Formed in 1982, in Harrisburg, PA with Bret, Bobby, Rikki, and original guitarist Matt Smith. Band sells everything in 1984 and moves to L.A. in an old ambulance and a beat- up Chevette.
Poison lives in poverty as they work their way up the L.A. scene. In 1985, Matt Smith gives in to pressures and leaves the band, returning to PA. Poison auditions and selects a new guitar player, C.C. DeVille.
Continuing to reinvent the L.A. scene, Poison sells out the legendary Troubadour for two nights.
Enigma Records offers Poison an independent record deal and a $30,000 recording budget. In eight days, Poison turns that $30,000 into Look What The Cat Dragged In. It is released in 1986 and sells 40,000 copies.
Capitol Records sees Poison's potential to sell records and as a live draw, and offers a distribution deal and a video. "Cry Tough" is released as a single and video. Poison embarks on the road opening for national bands such as Ratt and Quiet Riot.
With no guarantee of another record, Poison takes one last shot at a single and releases "Talk Dirty To Me." Radio and MTV embrace it and the bomb explodes. "I Want Action" and "I Won't Forget You" are released, keeping the band on the road thru '87. Look What The Cat Dragged In will go on to sell more than four million copies.
1988 Poison releases Open Up And Say...Ahh! with lead single "Nothin' But A Good Time." Open Up goes platinum within two weeks of its release. Poison heads out on the road opening for David Lee Roth and Ratt.
Poison launches their first ever headline tour, criss-crossing the globe on the heels of "Fallen Angel," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," and "Your Mama Don't Dance." The tour is tagged by critics as the "greatest show since KISS."
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" goes Gold as a single and climbs to Number One on the Billboard Singles Chart. Open Up sells over six million units.
1990 Poison records Flesh & Blood, releases "Unskinny Bop" as lead single and embarks on tour. "Unskinny Bop" is Poison's second Gold single - the album ships platinum.
Poison received a letter from Vice President Dick Cheney thanking the band for contributing 20,000 CDs of the album Flesh & Blood to lift the morale of U.S. Troops during Desert Storm, and their continued support of the Armed Forces.
"Something To Believe In" marks Poison's third Gold single and becomes one of the longest running videos on MTV. "Ride The Wind," "Life Goes On," and "(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice" continue to fuel the tour, and radio pushes Flesh & Blood into multi-platinum status.
After two consecutive years on the road, band members are at each others' throats with personal differences, drug addictions, etc.
Poison records live performances for Swallow This Live and four studio tracks for inclusion on the record. After playing the MTV Video Awards, C.C. and Bret collide in an all out fist-fight seconds after they leave the stage. Break up rumors surround the band.
1993 - Pressure from outside sources force the band to record Native Tongue with Richie Kotzen on guitar - fueling evidence that C.C. is no longer in the band though no official statement has ever been released noting that.
After personal situations arise, Richie Kotzen is summarily dismissed from the band, literally on the road - leaving him standing in the night, his bags ditched over a fence.
Native Tongue goes Gold.
Native Tongue tour ends in May of '94 when Bret totals his Ferrari in an automobile accident sending him to the hospital with numerous broken bones and teeth.
Poison hires Blues Saraceno to finish out the last two months of tour dates in 1994 in South America including the famous "HOLLYWOOD ROCK" concerts in Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they opened for Aerosmith and played to over 165,000 people.
1995/1996 - After a two year hiatus, Poison returns to the studio to record Crack A Smile with Blues on guitar- (the album will be shelved and subsequently released in 2000). Capitol Records opts to release Poison's Greatest Hits (1986-1996) with two new songs recorded for the Crack A Smile sessions. The album will go on to reach platinum status. When Crack A Smile is not released, band members (while still not broken up), decide to pursue individual interests.
Bret goes on to write, direct, and act in movies, and releases A Letter From Death Row, a solo album, in 1999.
Rikki begins work on Glitter For Your Soul and C.C. forms a trio band, Samantha 7, with him on lead guitar and vocals. Samantha 7's CD is released in 2000.
