There comes a time in a woman's life when you look back and think, Hey! Why didn't I ever let a rock-and-roll bad boy lead me onto his tour bus, so he could slurp Jack Daniel's from my navel? Former groupies are older now, more mature -- and still so interested in "Nothing but a Good Time" that online gossip explores the question "Should I buy tickets for a concert that falls a week before my due date?" (Consensus: Yes, unless the baby is in the breech position.) Why such devotion? Probably because in its loud, goofy way, Poison makes its fans feel the love, and not just in the sense of the legendary backstage debauchery -- which, after all, involved only a few thousand chicks. The four hair-band heroes are so big on shaking hands and saying howdy that, by now, web-savvy drummer Rikki Rockett may have exchanged e-mail with everyone who bought Poison's sextuple-platinum recording Open Up and Say . . . Ahh!
Equally important, the band has always been campy and funny -- thanks in large part to Brooklyn guitarist and man-child C.C. DeVille. "How could we take ourselves seriously," he says, "with all that makeup?" Though the Britney crowd is buying tickets for this tour, most members of the audience and the band are, uh, maturing gracefully. Bret Michaels is a bit thicker around the middle, but still, as DeVille points out, notorious for having a great ass. The long-sober and extremely buff DeVille annoys the ladies by obscuring his no-doubt-adorable caboose with untucked shirttails because, he says, "Bret has the great-ass domain, and I'm sad, I'm scared, that I'd be a little saggy in comparison."
Critics blast Poison for being girlie-boys, without realizing that this is a good thing. Poison fandom has a Will & Grace vibe: plenty of raunchy, smutty jokes bubbling through harmless, platonic fun. Over the years, DeVille has taken what he calls a medical sabbatical and bass player Bobby Dall went to AA, and many of us have had our ups and downs, but that doesn't mean we can't all get our ya-yas out at a Poison show. So trot on out to Blossom. Maybe you'll get your boobs signed, maybe you won't. Either way, in 10 years you'll have the pleasant memory of having been loud and rowdy for one untroubled summer evening -- and that's worth the price of admission.
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