Date February 3, 2000 / 890 reads

Source: Gerri Miller from KNAC

C.C. DeVille's announced this week that he would not be touring with Poison this summer because his band Samantha 7 (formerly The Stepmothers) was not given the opening slot on the tour. "Poison does not want C.C. on the tour, or Samantha 7," claimed an e-mail message from DeVille and Samantha 7 bassist Krys Baratto. But Poison vocalist Bret Michaels and drummer Rikki Rockett insist that the decision was DeVille's, and a manipulative one at that.

"I think it's a really cowardly way of getting cheap publicity for his band, by going against what all of us built together," says Michaels, calling DeVille's move "a potshot" and "a personal vendetta that I can't help him with. He needs a psychiatrist."

"It's very mercenary of C.C. to do this," says Rockett, pointing out that during DeVille's five-year absence from the band, "We always supported him. We went over there to make sure he was alive. We tried to help him (get off drugs). I feel very stabbed in the back." But, he sighs, "I don't think this comes as news to anybody."

Michaels feels especially betrayed because he claims that DeVille has not called him since the '99 summer tour ended, not even to congratulate him on his impending fatherhood (girlfriend Kristi Gibson is due to give birth to their daughter Raine Elizabeth June 6). Studio time was booked in December to record new material for the Poison album Live + Five , but DeVille didn't show. When bassist Bobby Dall called to investigate, Michaels says that DeVille declared, "I never want to write another song with Poison."

"We thought he was kidding," says Michaels, but it became apparent that he wasn't, especially after he made the same vow to Portrait Records' John Kalodner (Portrait signed Samantha 7 and according to Michaels, has made an offer for the Live + Five album). Michaels, who has recorded a second solo album (also for Portrait) and has toured on his own over the years, points out that he never made demands on Poison to have his solo band open up.

Michaels proposed that DeVille "go out with Poison and do (Samantha 7) shows and in-stores on his off days. I told him he could sing two of the five (new) songs if he wanted. This is how far backwards I was willing to bend," he says, claiming that he requested that his new solo disc be delayed to the fall so as not to conflict with Samantha 7's. "I'm the guy that offered to help him get a solo deal and he's taking cheap shots. But he's lying to himself and every body by trying to make it sound like he was kicked out. When he left the band (in 1991) he sued us for millions of dollars and was paid off. He never officially made a move to come back to the band. He toured last summer to get notoriety to do his solo record," says Michaels, noting the status of DeVille's relationship with Poison, "This time I think he's pretty much cut it permanently."

Nevertheless, Poison plans to continue work on the Live + Five album with Richie Zito and possibly Bob Ezrin producing and L.A. Guns' Tracii Guns playing guitar. "We're recording around his schedule," says Michaels, referring to L.A. Guns' still-active status. "Tracii was our first choice. We had a great time on the (summer) tour, so we said 'Come write with us. Let's see if we have good chemistry. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but it did. Tracii is a great guitar player and a great songwriter and he just fit."

Michaels says that unlike DeVille, Guns is willing to perform songs from Native Tongue (which featured guitarist Richie Kotzen) and the long-shelved Crack a Smile album (with Blues Saraceno), which Capitol Records will release in expanded form (its 20 tracks include outtakes, b-sides, and four live selections from Poison's MTV Unplugged appearance) on March 14. Guns will be aboard for the summer tour, which kicks off in mid-June and will include Cinderella, Dokken, and Slaughter on the bill.

Until then, Rockett plans to finish building his recording studio and work on his Glitter For Your Soul glam compilation, which will include contributions from Blues Saraceno, bassist Chuck Garric, and Roland Bolan, who will cover one of his late father Marc's T-Rex songs. "I'm always busy. I have eight Web sites to do," he says of his Net design side business.

Michaels will be producing a Poison tribute record for Deadline/Cleopatra (including a rap cover of "Unskinny Bop" by Pauly Shore), and directing himself, Shore, Mark Dacascos, and John Stamos in The Last Breath. A wedding, however, is not on his schedule. "Children I can handle," says the father-to-be. "It's marriage that makes me nervous."

As for Samantha 7, "We have been in talks with Lit for a summer tour," an e-mailed message stated.