Bret Michaels went on ‘The Masked Singer’ looking for fun and he certainly found it. HL spoke with the rocker about the ‘full circle’ moment he had on the show, how he’s feeling 10 years after suffering a brain hemorrhage, and more.
The one and only Bret Michaels was revealed as the Banana during the April 22 episode of The Masked Singer. The rock star went head-to-head with the Kitty in the final smackdown of the night. Even though he was eliminated, Bret has nothing but amazing things to say about his time on the hit FOX show. The 57-year-old Poison frontman effortlessly stepped into the Banana costume, but he admitted to HollywoodLife that the Banana was not his “first choice” for a costume.
Bret opened up about the April 23 episode airing right around the 10th anniversary of when he nearly died from a brain hemorrhage. He said he “felt good to be alive and celebrating life as a human banana.” He also discussed his upcoming autobiography titled Bret Michaels: Auto-Scrap-Ography, which will be released on May 12. This book isn’t going to be your typical autobiography, that’s for sure.
Were there any other costumes that you considered other than the Banana?
Bret Michaels: Yes, the Banana was actually not my first choice. My first choice was going as the Predator. I wanted to come out all badass, with dreadlocks, the original Predator. That’s the way I wanted to come out and throw it around, but then I realized that if I did that and start this off singing some AC/DC or some Aerosmith, I’m going to be gone in the first night. I need to throw them [the panelists] down a different path and pick something I thought was fun and that I loved. I thought, “Man, this could be Bandana Banana, minus the bandana, right?” So I went with the Banana. It gave a little hint of my favorite color of football team and baseball team being from Pittsburgh, so it has the color yellow in there with a little bit of black in there. And then as a diabetic, without a doubt, a banana is part of my everyday food group that I use to keep my blood sugar levels with some good fructose in there.
The latest episode aired at a very significant time in your life — 10 years after you suffered a brain hemorrhage. Did you realize it was all going to come full circle?
Bret Michaels: It was completely full circle and completely by accident. What I mean is I was celebrating the 10th year of the survival of the brain hemorrhage. You never want to celebrate the brain hemorrhage. You’re celebrating the great doctors and nurses and people that saved my life, and being alive on the good side of the dirt. For the most part, I’ve gotten most of my function back. There are some definite brain issues and some definite hand and leg issues, but I’ve worked through them with therapy. To have a “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” playing at the exact moment that 10 years prior to that they were operating on my brain on west coast time, I felt good to be alive and celebrating life as a human banana.
You have an autobiography coming out. Why was now the right time to write this sort of reflection on your life?
Bret Michaels: I write a lot of notes every day and a lot of stories. I announced this back in December that the book was coming May 12. What is strange is, before we get into Auto-Scrap-Ography, when I announced it and then the coronavirus hit, everyone actually asked if I could move it up because they’re at home. They want stuff to do. They want stuff to read. I wasn’t able to do that because you can’t put the printers in danger. The truth of the matter is this book is truly written by me. Every story is written and then put into the book. I wanted pictures to timestamp the moment. It’s not an autobiography where you’ve got 900 chapters and 5 pictures. This is as many pictures if not way more than there are chapters. It takes people through every personal moment of impact in my life. I appreciate when people have a ghostwriter on autobiographies, I get it. But for me, I’m so hands-on that I wanted people to really feel what I was going through. It has stories that no one has ever heard, pictures no one’s ever seen before. I just thought it was important to take people through that journey of my life. It goes way beyond the music. It talks about behind the scenes, behind the story, what I was going through when I was 16 years old and held at gunpoint, being in Caracas, Venezuela, enjoying an awesome day at our stadium tour, and then ending that day swimming out into the ocean. It’s just been a crazy adventure.
Are you working on any new music?
Bret Michaels: Music is the soundtrack to my everyday life and I work on it all the time. That’s how this book starts. Music has been therapeutic to me, not just playing it but listening to such great artists through the years. I can’t thank them enough, the amazing artists then and now that have gotten me through my every day. To stay positive, I’ll sometimes just put on classic Christmas music during the quarantine. I listen to it all the time just to be positive. All kinds of different music, I’ve listened to all of it. It’s just gotten me through my life. I tell people, music will help to define your day and make you feel better. Find the music that rocks your world.
There was that one performance when you forgot the lyrics. What were you feeling in that moment? Even though you are a performer, I expect that must have freaked you out a little bit.
Bret Michaels: I’m a people person so I said put me out [in the audience] there with the fans. The next thing you know, it was like beep, beep, beep, and the song started. There was one fan trying to look in the banana hole where my eyes are. I could see them in like fisheye vision. They’re like staring in it and I hear, “Bret? Bret?” I’m not saying anything, but you can actually see the fan right up close feeling the peel and talking. By that time, the first two lines of the chorus had gone by so I panicked and took a breath. I got that out of the way quickly. I’m good in a firefight. I was like, “Okay, get it together, Banana.” And then I waited for the second part of the chorus to come around and just picked right back up. But there was also a mixture of a little bit of brain hemorrhage, brain freeze in there. I just whipped through it all in milliseconds and picked the song back up and said just, “Have fun. Wing it the best you can.” That’s my life — winging it. I think in the book people will find I have a massive sense of self-deprecating humor that they will laugh so hard.
With The Masked Singer, surviving your brain hemorrhage, and all that’s happened in the last 10 years, how are you feeling today?
Bret Michaels: Today, I feel great. I don’t even call it a battle or struggle. Every day I’ve faced the adversity of being diabetic, and I’ve tried to make a positive out of it. I’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters that are out there and rocking. I’m just being a father, being a musician, staying positive, I hope we get back to the normal. I don’t want to say to the old normal or the new normal, just a normal that I can be back out on the road when it is healthy and safe, playing music, playing the stadiums again, in the arenas. Like I said, just every day I work hard on trying to physically stay ahead of the battle with my certain health issues, the brain hemorrhage, the diabetes, all that stuff mentally and positively.