- Bret Michaels (born Bret Michael Sychak on March 15, 1963 in Butler, Pennsylvania) – Lead vocals, guitar
- C.C. DeVille (born Bruce Anthony Johannesson on May 14, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York) – Lead guitar
- Bobby Dall (born Robert Harry Kuykendall on November 2, 1958 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – Bass guitar
- Rikki Rockett (born Richard Allan Ream on August 8, 1961 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) – Drums
The glam rock-influenced hair metal group Poison formed initially as Paris in the area around suburban Harrisburg, Pennysylvania. However, Michaels, Dall, Rockett and original guitarist Matt Smith soon decided to pursue their dreams of rock and roll stardom (where else?) in the more appropriate showbiz climate of Los Angeles. After the quartet relocated to the West Coast in 1985, Smith left the band and was replaced by DeVille. With its classic lineup now in place, the group began to hone its sound in Sunset Strip clubs, exhibiting a full-tilt glam image through makeup and costumes that often overshadowed its music.
|Poison - Look What The Cat Dragged In|
Poison didn't skip a beat for its third release, Flesh & Blood, issued after another two-year period. Tracks like the appallingly bad "Unskinny Bop," the vapid "Something To Believe In," and the similarly limited "Ride the Wind" may have indicated a musical decline for the band, but that didn't stop such hits from making the record another bona fide smash. Even so, the band began its implosion even before Nirvana broke, as DeVille's increasing substance abuse problems affected his performance enough at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards that he and Michaels reportedly engaged in a fistfight backstage. CC DeVille was replaced by Richie Kotzen, who is currently vocalist and guitarist for the group The Winery Dogs.
Despite the subsequent firing of DeVille and a new album in 1993 without him that was pretty much ignored in a changing rock music landscape, the original lineup of Poison managed to stage a reunion by the end of the '90s. Since 1999, the original lineup has more or less stayed together, mounting largely successful summer nostalgia tours into the new millennium. Along the way, the group has kept things interesting; even as DeVille found sobriety, a dispute between Michaels and Dall erupted onstage in Atlanta in 2006. Poison continues still to persevere, regularly touring and releasing occasional records - even in the face of some health problems for Michaels, including a brain hemorrhage he suffered in 2010, and most recently kidney surgery (Nov 2014)