For many of us that grew up in the ‘80s, Look What the Cat Dragged In, and in particular the clip for “Talk Dirty to Me” (a previous single from the record, “Cry Tough,” sank like a stone) was our first shot of Poison. But there’s even earlier audio and video evidence of the band in action, and it includes original guitarist Matt Smith, who joined the group during their formative days as Paris, and subsequently made the trek from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to L.A. alongside Bret Michaels, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett. As Smith recalled in Nothin’ But a Good Time, my oral history of ‘80s hard rock co-written with Tom Beaujour, “The three other guys put something in the classified ads in the newspaper and I happened to call. They were looking for a guitar player. It said something like, Guitarist wanted for theatrical band, has to be willing to move to L.A.”
Smith spent roughly a year with the band in L.A. before heading back to Harrisburg to be with his pregnant girlfriend, a move that paved the way for the entrance of C.C. DeVille, who beat out Slash for the open guitar slot. But his brief time with Poison produced this awesome clip for the band’s very early track, “Rock Like A Rocker,” which you can check out above.