just fixate on Bret's reality TV career. Lest we all forget, that came much, much later.

Reader Comments (30)

Well, I think it is too much. Rock of Love made me want to gauge my eyes out. True, this would be a lot more press coverage but is that really good in the long run? especially when its coming from this and not his music the main reason he's famous?
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
Only word I have about everything surrounding Bret right now is Disappointment, and believe me, it BREAKS MY HEART to say that! However, it appears he's moved over officially to the celebreality side and is no longer on the rock n roll side anymore.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Yes, it's too much. I watched a few episodes of Rock of Love, and it was a joke. I never saw the Celebrity Apprentice, and I won't watch the final episode to see if he won.

Poison is still my favorite band of all-time. I've seen them live several times, although it was after the CC reunion...never had a chance to see them the first go-round or with Richie or Blues. But the reality business...I hate it. I don't want to see a reality series featuring one person.

That said, I would like the idea of the show if it were to feature a different person each week. One week go with Bret, next week go with Mick Mars, next week go with Izzy Stradlin, etc. Kind of like "Cribs" for hard rockers.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
That's a good idea, JT!, because you are right, one show with Bret as the main focus is more likely going to wind up one big borefest.

When Ozzy did it, it worked because the whole family are such freakjobs. Plus it was pretty much the first show with this formula.

Michaels is making tons of money. Why would he subject his kids to the glare of the camera when he can afford not to? He's a publicity hound and so is Kristi Gibson for putting their kids on TV. Ozzy's kids were older, so it didn't seem like a big deal, but in this day and age, if it were me, and I didn't really need the bread, I'd keep my kids out of the limelight.

If you ever thought Poison sold out (Sorry, kidz, "Every Rose Has It's Thorn"... Huh-uh-lo-oh!), it's nothing compared to what this guy's done.

A few weeks ago I was almost crying for this guy. Now I'm really crying, but not for him. For the fans. For us. For Rikki. For C.C. For Bobby. For Bret blowin' it.

I'd love to be wrong and see Poison figure into this reality show, showing them reconvening to do a new record like the documentary "Some Kind of Monster", which wound up being about Metallica's meltdown and subsequent rebirth. It was kinda riveting and I don't even really like them (especially that self-important joik, Lars).

But that's not what we're going to get. It's gonna be all about Bret. Showing his family. Showing his semi-hick band and listening to him loving himself. The man has never been short on words as he seems like he loves to hear himself talk, P.A. accent and all, and it's always been that way.

Yeah, they'll show clips of Brett and Poison on Oprah. And they'll joke about it instead of glorify for what it is... Pure Rock and Roll spectacle.

I wouldn't be surprised if he performs but it should be with Poison, though I suppose it's too early for him in his recovery.

Still, he'll be on there, talkin' up his near death experience, Celebrity Apprentice and now, this new show. Boring! Boring! Boring!

C'mon, Bret! I Want Action!

p.s. To think we were practically holdin' vigil for this dude . Sharing stories. Kari with her vintage Poison necklace. Me blathering even more than usual (if that were possible). Kiki with her humongo blog story. Al with all of her updates. Prayers pouring in probably even from some people who haven't prayed in years. And this is what we wind up with? Poison me!
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Ok, so I just watched the clip released from the oprah show tomorrow and I can't help it but I just love him! It was great to see him looking so well and laughing, he just has a feelgood personality and I'm drawn to it just like the rest of world is too! I am just so disappointed that he is choosing to put his family under the camera when he has always been so private about his family. I may have mixed feelings about what he does off stage but bottom line for me is, I'm so glad he'll be on that stage again soon (and yes, I still think it's too soon but it may be the best recovery for him to get back out on the road)! I have to remove Celebreality Bret and just focus on Bret the singer of Poison and musician that I have always loved.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
So Bret is driven? So Bret is passionate about music? What is wrong with that? I think it's pretty admirable. He's a great role model for anyone that has a disease or handicap. He came close to dying & wants to share his life with his fans. Having been a fan for over 20 years all I can say is thank you. He has toured with Poison nearly every year & still loves the band. How do we know that maybe C.C., Rikki or Bobby even want to continue on. Do they talk publicly about it? I think kudos to Bret for going out & chasing his dream not only for his fans but for his love of music even if it's not (unfortunately) with Poison. As for a reality show involving his kids & girlfriend, well it's nice to get a different side of your idol. I'm sure it won't be all about his kids & Kristi. Even if it is, it's none of our business. Don't watch then. I, myself, know plenty of true fans that will watch & love it!
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpoisongirl
Whats wrong with a PA Accent Metalboy?? (LOL) I'm with you on this. To much TV is not a good thing,and he's stepped over the boundary!
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
what kool aid have you been drinking Poisongirl?? I'll defend my love of Poison till I die and I'll leave it at that!
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Kidz! Kidz! Kidz!

