Do you hear that revving sound? That’s the sound of lead-footed gear heads from around the world burning rubber into North Scottsdale. Yes, it’s car auction week here in the Valley as no less than five major auto extravaganzas (RM, Gooding and Co., Russo and Steele, Silver Auctions and Barrett-Jackson) will be dropping the gavel on some $100M worth of rare collector cars.
That said, there’s no doubt that the biggest and baddest AZ auction is still the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event at Scottsdale’s WestWorld, which kicked off its 40th anniversary event this Wednesday. And since it’s been a weird day for Barrett-Jackson, we thought we’d bring you some positive news: a Q&A with famed Rocker, and part-time Valley resident, Bret Michaels, who will be appearing tomorrow at the Scottsdale-based auction.
A famed car and motorcycle aficionado, Michaels will take the stage at Barrett-Jackson tomorrow to personally say goodbye to his cherry 1969 Camaro which has been featured on his various Reality TV shows and in his latest video “Driven.” Furthermore, the auction winner receive a personalized Bret Michaels Signature Dean Custom Guitar, as well as two tickets and backstage passes for any Bret Michaels or Poison show at any arena this summer.
DLT recently sat down with the front man of the iconic 80s rock band, Poison, and star of VH1’s “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels” and “Bret Michaels: Life As I know It,” as well the latest winner of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. A father of two, we found this former Rock ‘n’ Roll wildman to be charming and surprisingly down to earth. He even had to stop the interview to answer a question from his daughter. Here are the highlights.
How did you become involved with Barrett-Jackson, and why are you letting go of your Camaro?
Every year, Barrett-Jackson likes to announce a last-minute celebrity car and appearance, so they approached me and asked if I had a car I’d like to enter. Now, there are two kinds of car people; car collectors and car drivers. I’m a car driver, and have had my 69 Camaro for a while now. It’s a real American Muscle Car, and I’ve loved driving the hell out of it all over town, but it was time to say goodbye. It’s bitter sweet, giving away something you love, but I look forward to becoming friends with the new owner. Maybe even visiting it every once in a while.
When did you first fall in love with cars?
Actually my first love was motorcycles. Growing up in Pittsburgh (go Steelers!), I’ll never forget buying my first bike, a blue Briggs & Stratton mini bike with a 5 horsepower engine. (Similar to the one pictured at right.) My father always told me, if you buy something, you better know how to fix it. So I can still take apart a lawnmover engine with my eyes closed.
In between filming TV shows and touring, I see you’ve become quite the successful entrepreneur (Ford car commercials, custom guitar line, AMA Supercross racing, a Bret Micheals Cruise). What’s the wackiest product endorsement that you’ve turned down?
It’s funny you mention that. There was one item that was pitched to me during the Rock of Love show on VH1, that I thought was a brilliant idea. But it just didn’t seem right for my career at that particular moment. A ‘Bret Michaels brand stripper pole’©. But that’s not to say I might not reconsider the offer in the future!
Finally, getting back to music, your solo work seems to have much more of a country twang to it, versus the hard rock of the Poison years.
People have been saying that ever since “All I Ever Needed” became a crossover country hit. But my career has always been about straight up Rock ‘n’ Roll, but also a deep love of Americana. I grew up listeing to Bob Seger and Lynard Skynard, as well as Kiss and AC/DC. And a lot of our Poison hits, like “I Wont Forget You” and “Something to Believe in” had what you could call some Country elements. In fact, “Every Rose Has it’s Thorns” was not only #1 on the Pop charts, but also a hit on the Country charts. Mostly, I just love writing and strumming out songs on my acoustic guitar, and working with great collaborators.
For more about Bret Michaels appearance at Barrett-Jackson, click here.