Bret Michaels' Tony Mishap: "Rock of Ages"'s Constantine Weighs In

June 18, 2009 7:15 PM ET

By now nearly everyone has weighed in on Bret Michaels' Tony Awards mishap, in which he was clocked in the kisser by a moving set piece after rocking with Poison to "Nothin' But a Good Time." (Earlier today the frontman announced he would not sue the Tonys after all.) The tune helped open the Tony Awards on that fateful Sunday night, but it opens Rock of Ages — the hair-metal musical that picked up five Tony nods — every night on Broadway. We asked the show's star, onetime American Idol hopeful and smoldering starer Constantine Maroulis for his take on the accident — and whether such a disaster would have befallen him had he had the chance to open the Tonys, himself (Maroulis later performed "Don't Stop Believing" with his cast during one of the show's high points).

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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