While gearing up to take Poison on tour with Def Leppard this summer, Bret Michaels found time to assemble an all-star cast of guests for his new LP, Bret Michaels and Friends: Get Your Rock On, due out in September.
"Every song on it is a collaboration with other musicians," says Michaels. "And it's such a diverse range of people, from Loretta Lynn and Joe Perry [who play on a reworking of the Poision hit "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"] and Jimmy Buffett to Lil Jon, Michael Anthony, Ace Frehley, all the Skynyrd guys, guys from .38 Special and Blackfoot and Rascal Flatts' Jay [DeMarcus]. These are friends and people I've played with, partied with, jammed with throughout the years."
A new rendition of Poison's "Nothin' But a Good Time" unites Frehley, Anthony and Lil Jon. "Ace Frehley is the real deal," says Michaels. "He laid down this amazing solo and then Michael Anthony came in, he did the backups, and I was like, 'Just play some Michael Anthony licks.' He did, and that's what made magic on the song."
While many of the featured artists are now friends of Michaels, they started off as his rock & roll heroes. That's most apparent on his rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama." "I did [it] with all the guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd, the guys from Blackfoot and .38 Special," he says. "That was amazing because probably my first foot in the door as a child was traditional country, then I got turned onto the Beatles and Stones. Then I immediately fell in love with Southern rock, which was kind of a perfect mixture of country and rock."
Michaels isn't done recruiting collaborators. He hopes to get Zakk Wylde to come in and redo "Go That Far," the theme from Rock of Love. And after checking out Cheap Trick in concert recently, he got another idea. "I'd like to get Rick Nielsen to come in to play on 'Talk Dirty to Me,'" he says. "I think that'd be great to have him come in and put his style on a song that I remade in an over-the-top, punk-metal fashion."
Though Michaels says, "This could be the never-ending record," he's focused on finishing the LP and can't help but get excited about the prospects of future collaborations. "If I was to do another one of these records, it's overwhelming the amount of possibilities," he says. "I've been onstage with Jimmy Page, he's come and played with Poison in Reno, Nevada, and it was an amazing night. And last year, I played with Toby Keith and partied with him. The list is endless."