Granted, I think I'm probably being a little too harsh on our dear Bretty Boy, so I should take the hits Poison Girl's dishin'.

I don't think she was directing any of her comments toward your remarks, Kari.

I hear ya, Poison Girl, but I've seen first hand in the ad game what television and film exposure can do to kids and I'm just flaggin' it here. In this day and age of kooks and freaks, I just worry about the kidz safety, primarily.

I have a strong feeling, too, that the other boyz in Poison are ready, willing and able to keep it going.

I'm with everyone on here who agrees that he should make a real Poison record instead of just krankin' out these semi-hick xeroxed albums. So boring. It's cashin' in, plain and simple.

Believe it or not, with the right intentions, Michaels has a real opportunity to make art with a new Poison album. He should go for it instead of making artifice, which is what he's doing now and where this "Pop" path of becoming "Celebridude Du Jour" is takin' him.

I like JT's idea of switchin' Rockstars every week, rather than beating the hell out of Michael's life.

You could call it "Rockstar Life", put it on VH1, which now seems to be the de facto home for this kind of fare and it would be awesome! One week Brett, the next Nikki, the following, Paul Stanley, then Lita Ford and Jim Gillette (I wanna see that island they live on and how they cope on the road, etc. Now that's interesting!), etc., etc.

And Gary, you are right. Sorry about the P.A. accent diss. He actually sounds more like he's from Baltimore, anyway. It's funny, a lot of people from around there have that distinct accent. Too bad, you ain't comin' to M3, in the heart of the area where that accent is in full effect, and I myself will be the perfect proof of that. I actually have a very similar accent myself, having grown up in the Baltimore/D.C. area, specifically Annapolis. Natty Boh, hon?

p.s. To hear a perfect rendering of this kind of accent, forget Michaels. Check out Danny DeVito in "Tin Men"! Or come find me at M3. And if you get to talk to Steve Whiteman of Kix while you're there, you'll really hear it. He's from Hagerstown, Maryland, about a half mile from the Maryland/P.A. border. Of course, true blue P.A.'ers and Marylanders can decipher the subtle differences between these accents but to me, they sound so alike. After all, it really is only the state line separating the two, actually.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Good remarks Metalboy! Although I never thought the comments were directed at me personally, I did find the comments were a bit offensive to those of us who ARE REAL fans! That was all....time to move on to the next discussion, right???
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Kick him when he's down and kick him when he's up.
Fact: Real Poison fans will watch the new show just like they did when CC Deville was on the Surreal life, and just like they did for Rock of Love and Apprentice. Now, I do think that Bret needs to slow down with all of his projects obviously for health reasons, but how can we say "enough is enough" about this next show. Fans of this genre of music whether you like Poison, Warrant or Faster Pussycat shuold be happy that someone is still out there generating news about our favorite music. I think it turns new people on to it and helps keep the 80's alive and well. Keep in mind that it was taped prior to his health scare so it's not like he is "cashing in " on his time in the hospital. And who the hell knows if the rest of Posion want to make a new record, who knows if they even want to tour anymore, (although I bet and hope that they do want to tour some more.) I've said my peace.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
It´s a shame that he´s loosing his time with all that crap!!!, If he doesn´t return to Poison with new music, he´ll be forgotten forever.
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertorrgam
Rich! We're not kickin' him, per se. We're really expressing our disappointment. Don't settle for mediocre television as something to inspire the kidz. Thank the Metal Gawdz for the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, though both mediocre games, at least get them more into "our music" than these dumb shows ever will.

