Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Poison, with singer Bret Michaels and musicians C.C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall performs at the after party for the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Rock Of Ages" at Hollywood and Highland on June 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Poison got its start as a cover band in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Their original name was Paris and, while they put on a good show, it was clear they weren’t going to become rich and famous in Mechanicsburg.┬áThe group decided to head west with their new name in 1983.

Lead singer Bret Michaels, drummer Rikki Rockett, bassist and pianist Bobby Dall, and guitarist Matt Smith shared a small apartment in Hollywood and began performing at The Troubadour. After recording a demo and being rejected by Atlantic Records in 1985, Smith left Poison and moved back to Pennsylvania.

The glam band auditioned several guitarists in Los Angeles and eventually narrowed the field down to two candidates: C.C. DeVille and Slash. DeVille got the job largely due to his East Coast roots. Things worked out fine for Slash, too.

With C.C. DeVille in the fold, Poison was able to secure a modest deal with Enigma Records in 1986 and release their first album, Look What the Cat Dragged In. It became the biggest-selling-album in Enigma’s history and put Poison on the map.

Poison’s second studio album, Open Up and Say… Ahh!, spawned three top ten hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The videos for all three of those singles enjoyed heavy airplay on MTV in the late 1980s.

  • Nothin' But A Good Time (1988)

    “Nothin’ but a Good Time” was the first single released from Poison’s second studio album Open Up and Say… Ahh! in 1988. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn (1988)

    The power ballad/break-up song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” was released in October 1988 as the third single from Open Up and Say… Ahh! It’s Poison’s only U.S. #1 hit and remains their signature song.

  • Your Mama Don't Dance (1989)

    Poison’s cover of the 1972 Loggins and Messina hit “Your Mama Don’t Dance” was the fourth single from Open Up and Say…Ahh! It reached #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.