Bret Michaels has a really busy summer ahead of him.
The former Poison frontman-turned-reality-star just hit the road for a solo tour -- he was heading to Louisiana when we chatted -- but that's not all. He's reuniting with his old Poison bandmates and longtime Def Leppard hair metal rock buddies for a series of joint gigs this summer.
“I spend about 90 percent of my time out doing solo tours," Michaels told The Huffington Post. "But this summer is exciting because I get to get back together with Poison and Def Leppard, and they’re all old friends. And we are just going to make it a lot of fun.”
"Most of us came from these small towns so we never forget what it was like the first time we all came together," Michaels added. "And we’re happy about how far we’ve come. Back in the '80s I was just happy to have air-conditioning when I was driving myself in a beat-up Winnebago.”
In addition to touring, Michaels will have a solo album, Get Your Rock On hit stores in July. As he describes it, the album is what would happen if Bret Michaels did a Frank Sinatra Duets-type album.
“Everyone is on it," he said. "Van Halen, Lil Jon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Loretta Lynn and pretty much every musician I have jammed with throughout my career."
Michaels also added that he needs to take some time to decide whom he wants to vote for president in November.
“I haven’t decided, but I have a lot of thoughts,” Michaels said. “I don’t go by party; I go by who will be best for our country and our economy. It is about who will bring our country back where it needs to be. I am not one of those guys who dies for a party. I also look for the bullshit meter, and I want to see who just talks the talk and who will really walk the walk.”
In fact, Michaels is quite serious when it comes to issues facing the United States today. One matter in particular, health care advocacy, is near and dear to his heart. He has been dealing with a diabetes condition since age 6
“Politics and health care is such a strange thing. I think you need to take a step back and look at the people you are helping; otherwise you will lose sight of what you need to do,” Michaels said. “We don’t live in a perfect society, and it is crazy to think things will turn out perfect. But we do need to break through the bullshit and get down to who needs help and why.”
And it seems like he's trying to do his share. On May 22, Michaels received the Magic Johnson Health Care Award at the Diversity Alliance for Science's Fifth Annual Networking Conference. He was honored for his extensive fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as well as for his work for the American Diabetes Association and the Eric Trump Foundation and his own charity, Bret Michaels' Life Rocks Foundation, which sends diabetic children to summer camp.
After experiencing a few rough years, including dealing with having an emergency appendectomy, a brain hemorrhage and a hole in his heart, Michaels said he is feeling great and he expects to be fully recovered soon.
“I feel really good. I am 90 percent. I still go through my therapy and I think I can get there. It is just going to take time,” he said.
One thing Michaels does not plan to do this summer is get married. Two years ago, Michaels asked his on-again, off-again longtime girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, to marry him, but the couple won’t be walking down the aisle anytime soon.
“I would say this: I am happy in the place I am in my life, professionally and personally," Michaels said. "I know people make fun of it being the longest engagement in history, but life is good right now."