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Bret Michaels talks end of '80s glam era: 'I only blame myself'

'You own it and you just keep rocking,' the Poison front man says

When it comes to that age-old question about what killed off ‘80s hard rock, the answer usually turns to the rise of grunge and, more specifically, Nirvana. But Poison front man Bret Michaels doesn’t ascribe to that cliché.

“"I blame nobody," Michaels said in a recent interview with AZ Central. "There was definitely a change in the music business but I only blame myself. There was a lot of partying."

Grunge, he continued, “was great. We used Nirvana's director, Sam Bayer, on the video to ‘Stand’ [the first single from 1993’s Native Tongue]. Alice in Chains' first arena show was opening for Poison. I was like, 'I didn't know I was in a fight with Alice in Chains. They were just at my house riding go-karts,' you know what I mean?”

Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has expressed similar sentiments, saying, “We always had the attitude that we would play with anybody. I just wanted to get on a stage. I didn’t care if it was with fucking Poison or Warrant or Iggy Pop or fucking Slayer and Megadeth. Whatever.”

As for the whole “grunge killed hair metal” argument, Cantrell said that while it’s one he’s heard over and over, he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to it. “You know, I get the slant,” he said. “And the slant is ‘That shit needed to be killed. ’Cause it was fucking stupid.’ And like, I’m not gonna say that, you know? And I’m not gonna say that we were so much cooler and that’s why we fucking took over.”

AS far as Michaels and Poison are concerned, things are obviously great these days, as the Stadium Tour continues to play to tens of thousands of fans each date.

“All you can do is just be who you are and stick to your guns," he said. "And it all came back bigger and better than ever.

"I don't have a victim mentality. I take responsibility for things that happen. You own it and you just keep rocking. That's what happened. Within a couple years, everything comes right back around."

He continued, "A rock audience is a lot like a country audience. They're very loyal. So they never got the Post-it Note that said, 'You're not supposed to like this.'"