’80s band Poison keeps it together despite the thorns


Drummer Rikki Rockett doesn’t even try to sugarcoat it.

“We are one of the most hated bands … by other bands,” he says.

And that’s not even getting into what the critics think of Poison, who came along in 1983 to further the cause of hair-metal with fluffy hits like “Talk Dirty to Me” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

Sebastian Bach was openly critical of Poison. Now, he’s opening for them on the current tour, which stops at the Post-Gazette Pavilion on Sunday. In June, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott noted, “We refused to go out with Poison or Winger or Warrant or any of those — bands.”

Rockett, along with challenging Elliott to a duel, shot back with, “I’d be hurt if this were coming from John Lennon.”

Still, Rockett doesn’t mind being the hated band. “I think that’s cool. Because we are one of the only bands out there from our era. Name another one that has all the members intact and is out there doing successful business right now.”

And don’t say Van Halen, because, of course it was more of a ’70s band and Michael Anthony isn’t there anymore.

“It’s a feather in our cap that we’re still together,” Rockett says.

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