Torrgam's right. Bret's sellin' out for the quick buck now and will be forgotten faster than if he was to put out a memorable Poison album -- y'know -- one for the ages!

Kari, here's a topic...

I was just thinking about the Corporatizing of Metal. Just how squaresville and/or expensive everything has gotten in the last 20 years...



1) Ricky Rachtman = Eddie Trunk

2) John Bush, Anthrax Singer = Burger King Voiceover

3) Poison = The Bret Michaels Band

4) Bill Graham = AIG

5) 98 Rock = Sirius

6) Lita Ford = Carrie Underwood

7) $20 Concert Ticket = $85 Concert Ticket

8) Lipstick Brand Peg Leg Jeans = 7 for Mankind Relaxed Fit

9) Dan Post Snakeskin Cowboy Boots = Reactor Goth Boots

10) Old Bon Jovi Hairdo = New Bon Jovi Hairdo

11) Leather Bolero = Backwards Baseball Cap

12) Rhoads Polka Dot RR 5 FR Jackson Guitar = PRS SE Custom

13) $12 Original Concert T Shirt = $125 for that exact shirt

14) Black Caddy Fleetwood Limo = Black Caddy Escalade

15) Metal Mix Tape = Metal iTunes Playlist

15) Gulf War = Gulf War
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
If all else fails in Marketing 101,You could always:

1. Ask Gene Simmons to become your step-father
2. Attempt to write a strong Poison album
3. Provide Trump the name of the place you get your horse hair wigs
4. Open a Bandana Factory in Arizona
5. Host a radio show
6. Make up with Richie or ask Blues for some guitar lessons
7. Have TMZ cover your every move for a week straight while you Tweet every 15 minutes and update your Facebook pahe hourly all the while being in seclusion recovering from a near death experience.
8. Timeline how all these 'events' fell into place so we can feel better about ourselves feeling bad for you

Am a fan, but this is a bit over the top. Chill for a bit on the Michaels publicity whoremongering machine and reflect on what just happened with millions of people pulling for you. Don't 'turn it into an opportunity'. I may puke neon greem chunks on my keyboard. (and that would smell worse than the stink surrounding all your post-illness publicity barrage.)

I'm seven days over this fire and ice suffering drama.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMEWIZEMGIC
Well put, Me Wize Magic! (assuming that is indeed what your name is!).

You are so right. Michaels is playin' this so Marketing 101. But you know what? Actually what you list, with the exception of him becoming a twitterholic, would actually be a way for him to sort of blend the Celebridude/Entrepreneur approach with doin' some legit things.

And added to that, he should really amp up his participation in Diabetes charities.

Hats off, bro! You nailed it!
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh, yeah, and while he's taking guitar lessons, he ought to get some vocal coaching, as well. The guy never could really sing back in the day, but now his voice is really hurtin'...
May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Okay. Ordinarily, it’s against my better judgment to publicly comment on something like this. Despite the invitation to speak our minds about another man’s decisions, I accept that my opinion is, at best, redundant.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t HAVE an opinion, I just don’t generally see that it’s profitable to wield it on the Internet like a stick to beat other people. There are some things that, given the opportunity, I would say to Bret privately... but let’s face it, that’s never going to happen! :D So instead, I’ll say them here and run the risk of alienating a whole fuckload of people as I do it...

I’m going to start by saying that I don’t think that this is a question of "who is the better fan?". Nobody signed a contract saying that they have to love everything that their favorite singer does. That’s just stupid. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, good or bad. I understand the irony, because I know that this whole comment might come across as very holier-than-thou, but nobody should be pointing fingers and saying that supporting (or not supporting) Bret’s decision is a measure of how much they care.

