Let’s talk about the time I almost took a road trip with Bret Michaels.
… no. really.
Circa 2006, Bret Michaels came to the then-small town of Bentonville, Arkansas to play a solo show. I really don’t know why. He just did. My good friend Justin calls me up and says he just have to go see this glorious, aging rock star playing through his quest to remain relevant. He was playing at a bar, and you know, it had a bar, and I was 22 so I said okay.
We drove the twenty minutes north and get to The Icehouse, the now-defunct establishment that was housing Bret and his weave band for the night. He played some random songs he’d written in the last five years, which were fine, I think but I couldn’t really tell you because I was pounding RBVs, but we had a crowd screaming for Every Rose Has Its Thorn over and over, even though it was a Bret Michaels show and not a Poison show, and Bret got all huffy and reluctantly played his power ballad to a bunch of screaming middle-aged women and me.
(whatever, I’ve always had a thing for older men)
The show was fun and everything went well. Justin and I are leaving that bar, and we have to pass the tour bus to get to the parking lot. Justin points to the slightly questionable-looking working girls women standing at the front of a looong line outside the bus, and with a slight nudge, says “Go hang out with the army of skanks and see if you can get on the bus.”
I go up to the very friendly army of skanks and make chit chat, talk about random stuff. They were all very friendly, and I was getting ready to leave because I was convinced nothing was going to happen, and then ….
And everyone stops.
Four people are picked to climb aboard and hang out.
The original three ladies.
I ended up spending three hours on the bus with a pre-Rock of Love Bret Michaels.
Eventually, the bus was ready to leave. I asked him where they were headed next. He said Tulsa, which is a little over an hour and a half from where we were. And then he said it:
You wanna come?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Then my common sense Justin chimed in and said, welllllll, it’s been fun but we better be going now. And then he grabbed me by the arm and dragged my ass off that bus. As I laid into him in the parking lot, Justin reminded me 1) of all the ways my daddy would have killed him had he let me go to Tulsa with an aging rockstar, and 2) that I’d be stranded in Tulsa when it was all over.
What were you going to do, he said, when the show was over and you were stuck in Tulsa?
I sweetly smiled and drunkenly batted my eyes at him and said, I was going to call you to come get me.
I’m surprised he didn’t hit me in the mouth.
Because I suck at life and didn’t have a camera (and this was in the pre-iPhone days where cameras on phones didn’t suck), I have no pictures of the romance that could have been. However, I do have this:
Thanks for nothing, Justin.