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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview With Bret Michaels
Aired March 2, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: He's the ultimate rock n' roll survivor.
BRET MICHAELS, ROCK N' ROLL STAR: Everybody has this crazy thought that my life is sex, drugs and rock n' roll. Well, they're right. It is.
MORGAN: Poison front man, "Rock of Love" reality star, and a man who's known for living the wild life.
MICHAELS: I'm about to rock your world.
MORGAN: He's also cheated death several times in the last two years. Tonight my guest is Bret Michaels. In his first television interview since the surgery that saved his life.
I'll talk to him about his life, his loves, his hair and his good friend Charlie Sheen.
MICHAELS: Sometimes you got to look beyond the drugs. The drugs just mask what's going on, and I think the help has to be way beyond -- going to a couple of weeks of rehab ain't going to fix it.
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Bret Michaels is the original rock n' roll wild man in the reality TV star of "Rock of Love." He's also had an extraordinary period of his life where he nearly died.
Is there anything this man hasn't done? Tonight I'll ask him.
Bret Michaels joins me now.
Bret, before we go any further.
MORGAN: We share this extraordinary experience in common.
MORGAN: Which is we both completed in, endured and won "Celebrity Apprentice."
MICHAELS: Yes, absolutely.
MORGAN: And I'm going to show a little clip of your glorious moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, HOST, "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE": He was underestimated from the start but he proved everybody wrong and after a life-threatening illness he beat the odds to be with us tonight.
Bret, come on out.
Bret, I have to tell you, you're hired.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAELS: As you can see by my slow reaction --
MICHAELS: I'm like, I am so lost -- you know what I was thinking, can I be very funny for a minute?
MORGAN: Yes, yes.
MICHAELS: In my life I was looking -- I said this, this is the first time I've actually really talked about this and you will completely relate. When you get in there and you're going through and the tasks and the winning and then fighting -- not fighting with people, even people you befriend, you know, eventually you're going to go head to head, right? If you survive that long.
And I'm sitting there thinking I've been really, really sick, right? And I'm going sitting here looking over at Trump, and I'm thinking, he started with her, right?
MICHAELS: And I thought, I lost. Like he has a pattern, right?
MORGAN: He does.
MICHAELS: I'm watching his pattern and I'm going, my god, I'm thinking to myself, you, I -- I flew all the way out here, almost dead, and I'm going to lose right here in front of America and my heart -- it took me about three seconds to go, like I was mad.
My head -- I was already thinking of mean things I was going to say to him and I'm thinking, I'm staring him down, right? And all of a sudden he goes, you won, and I go, what? And so that's the god's honest truth.
MORGAN: For people who haven't been in this, it is one of the most hard, difficult emotionally draining, physically exhausting things I've ever done. Was it the same for you?
MICHAELS: Period. And I -- and I want to say this. What people forget is, first of all, they lie to you going in. They're like, oh, man, you get up 9:00 or 10:00, you get a little workout, have some breakfast. 4:30 in the morning they're knocking on your door, you're down in the lobby, and you're working and it was unbelievably exhausting.
I think in my case what helped me was the fact -- I called it rocker hours. The fact that I can live on a fume, literally have lived my career on a fume, a few hours of sleep here and there, but the first day that "Apprentice" started I'd come in from -- I played in Leon, Mexico, at the forum, at the arena the night before.
Flew in and was plate the first day and Trump looked at me off camera and goes, I don't think you're going to be here very long. I thought -- you know how he talks. When he doesn't -- you know, it's like, you're not going to be here very long, OK, and I'm like, wait, what just happened?
Like I didn't -- I didn't even get into my spot yet, you know? It was -- but it is a crazy, unbelievable long hours and then just about the time you're done -- did you have this experience? Just about the time you're about to collapse they say, oh, we're going to hold you and we're going to talk to you a little bit. You know?
MORGAN: Of course, every time you're absolute end.
MORGAN: That's what -- they want to pounce and get you to say all sorts of terrible things.
MICHAELS: And they did.
MORGAN: Of course.
MORGAN: Let's turn to you. Because obviously throughout this period there's this dramatic off-screen stuff going on with you. I mean, you really shouldn't be alive, should you? I mean you should technically, medically be a dead man.