Having said that: I feel that my credentials for uber-fandom are pretty darn high. After listening to my first Poison album, I got rid of all my other albums and listened to nothing but Poison for more than 3 years... and I mean NOTHING. I turned off radios when I walked into the room. I blocked my ears when I heard other people’s music in public. I bought all of Poison’s albums several times over. I had to have every cover version, in every possible format. I had to get the special picture discs, the flags, the T-shirts, the buttons, the caps, the patches, the keyrings... I wore my Poison necklace until the metal wore through and it fell off. I now own three Poison necklaces. When Poison first played in New Zealand, I staged a hunger strike because my parents wouldn’t let me go. Eighteen months later, I got down on my hands and knees in the middle of the street in Mexico (nearly getting hit by several cars), and physically begged my father to drive me to Tucson and go see them. My room was covered floor-to-ceiling with nothing but pictures of Poison - and I MEAN floor-to-ceiling. I covered the doors with pictures of Poison, the windows, the curtains, the furniture, the roof. I personally painted up a set of Poison bed sheets and blanket... I was a kid. And I was kind of insane.

I’m not laying all that out on the table in order to somehow "pull rank". I believe that someone can pick up a Poison album tomorrow and suddenly love them with an equal passion to my own. Longevity is not necessarily the measure of a fan. Neither is the size of their record collection. I’m only underlining it because I feel that I can be safe in saying that I understand what goes through the mind of the average crazy rock fan.

I adore all of the guys in Poison, but sure: I’ve felt disappointed by them in the past. There are things that they’ve done that I would’ve preferred that they didn’t do... But that was the past. I’m not at all disappointed by Bret’s choices here - nor do I feel that I have a right to be. I love the fact that he’s gaining in prominence and sales again. I’m hugely grateful for every song that all of the guys in Poison have ever recorded, and even if there’s never another Poison album, I won’t begrudge them anything. Maybe, if overzealous idolization is the measure of a fan: maybe I’m not a fan anymore. Maybe I’m just a person who really wants a bunch of musicians to live happy lives. One of the many things that has changed in my life is that I no longer feel like Bret, Bobby, Rikki or CC owe me a debt.

Being a fan doesn’t mean that you have to like everything that Bret does. It doesn’t mean that you have to watch a show or buy an album that you hate. But it also doesn’t give you (or anyone else) the right to criticize or dictate to him what he should and shouldn’t do with his own career. He’s a 47-year-old man and he has the right to make his own decisions. To put it bluntly: we didn’t give birth to him and we don’t own him.

I honestly think that Bret is very grateful for the support of his fans. He has said so many times over. He does his best to make time for people. But the fact that we’ve all bought his albums doesn’t mitigate the fact that he’s also worked enormously hard to get where he is. We didn’t just GIVE this fame and fortune to him; he fought for it at every step. I appreciate that the disappointment people are showing is, more than anything else, just a sign that they don’t feel that they’ve been sufficiently acknowledged... But what more acknowledgment do we really need? He loves his fans. He tells us that virtually daily. He tours incessantly so that we can see him. He doesn’t take us for granted. He never leaped off a stage and punched someone in the face just for taking his picture. But he simply can’t make everyone happy all of the time. We shouldn’t be trying to make him feel bad just because he’s not meeting our old, imaginary ideals. We may all be fans, but I’ll bet you that we all have a very different image of what our "ideal Bret Michaels" would be. He can’t be all of those things at once, and he’d be crazy to try. He’s a human being, and (as much as he might want us all to be happy with him) he can really only be true to himself.

Consider a couple of things here: I heard a rumor a few months back that VH1 were in pre-production for Rock of Love 4. They had apparently already shot some stock footage... If this is true (and I can’t say that it is), then has anyone thought about the fact that he may now be contractually bound to VH1 for another TV series? He’s made enough of a public commitment to Kristi that he’s not going to proceed with a ROL4, but perhaps he’d also like to assist her by raising her profile in a TV show. He’s aided his girlfriends’ careers before, and I suspect that he actually likes to help out in that way. I actually think that’s pretty admirable (but that’s my own opinion).

Also consider that he is an artist, and he can only create what speaks to his soul at any one time. I haven’t heard anywhere that he’s done with Poison (that’s news to me, but it may well be true), but if that’s the case then it may be because Poison just isn’t getting his creative juices flowing anymore. That could be very sad, but the fact is that every artist needs to grow and change and explore new territory. That’s just a natural part of being an artist. Telling a musician to go back and re-hash old territory that no longer inspires him, just so that his fans will have another album to buy... well isn’t THAT the "selling out" part that we then burn musicians at the stake for? Suddenly he's a "sell-out" for doing what inspires him? Suddenly he's a "sell-out" for not soullessly going through the motions to put out an album that his fans are clamoring to buy? How frigging cynical is that?!?

