“I really want to come back to Tyler”-Bret Michaels
The gratitude flowed off the now slim and ever energetic rocker much like the 20 to 72 year old enthusiasts that rolled into the almost too small fenced in area provided to take in the flawlessly produced powerful message of Bret Michaels. From the time he walked into the "VIP room", mostly where the hosts set up food and beverages for the band, their families and locals that get the pleasure of gaining access to the band and Bret, he was overcome with excitement to meet and talk with every soul that came to see him.
He stretched his arms out to welcome every man, woman and even a few children that came anywhere close to him for the few moments he had before the show. I noticed the one thing I was most hoping to witness while compiling my own image of how I had him in my heart and mind. He was never in a hurry to get away. Bret Michaels WANTED to see your smile, feel your joy, and share that moment with you.
Julie Brown was one of about 35-40 people that got in line early, waited without complaint, met new friends in line, stood in a hallway, and finally got her 2 minutes with a man she adored and he never disappointed. If anything, he exceeded all expectations with his humbleness, down home sweet and polite mannerisms, and above all, his appreciation for all the attention. This "rock icon and reality tv superstar" never gave us the impression he was anything more than a guy passing through to "party with all of us".
This is the "axe grinder" of the night Pete Evick, Bret lead guitarist who I dealt with all week long setting up the interview, meet and greet, and intro parameters. The man also covers the endless duties of Bret's PR schedule before every show. It was a gratifying comeuppance to find out at the very instant he ran past me on stage that Pete was also a key component in the stage show as well. He never mentioned he was in the band, and my dumbass never asked. Yes, I have been doing this radio thing for a while and yes, I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet some musicians and "celebrities", but dealing with Pete, meeting drummer Mike Bailey and Keyboard Rob, and absorbing their equally humble and grateful demeanor simply redefined everyone's stereotypical vision of the off stage characteristics of the hard rock musician. Pete is also an author, producer, and candle maker.
Along with fighting his Type 1 diabetes daily, Bret continues his quest nationwide to draw attention to all military personnel past and present by donating funds through his very own Life Rocks Foundation to local communities he performs for. He had that very heart string exposed on the stage at the East Texas State Fair Saturday night when he saluted those military personnel past and present, as well as honoring a U.S Navy Korean Conflict Veteran named Wally who passed away on August 4th. Wally Sychak was Bret's father and best friend. He dedicates all his remaining shows to the memory and contributions of his father.
Bret Michaels did the job and his band backed him up, in every aspect of the word. They not only love their leader, they are just like him. Just a bunch of guys making music, making sure those that hear it feel like they are part of the band, and leaving all of us hoping to see them again as soon as we can.