1999 - VH1 includes Poison as a part of their highly successful "Behind The Music series. The Poison episode was viewed by 5.1 million viewers the first day it premiered and fuels 1999's Greatest Hits tour with all 4 original members: Bret, Bobby, C.C. & Rikki.
Though off the road for over five years with virtually no radio support, no new album and no current single, Poison averages over 12,000 fans per show and sells out Detroit's Pine Knob Amphitheatre (over 18,000), thus proving the band's staying power and the demand for Poison's music.
Poison records many of the shows for inclusion on a live album Power To The People. Even after a public battle between C.C. and the band, all four members of Poison enter the studio to track five new songs for their first album together in over seven years.
Riding the renewed wave of interest in Poison, Capitol releases Crack A Smile...And More! in March, 2000.
Power To The People is released in June of 2000. An accompanying tour with Cinderella, Dokken and Slaughter kicked off in Hershey, PA, Poison's birthplace.
Swallow This Live goes Gold.
2001 brought a new single, "Rock Star" as well as a great summer tour - the "Glam Slam Metal Jam" with Warrant, Quiet Riot and Enuff Z'Nuff. In addition, Motley Crue's Vince Neil, Great White and the Bullet Boys joined Poison on selected dates. And Poison's first DVD, Greatest Video Hits, was released on Capitol/EMI Music on June 5, 2001. It contains 17 of the band's videos, interviews with Bret Michaels, backstage footage and home videos from previous tours, a complete discography and liner notes written by Bret.
The "Glam Slam Metal Jam" came to a halt, however, three weeks short of its completion. Bassist Bobby Dall was rushed by ambulance to Omaha's University Of Nebraska Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery on his back from an injury suffered while performing onstage. A neurosurgeon replaced several discs in Dall's spine and said that at least six months of rehab and recovery would be necessary.
Poison hit the road in 2002 in support of their new studio album, Hollyweird, which included the first single, a cover of The Who's "Squeeze Box." The tour was presented by VH1 Classic and Best Buy Music.
Poison sponsored a NASCAR driven by Daytona 500 Winner Derrike Cope during the 2002 season. The Poison logo was featured on the hood of the stockcar for both the Pocono 500 and Michigan Pepsi 400 races. At both events, the band actually got to work in the crew pits. In addition, Bret held the top speed in his class when Poison got to drive real Winston Cup stockcars at the Kansas City Speedway while at the Richard Petty Racing School.
Poison has been mentioned several times in The Simpsons and two of Poison's songs, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Nothin' But a Good Time" were featured in an episode in which Otto is to get married. Instead, Otto chooses to hang out and party with Poison.
Bret Michaels releases his first solo record, Songs Of Life, in May, 2003. It is an enhanced CD and includes the video for the first single, "Raine," named after his daughter. The CD is released on Raine's third birthday.
Another huge summer tour in 2003, the "Harder Louder Faster" tour with Vince Neil and Skid Row. VH1 Classic Presents.
Bret does his first ever solo tour, from September 26 thru December 7, 2003 - 62 shows in 62 different cities in 2 1/2 months! VH1 Classic also presented this tour.
Poison tours with KISS all across the U.S. in the Summer of 2004. Bret does additional solo dates in the Fall of '04.
2005: Bret readies his next solo record, Freedom Of Sound, and heads out on the road for more solo dates, including an extensive tour of Canada.
Poison's "Nothin' But A Good Time" is used in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" in Deuce Bigelow - European Gigolo.
Poison's huge Summer '06 tour celebrates the band's 20th anniversary and the release of The Best Of Poison - 20 Years Of Rock as a CD (debuts at #17 and goes Gold) and DVD, followed up by the digitally remastered re-release of the band's first three records.
POISON’D, the band’s first new studio album since 2002, will be released June 5, 2007 on CD and digitally by EMI America Records/Capitol. Produced by Don Was at Hensen Recording Studios in Hollywood, POISON’D, a new album of cover songs, featuring many of their favorite rock classics, packs 13 explosive tracks, including new recordings of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” The Cars’ “You’re Just What I Needed,” The Romantics’ “What I Like About You,” Sweet’s “Little Willie,” The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See” and The Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers.” Some of Poison’s best previously recorded covers are also featured on POISON’D, including KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” and Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”