MICHAELS: I technically believe that I have got a guardian angel working severely overtime at this point. The -- you know, yes, I should be dead and the fact is, you know, surviving a life of being diabetic since I've been 6 years old and four injections a day, and then when I was in Dallas we were playing at the arena, got done with the show, next morning I wake up, we're in San Antonio, I have my appendix burst. You know I have an emergency appendectomy.
MORGAN: This is April 2010.
MICHAELS: April 2010.
MORGAN: When all this nightmare starts for you.
MICHAELS: Absolute domino effect, and you know I won't go back to the funniness of when I got knocked out at the Tony Awards just prior to that. You know I --
MORGAN: Is it linked at all? Did you ever find out there's any link between the injury you suffered there?
MICHAELS: I don't think anyone -- I don't anyone is going to be able to physically go here's there. You know, any kind of head injury can happen within a month. It could happen immediately a month, a year later, but there's no definite proof.
MORGAN: And that was the year before. And you got -- you were on stage. And you got hit by a piece of --
MICHAELS: Moving scenery came down.
MORGAN: Crashing scenery. Yes.
MICHAELS: And that's my life story. I was like this is the great -- I did it. We did the Tonys, I got this is great. Walking back, bang. Hit me right in the head -- hit me in the front of the head, broke my nose, I fell back, hit the back of my head and it was -- I said it was hilarious because it literally the show must go on.
They dragged me out from under. And there were Shrek creatures and winged monkey things talking to me and I -- literally I thought I died, and then taking it forward to the -- when we get all the way up to the appendectomy.
It felt like I had been at the losing end of a knife fight. That's exactly -- like I go, man, this isn't the stomach flu.
MORGAN: Excruciating pain.
MICHAELS: Excruciating pain. Like I've never -- I can handle most stuff and that one dropped me to my knees, they did that, got home, and I started actually feel better. I was like, man, I feel pretty good. I'm not doing too bad.
And we did a "People" magazine shoot at that point and I couldn't leave my house so they came to the house, literally shot me from here up, because I had all the scars and stuff, and next thing I know, I'm setting there and I'm on my couch and I'm catching TV.
And I know we've -- I've laughed about this before and how this happened. But when I was sitting there near on my TV, I was watching it, I'm watching baseball, and some other stuff, and the next thing you know, my brain exploded. Later on I would find out they call it a thunder clap, but when it happened there is nothing in the world I can explain that will ever -- it made the appendicitis, the appendectomy, every broken bone all of it go away because it feels like your head explodes and at that moment my adrenaline kicked in. I knew I was in trouble. Like I instantly knew.
MORGAN: Did you have any idea what this was -- what was going on, what was happening to you?
MICHAELS: Nothing. What happened was, is -- I knew this. When my brain exploded it was a shock -- it's was like a bam right at the back of my head.
MORGAN: Massive brain hemorrhage.
MICHAELS: Massive brain hemorrhage. And what happens, this is what I learned later, of course, the subarachnoid hemorrhage which I never heard before is the vein explodes.
MORGAN: We're seeing some images as you talk actually of what was going on inside your head. I mean quite extraordinary.
MICHAELS: And it happens at the base stem of the brain, so what happened with me is when it went my neck muscle spasmed. I couldn't move the back of my head like this. I was like -- and I thought instantly, I thought someone had shot me.
So I thought someone broke into our house. You know we have dogs, we have security. I'm like, and I got up and went into survival mode, I noticed my -- I knew without looking in the mirror that the left side of my mouth was drooping, and I knew I was in trouble.
Like I knew instantly. I've been through a lot of things in my life, a lot of bad things, you know what I mean? And I said this is -- this is bad and I went back, Christi had just laid down with our daughters Raine and Jorja, and I said -- I walked back and said, you need to get up. My brain exploded. And she -- you know, imagine you being asleep and you're --
MORGAN: Did you think then that you may die?
MICHAELS: I'll be honest with you at that moment I -- I didn't even think about anything but getting to the emergency room. Like I thought, yes, there's a -- when you go into survival mode, I'm almost thinking the opposite, I'm going to do anything I have to do to survive more than die.
You know what I mean? And what was pushing me was the fact that I was pretty sure that I may die from this, absolutely.
