Richie Kotzen Defends His ‘Underrated’ Work With Bret Michaels

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Richie Kotzen reflects fondly on his tenure with Poison alongside Bret Michaels, expressing satisfaction with the experience in a recent conversation with Classic Rock.

Acknowledging the unexpected turn his career took by joining the band at the age of 21, Kotzen emphasized the significance of his time with Poison, particularly his collaboration with Michaels:

“Being part of Poison was an unexpected journey for me. As a young man, I didn’t envision myself in a band like that for an extended period. However, looking back, I recognize the importance of that chapter in my career. Bret really pushed me to explore my vocal abilities, which was a rewarding aspect for me.”

Kotzen’s contribution to Poison’s 1991 album ‘Native Tongue,’ featuring hits like ‘Stand’ and ‘Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice),’ showcased his versatility as both a guitarist and a vocalist. However, his departure from the band in 1993 due to personal reasons marked the end of this chapter.

Reflecting on his interactions with Poison members post-departure, Kotzen revealed candid moments of connection and reconciliation:

“I crossed paths with the Poison members shortly after parting ways. Bobby Dall and I had a heartfelt conversation one evening at the Rainbow, still fresh from the experience. Years later, I encountered Bret Michaels backstage at a Rock Fantasy camp, where we shared a warm embrace and exchanged kind words. Similarly, I bumped into C.C. DeVille during The Winery Dogs tour in 2019, a moment of unexpected connection given the intertwining nature of our professional circles.”

Despite past tensions, Kotzen shared a poignant anecdote about his encounter with former bandmate Rikki Rockett, highlighting a sense of mutual respect and closure:

“Interestingly, my wife Julia, who happens to be a bass player, performed alongside Rikki Rockett on drums. Overhearing Rikki’s indifferent remark about our past, I approached him with a handshake and a greeting, symbolizing a sense of reconciliation between us.”

Following his departure from Poison, Kotzen redirected his focus to his solo career, later joining Mr. Big from 1999 to 2002 before embarking on his current role as the frontman of The Winery Dogs since 2012. Through his journey, Kotzen’s reflections underscore the transformative power of collaboration, growth, and reconciliation in the ever-evolving landscape of rock music.

I'm Emma. I Love rock music, doing guitar reviews, and making food. I love writing works because it is the best way to provide information to people.

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