During an appearance on the "Pete McMurray Show", POISON singer Bret Michaels was full of praise for DEF LEPPARD, with whom he toured last year as part of "The Stadium Tour". He said about the veteran British rockers: "They're ageless. And their music… I've gotta tell you what I love about LEPPARD… Beside being super-awesome, nice guys, they have a lot big hits, but you know what's great about 'em? They also — like myself; I'm saying as an artist — like to throw in new music in their set. And me, as a fan, I like to hear a new song.
"Listen, I wanna hear the classic hits — don't ever misunderstand me — but the reason they became hits is because someone spun them and played them so we could hear them," he explained.
"And I love that they threw in new stuff, mixed it in with all their hits. And it was great."
Back in 2008, a war of words was started between POISON and DEF LEPPARD when the latter band's singer Joe Elliott was quoted as saying the Michaels-fronted outfit had "no substance in their music." POISON's Rikki Rockett responded by challenging Elliott to a fist fight, but Joe later claimed his comment was misunderstood. "Somebody said, how do I feel about being compared to bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE and POISON?' and I said that as far as I was concerned, we were a better band," Elliott explained. "I would expect [Michaels] to say the same thing about his group, or Nikki Sixx to say the same thing about MÖTLEY CRÜE. "I'm entitled to say we're better than the bloody BEATLES if I wanted to, you know? What am I supposed to do — say, 'I'm terribly sorry, we're not good enough'?
"I was trying to put the point across that I don't like the idea of comparisons," Joe added. "I don't think we should have to be comparing ourselves to other bands, that's all. It just got blown out of proportion … but we're all fine with each other. Really."
Michaels, for his part, told the nationally syndicated rock radio show "The Tour Bus" in 2008 that he initially took no offense to Joe's words, but "then I start to get worked up, 'cause he's, like, we can't write, we can't play. And then it hits me that, listen, I've been nothing but cool. And I go, 'Well, this is coming from a guy who lip-synced on 'Dancing With The Stars'.' I go, 'This guy lip-synced…' [Mega-producer] Mutt Lange writes their… you know, does their albums… I'm not dissing them, I'm just saying… In other words, I was like, 'Look, give me and Joe a guitar each and a pen and a piece of paper, stick us in a room for an hour [and see who'll come out] with a couple of songs.
"But I don't wanna fight Joe," Bret explained at the time. "In other words, what bummed me out was that one of the guys I like is dissing every band… I'm like, why does he feel dissing all these bands or putting them down makes him any better? Isn't he secure enough in his success or where he's at… If someone said, 'Hey, what do you think about MÖTLEY?' Even though we've had words — MÖTLEY and us, or supposedly, whatever — I'm like, 'Hey, I like MÖTLEY's music. I'm a fan. They have good rock songs.''"
"The Stadium Tour", which also featured MÖTLEY CRÜE and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS, was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bret will hit the road in July for a limited run of live dates for his 2023 "Parti-Gras" tour. The trek will feature special guests NIGHT RANGER and JEFFERSON STARSHIP, with appearances from Steve Augeri (former lead singer of JOURNEY) and Mark McGrath (SUGAR RAY),plus a nightly surprise guest.
Last month, Michaels released a new solo single, "Back In The Day".