Poison Originally Toured in an Ambulance

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Every touring band has their early van horror stories.

Before they became kings of Sunset, Poison was slumming it in an abandoned ambulance.

When Bret Michaels and Rikki Rockett were cutting their teeth in Pennsylvania, Michaels recalled Rokett’s dad hooking them up with the ambulance saying,

We had an ambulance van because Rikki’s dad worked as an EMT. We had a Chevette and we had a green Ford pickup truck. We eventually made our way, all the way into almost L.A. and our van broke down. We had to tow it.”

Rokett wasn’t sure what he got himself into with the ambulance saying,

“I remember listening to Motley Crue and Bret and I are assembling everything, and I’m thinking ‘How many people have died in this thing? Are we really going to drive this cross country?’”

That was only the beginning of the grind. 

Once Poison landed in LA, they had an uphill battle to stick out from the rest of the pack. Michaels remarked that the struggle was half the battle saying,

“It was hustle. Raising the money, convincing people we were gonna have a hit record. We had to believe it before they were gonna believe it. I have to bet on me before anyone else is gonna bet.”

Rockett knew how to hustle by playing dirty at their live shows saying,

“I remember one gig telling Bret ‘tell everyone we’re having a party after the show.’ Before our set was over, Bret said the first 100 people at the party up the street got free beer. So no one was there for the headlining act. It put us in headliner status pretty much overnight.”

Making it in Hollywood might seem impossible, but Poison took their party vibe from an ambulance to the arena. 

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