MORGAN: You spent quite some time in hospital and the doctors for quite a while were very fearful you may suffer brain damage.
MORGAN: What were you being told at the time? Were they confiding in you about this or was it something your family told you later?
MICHAELS: No, they -- about three days -- after they knew -- when I went in the emergency room the night it happened they -- you know I was telling them, I don't care if you got to saw my head open, do whatever you go to do, I want to live.
The doctor made a comment to -- I could hear, you know, the room goes from two people to about 10 people immediately when they saw the CAT scan and they saw the pool of blood. And I said to him, I said, am I in trouble? He said you -- I said, am I dying?
I looked at the doctor and said, am I dying? And he said you're in a lot of trouble. We're getting you to the barrows, the emergency barrows, and I heard him say to Christi, I will bring your daughters down. If you have kids --
MICHAELS: -- and they're awake I'd bring your kids to the hospital. And that for me was -- I call it the most surreal out-of- body experience I've ever had. Like I was like looking around the room and people always say this, your life flash in front of you. But it doesn't. My mind for me, I got extremely like sad, like I was thinking, my daughters are going to grow up without me.
My -- this is -- I physically I won't be here. I will physically not be on this earth anymore and at that point they started -- you know, they start giving you sedatives and doing stuff to me. And an ambulance crew came and that's the last thing I remember. And about three days later was the first time I woke up and realized that I was where I was at.
MORGAN: What was that moment hike?
MICHAELS: That was the strangest moment because I opened my eyes and there was about six or seven, maybe eight people and they have these things on your legs to keep the blood, you know, the blood flowing so people were like working on your legs and they're -- they were doing stuff with my hands.
But the appendectomy at that point when I came to, I immediately kind of like what's going on and I went to set up, and I forgot I had the appendectomy at this point, so it was -- it was very surreal and very painful.
My -- the headache, they call it the worst migraine or worst headache you'll ever had. Still kind of felt the exact same way, but everything they had, you know, they go through the groin, the jugular, everything to relieve that pressure and so --
MORGAN: When you saw your girls again.
MORGAN: That must have been quite a moment for you.
MICHAELS: Greatest moment ever, but at the same time when I saw my daughters in the hospital it was bittersweet and what happened is when they came in to the room -- I grew up in a family where self-pity doesn't work. You know what I mean? The -- you know, so I did -- I honestly felt -- I couldn't really look up at them too much and I was sitting there.
And when they came in, Jorja, my youngest who's 5, started crying immediately, and then Raine started crying, but Christi had already been there and explained it. And I told them that everything that was hooked up to me -- everything was hooked on me was helping me, and I said, I'm totally going to be fine. I was like, I'm going to live. This is going to be great.
The problem is the news and the media, even people were calling the house saying, I heard you're -- you know, in school is your dad dead, you know what I mean? All this stuff and it doesn't help when you're that age, you know?
MORGAN: How did they deal with it?
MICHAELS: At first, you know -- again, my first 12 days I don't really remember much and I think they had a tough time at first and then as -- they know I'm a fighter so they know once I made it through that the first initial 10 days is the fighting, is the real scary period. And then after that, you know, the chances of having another subarachnoid hemorrhage or -- is, I hate to say this but we -- I've got as much chance as you me or anyone here in the crew.
MICHAELS: Of it -- that exact --
MORGAN: It's just one of those freak things.
MORGAN: Which is probably never going to happen to you again.
MICHAELS: I pray, absolutely.
MORGAN: We're going to have a short break. When we come back, you did then get hit by a completely different random health attack which was almost as serious.
MORGAN: I'm back now with my guest, rock n' roll wild man Bret Michaels.
Bret, we're just talking in the break and I've got to ask you again.
MICHAELS: Go ahead.
MORGAN: What was the TV show you were watching when you had this brain hemorrhage?. MICHAELS: True to my life, right? And when I say true to my life, this is the -- why I'm so self-deprecating, the (INAUDIBLE) that are my existence. My comedy of errors that is my life is the -- I was watching a little bit -- I was enjoying because it was April, a little bit of early baseball. I'm a huge sports fanatic.
