John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews
recently conducted an interview with manager and consultant Vicky Hamilton. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
LRI: I know it?s been mentioned that your time managing Poison ended badly but you really believed in them at a time when few people did, isn?t that correct?
Vicky: Pretty much. They were really fresh and Pennsylvanian (laughs). We had done a demo deal with Atlantic and they passed on the band. Because of my association with Motley and Stryper I was very friendly with the Enigma people and we were offered a very small deal by Enigma, I think it was like 25,000 dollars or something and they of course took it. At that point I was not getting along with Bret Michaels so I sold my contract to Howie Huberman who was my financial backer so he took over management from there. They were released by Enigma and Capitol bought it and it blew up.
LRI: Bret has made such a name for himself outside of Poison and much of it has to do with this easygoing, fan friendly persona but he must be at least somewhat difficult to deal with behind the scenes or creatively. Is he headstrong?
Vicky: I?ll put it to you this way John, everyone assumes that Axl Rose was the most difficult personality or character I?ve ever dealt with which ISN?T true. It was unquestionably Bret Michaels (laughs).
LRI: Wow... ok, that IS interesting.
Vicky: It?s true. Say what you want but at least Axl wears his heart on his sleeve. You know where you stand because he?ll let you know. He?s honest to a fault. Bret is much more devious and just not a nice person in that regard. Those bands were very much at war at one point with each trying to outdo each other.
LRI: ¿What is your relationship with C.C. like?
Vicky: I love C.C. A few years ago I was teaching a class on music business management at Musician?s Institute and C.C. came in and guest spoke for me and he is so sweet and so funny. He had us all laughing so hard we were all crying he was talking about he had signed up to do the Surreal Life and took out seven parked cars getting there because he assumed they would send a limo to pick him up. He is so funny and so honest and he talked about how he was court ordered to get sober on reality TV which is just crazy sounding to me. He?s such a sweetheart and if you listen to listen to Samantha 7 you can hear that rhythm and sound he has all over it. Matt Smith, their original guitarist was a really talented guitarist but the sound just completely changed when C.C. joined.
LRI: I know what you mean. That?s exactly how I feel, I have all the pre-Poison stuff as Paris and some of it has more of a straightforward, basic Motley cookie cutter sound. Like they sat around and listened to Shout at the Devil on repeat.
Vicky: (laughs). All I can tell you is I went out to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with them in the early days they were doing Motley Crue covers on videotape. I?m sure they cut those tapes up because I was like "Do not let anyone see this stuff!" (laughs).