Poison frontman Bret Michaels endured another medical emergency last week – he underwent kidney surgery after a battle to deliver a charity show against doctor’s orders.
He postponed one solo band performance and had two stent tubes placed in his blood circulation system. He went on to perform well as his next show – but suffered severe bleeding as he attempted to play the following night.
The diabetic singer suffered a near-fatal brain haemorrhage in 2010. His appendix burst then a hole was found in his heart the same year. Earlier in 2014 he cut a show short after feeling ill and was diagnosed with an extreme form of flu.
Guitarist Pete Evick reports: “In typical Bret fashion the fans come first, and this was a charity event, which made Bret want to make the show even more – so against medical direction, he tried.
“On the way to Champaign, Illinois, he was forced to stop to seek more attention. Again, doctors advised him not to perform. At this point he had no choice. We were forced to postpone. Keep in mind, when his appendix was bursting a few years ago, our intro music was rolling and no matter what I or anyone said to him, he was going on that stage. So imagine the pain he was in that kept him from performing.”
Michaels returned to work the following night in Tennessee. Evick admits: “Even I was shocked and asked him not to. But Bret insisted the fans come first – even though he could barely say that because he was hurting so much.
“Showtime came and Bret hit the stage, and the show went off flawlessly. Before I could even see if he was okay, his bus pulled out and he was off again to another hospital. Certain that the next show wouldn’t happen, I prepared to make the calls and post the info needed. To my surprise, I was again informed he was on his way.”
He admits thinking: “‘Are you kidding me? I’ve joked that he will die on that stage, but please not tonight.’ This time I actually begged him not to do this. We had a sold-out show and he wasn’t gonna let the fans down. The argument went on for an hour – I lost.”
But the gig went “real bad,” says Evick. “During the show he gave 100 percent, but he hurt himself. Jumping around with two stents was a bad idea. I can’t explain the amount of blood or where it came from, but it was horrifying. Bret looked at me and said, ‘Just head to Champaign – we have to make Thursday’s show up.’”
At that point doctors stepped in and put him under sedation in hospital, refusing to release him. “Bret was truly devasted,” says the guitarist. “Over the last two weeks he was in and out of six hospitals. Bret continues to be an inspiration in his ability to move on. He’s still not 100 percent, but there are no plans to postpone any more shows.”
Evick adds: “While he was in dire pain, he still played an amazing show to an enormous crowd in Vegas a few days ago.”