A little MLB, and then I switched to a little "Sportscenter", and the girls had gone to bed, and Christi, and I thought well, Christi may not come back out, right? So I might watch a little "Busty Cops 3." It was actually "Busty Cops to Protect and Serve," I believe was the -- .
MORGAN: Which is maybe why you had the hemorrhage.
MICHAELS: I oft go back to times to say they're -- you know, they say if you get really excited it can also bring up a subarachnoid hemorrhage. And you tell me now?
MICHAELS: But -- yes, it was the quality acting of "Busty Cops."
MORGAN: What a way to go if that had been the last thing you watched on TV.
MICHAELS: OK, are you ready for this? One of the things that may have made me survive, and I thank "Busty Cops" for this, is I thought I do not want my legacy to be my daughters woke up in the morning, their dad was watching a rerun of really low quality porn. Not even a good quality, a lower quality porn, and that's what their dad died from. You know what I mean?
MORGAN: You were to become forever the guy who died watching "Busty Cops 3."
MICHAELS: And they just lower me down under, and that's it. Yes.
MORGAN: Of the hemorrhage, before we move on to what happened next.
MORGAN: Can this strike anybody? Can it happen to anyone at any time?
MICHAELS: The scariest thing about this form of hemorrhage, there -- you know, that's different from a brain tumor or even in an instance it's like a brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm you might have a little buildup to the pain. You know you have some --
MORGAN: Some --
MICHAELS: A headache. A brain tumor you definitely have a warning. With the subarachnoid hemorrhage there is a zero warning. Like I had -- everybody who has survived it, there is about a 20 percent survival rate, and out of that there's about 50 percent of the people who actually can walk, talk and function again, right?
It's all on how quick you react. When I tell anybody this, I say get to the emergency room. You know, because people like me, I'm saying my dad were -- my dad especially they're old school. You know you break your arm, oh, I'll get to it later. This, when you have something go wrong with your brain and your body knows, my body went into survival mode, but it can happen to anybody. There's no set rhyme or reason.
MICHAELS: It's unbelievable.
MORGAN: In May 2010, a month later, you then -- unbelievably you get hit by a second major health scare. And this time -- like I can give you the long term for it. But in simple terms it was a hole in the heart was discovered and it has prompted a kind of mini stroke in you. Is that right?
MICHAELS: What happened was, I literally had just gotten done where I started to feel like life -- this was near the end of May, so this is about a full month after the brain hemorrhage, right? And --
MORGAN: And to put it in context, we're only talking, this is only eight, nine months ago.
MICHAELS: This is now. Yes.
MORGAN: Talking to you now, the fact you've gone through these extraordinary things.
MORGAN: Is remarkable.
MICHAELS: This is no superhero thing going on. It is -- it just wasn't my time. You know what I mean? It just wasn't my time. When I had the TIA I literally went home, I had Jorja, they said you can't lift anything at all. Nothing. Don't life anything up. I had my youngest daughter and a natural reaction was to pick her up, so I -- I just -- I literally went like this, and my left -- this whole side of my body went completely numb.
MICHAELS: And I -- this is how funny it was, called Dr. Zabransky, and I said, is this normal? I feel like I have Novocain. Like someone, I said, this isn't normal, right? It's not a -- I don't want to freak out every time something happens. I said to myself why don't I find out and make sure this isn't an effect of a medicine or something I'm taking, because I'm taking a lot of medication.
And he said, absolutely not, get to the emergency room now, and they met me over there. And when I got to the emergency room, and Christi had taken me down there again, they did all these tests, they found nothing, right? Nothing -- they're like your brain, everything is -- you know obviously you had damage but there's nothing wrong.
The last test they do is called an ultrasound air bubble test. I never heard of it in my life. I mean what are you talking about? And they said, well, you've got IVs in you already, we're going to do this. And they pump air into your veins, I start laughing, well, if I wasn't dead before this is about to kill me because my -- you know as a diabetic they tell you get all the air out of my syringe.
And they're dumping all this air into my vein, I'm like, you sure this isn't going to kill me? And so we get -- they do it and there's two people watching. There's the nurse, I'm laughing with her, we're kind of joking, and one other person in the room. And all of a sudden her face and his face got that look.
I don't mow if you know the look I'm talking about but that -- they all of a sudden went from laughing, and I said what is it? And they said -- he started talking and I looked over at the screen and you could see air bubbles in your -- in this side of my lungs going through my heart and coming out the other side.
