Rock of Ages?

Bret Michaels says a Def Leppard, Crue, Poison, Whitesnake tour is in discussion

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The seventh sign of the apocalypse should occur around Memorial Day if Bret Michaels' wishful thinking pays off. On the day when America will be paying homage to combat veterans, the Poison frontman expects to be launching an Exile From Mainstream tour with fellow veteran cock-rockers Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Whitesnake. If his fellow glam pals are game, they're not admitting it.

"There will be no egos about who is headlining each show," he says. "I don't want to predict the size of the venues we will play, but I can say that all of us will go out there and do a great job."

Poison's tour de faux is tentatively set to kick off in the Midwest, however America's Dairyland shouldn't panic quite yet. Though Michaels puts full confidence in his self-conceived headbangers ball, it seems the other honorable mentions are far from committed to the tour.

"Well, you're getting it from the snake's mouth: No," says frontman David Coverdale regarding Whitesnake's involvement in Exile. "I retired Whitesnake after a farewell tour last year about the middle of December. I finished that twenty years of good fun, up and down, and that was enough."

After peaking eleven years ago with songs like "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love?" (best remembered for their videos featuring red-headed vixen Tawny Kitaen), Whitesnake went into hibernation as rumors spread that the Robert Plant-knockoff artist planned to fire the entire band. Though band members changed almost routinely, Whitesnake survived overseas, and Coverdale says he did speak with Michaels about bringing the band stateside during the spring or summer of this year. When Exile was pushed back one year, Coverdale had a change of heart.

"I sound like Clinton ... I do recall speaking with Bret Michaels, but I didn't touch him -- not in any intimate, inappropriate manner," jokes Coverdale. "Poison was deliberating about going out later because they didn't have an album, but I didn't think it was a promotional tour by any stretch. Basically, I withdrew."

Yet another unlikely touring companion, Def Leppard will remain under quarantine until next spring, when they plan to release the follow-up to 1996's Slang. For the time being, however, a representative at the group's management company says they "know nothing about this proposed tour."

Likewise, a spokeswoman for Motley Crue says the Exile escapade does not appear on the band's upcoming itinerary. Immediately following the release of their greatest hits album on Oct. 27, the Crue plan to launch their second North American tour in as many years, which would seem to make all but Poison exiled from Exile.

Michaels' possible delusions aside, three-fourths of Poison (Michaels, guitarist C.C. DeVille and drummer Rikki Rockett) will play together for the first time in seven years this Saturday at the Roxy in Los Angeles. The show will precede a full-scale Poison reunion, that will include a new album (Winter '99) and road show -- with or without their metal brethren.

"I'm jonesing to tour again -- I miss being around Bobby [Dall] and Rikki [Rockett] and C.C. on stage," he says. "And I gotta have my sweaty leather pants so I can barely move around. It's a must."