If he wants to make a change, it’s no reason to go after the guy or tell him that you think he’s making the wrong career move. It’s no reason to imply that he’s ungrateful, or that he’s not showing sufficient support for his bandmates. They’re grown-ups. How fucking patronizing would it be if Bret had to always hang with "the other guys in Poison" so that he wasn’t bogarting all the fame? Since when do they need protecting? They have careers in their own rights. It sounds awful, but they don’t NEED him! They’re all awesome musicians and quite free to pursue whatever creative line really gets them going.

When CC left Poison in ’91, yes, it was very sad. I cried for... well, for YEARS. But I never got pissed off at CC about it, just as I never got pissed off at the other guys in Poison continuing on without him (although I might not swerve if I saw Richie Kotzen in the middle of the road - but the girl does know how to hold a grudge!). I never thought that leaving Poison was a horrible move on CC’s part - I just worried about who was left in his life to look out for him. I worried about him ODing somewhere. He had other things that he wanted to do, and he was no doubt feeling very constrained within Poison (and that’s probably about the most positive thing that I could say about how he came to that particular decision to leave). He worked to try and re-establish himself as a musician in his own right, and eventually, he found a reason to come back to Poison too.

I understand that a lot of people don’t like Bret’s TV shows... but I do. And a lot of other people do too. I watched all three seasons of ROL, and I laughed my ass off!!! Yes, they were trashy - but Poison was always a bit trashy! When did we decide to nominate them for sainthood? The first Poison concert I ever saw, they had the Unskinny Bop girl projected on the back wall with a big green laser, dropping her panties and mooning the crowd! :D Bret was picking up bras off the stage and tucking them into his belt! There were bleached, spandex-clad girls clawing over each other to give the roadies special favors in return for a backstage pass... and that was 20 years ago!!! We laughed at it then (well, I did!) - so why is it so unfunny now? The only sad effect that I can see from ROL is that a lot of people watched the show and really didn’t get to grips with Bret’s self-deprecating sense of humor. They didn’t understand when he was laughing at himself, and he got a lot of negative feedback about that.

However, I’ve also been watching The Celebrity Apprentice (from across the other side of the world, in the form of illegal downloads)(because I have no way to see it legally - I swear I would if I could!), and I think that he’s really seen that as a tool for changing people’s misconceptions about him. I’ve enjoyed the show a lot. I’ve also got seriously fucked off watching people undermining and mocking him, but he’s been showing them what happens when you underestimate him. I think that Bret’s drive and resilience has seriously surprised a lot of people (though not me, I gotta admit), and I’m absolutely THRILLED that he’s in the final! I think it’s done a lot for his charity, and it probably hasn’t hurt his wider public profile either.

So I just don’t think it’s right to begrudge the man these opportunities. He’s not our own personal plaything (as nice as that would have been!). He’s a person. And he has as much right to direct his own life as you or I do.

More power to him, I say.
May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki Chrome
Just bustin' ya about the accent brother! Believe me, I know what of you speak. I'm about 2 hours North of Philly, and people from down there think I'm from another God Damn planet when I talk to them...LOL.
May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
All a publicity stunt for a former rock star! No one in ICU wears a bandana when they're bleeding from theit brain stem! I'm sorry Bret, but I'm not buying this bullsh**t! People on the verge of death look pale, lose weight, and look like death! You looked healthy, tanned, clean, and your bandana wig was perfect on the cover of People magazine! Reality TV has changed you into an attention whore!
May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDick
Great job on your post Kiki Chrome. And to anyone who thinks that Bret's near fatal health scare was a hoax you are crazy. Do you really think anyone in their right mind who has two little daighters would pull crap like that about almost dying. You are nuts and friggin a@%holes for saying that. It's one thing to speak your opinion, and we can because this is America and we have freedom of speech, but its a whole other thing to make a statement that makes absolute no sense at all about someone.
May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich

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