Category: Rock of Ages

Hair metal gods Bret Michaels, Erik Turner rate ‘Rock of Ages’

Poison, with singer Bret Michaels and musicians C.C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall performs at the after party for the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures'

For Poison’s Bret Michaels, the love letter to the spandex-clad rock genre was "awesome." As to star Tom Cruise? He did a "great job," says Warrant’s Erik Turner.

In “Rock of Ages,” a love letter to spandex-clad guitar gods of the Reagan era, Tom Cruise plays a long-haired singer with a penchant for high notes a la Axl Rose. But what do hair metal experts think of his performance?

Poison singer Bret Michaels, who performed at the premiere party for the film, walked away from a private screening thrilled that the most maligned era in rock and roll was finally getting its due.

“The movie was awesome; it was exactly what I had hoped for,” he said a few hours before the Friday premiere party in L.A. “It’s the story of so many small town kids coming to L.A. with no idea what they’re getting into. And they really had fun with the genre, and didn’t have fun at its expense.”

PHOTOS: 'Rock of Ages' premiere

The film, out this Friday, features A-list actors including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman and Paul Giamatti actually singing and covering the biggest rock hits of the decadent pre-grunge era. Its stand-alone soundtrack came out May 15.

Like Michaels, Warrant guitarist and songwriter Erik Turner, whose era-embodying power ballad “Heaven” is covered in the film, had praise for the sincerity and affection of the film’s soundtrack.

“It was great. I love the positive vibe, and the team of actors and producers was A+,” he said. “From my perspective, this sound never went away, and to hear it in a movie of this stature is great. I love these songs and I’m so glad to have been a part of this era.”

As Poison and Def Leppard gear up for a summer arena tour (Michaels’ own solo album, “Bret Michaels & Friends: Get Your Rock On,” is out around the same time) and Warrant continues its longtime road-dogging tours with such peers as Skid Row and L.A. Guns, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the era of teased hair, leopard-print unitards and guitar solos played with your snakeskin cowboy boot cocked on the stage monitor.

Pop & Hiss asked Michaels and Turner about some of their high points from the movie’s soundtrack, and how well the actors inhabited the era. Not that the era ever really ended for them -- “My daughters still party to this music,” Michaels said. “Bands of our genre and that era still sell out arenas. I think people absolutely still need rock and roll. It’s got a cult following that comes and goes, but when we play, there are no in-ears, no samples. People know it’s raw and real.”

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