MORGAN: And that meant to them you had a hole in your heart.
MICHAELS: It's call a patent foramen ovale. A PFO.
MORGAN: Were you not thinking, what have I done to deserve all this?
MICHAELS: First day, you know, when you ask me, first I'm thinking, before I felt like what did I do to deserve this, because I've done a lot of stuff to deserve it.
MORGAN: Of course.
MORGAN: I don't know what I was getting at. Yes.
MICHAELS: I've done a lot of rotten things and I said, god, I know I've done a lot of rotten things, but if you could just let me slide through this. But when the PFO happened this is the first time, and I wish Dr. Z or Dr. Zabransky was here to say this, it was the first time he said he ever saw me get really, really depressed.
It's the first time I gave up. Like I -- I just laid back there in the bed and I had nothing to say. I was -- I lost -- at that point I kind of lost my way.
MORGAN: And again, for your girls, I mean, these young girls who've seen their dad come through this appalling nightmare where he nearly died, he recovers, everything is positive again and then bang. MICHAELS: Right.
MORGAN: You're down again. Terrifying for them.
MICHAELS: Absolutely, and for me, you know, in a movie how things are built up and you got good soundtrack and music? When it happens in real life, it's a lonely emergency room. You know, or an ICU unit, they're checking you. There's people doing blood that you don't know. You're laying in a cold bed.
It's a weird sensation, do you know what I mean? Like you're laying there and you're thinking -- I'm thinking that was the first time when they told me I had the hole in my heart and everyone started coming back into the room and Dr. Z said that one took it out of you.
I said, I'm a really positive person but that one just -- that one kicked my butt. That -- that moment kicked my butt, but honestly I laid there, I spent the night there, and I pulled it together. That night I just said I got to pull it together, man. I got a lot to live for and we're going to get through this.
MORGAN: You did come through this but when we come back after the break I want to talk to you about what probably for you was the worst moment of all which is when you found out that your oldest daughter may potentially be diabetic.
MORGAN: Back now with Bret Michaels.
Bret, an extraordinary thing just happened in the break where you called for your diabetes pack.
MORGAN: You've been a diabetic how long?
MICHAELS: Since I've been 6 years old, and I'm 47 now, so a long time. Forty-one years.
MORGAN: And in absolute simple practical terms, what do you need to do to yourself every day as a diabetic?
MICHAELS: Well, here's what it is, I now was saying this during the break and I was laughing hard because it was like the Tonys, I said man, I possibly need to check my blood, I'm dying. (INAUDIBLE) a joke. They're like, great, can you do it on the set, please, hurry?
MORGAN: And you really did feel the need to check your blood? Like for real.
MORGAN: Let's see what you do because I'm fascinated. MICHAELS: Here's what happens. When you're diabetic, in the old days, I mean, with the old days first. When I first turned diabetic it was old school. I mean you looked like -- it was like a science experiment which may have helped me win "Apprentice." But you took a pill, you drop in a urine sample. Three drops of this. And really it sounds crazy as much as I'm a rocker you also learn self-motivation and self-discipline by being diabetic.
You know? And what it is for me, I do about eight to -- about eight to 10 blood tests a day for me.
MORGAN: Every day?
MICHAELS: Yes, because I've had it so long. I do four injections, four insulin injections, a little at a time to cover each meal and then before I go to bed.
MICHAELS: But for me you don't -- a lot of diabetics, the smart ones, and the new kids get the pump.
MICHAELS: But that's the smart thing to do. I'm going to stay with the old ways --
MORGAN: Absolutely. Yes.
MICHAELS: Do it the old -- the injections have worked for me.
MORGAN: You are about to now just check what, exactly?
MICHAELS: All this is -- all this does is check my blood because the old way, why a lot of diabetics got sick is -- when you would test your urine, it could be from the night before. It could be -- your blood could show a wrong level. With a blood test like this it's virtually -- I want to say for TV it's extremely painful. It's just to milk it a little bit but it's --
MORGAN: That's cool.
MICHAELS: It's not that painful.
MORGAN: Scream in agony.
MICHAELS: Yes, exactly. But what it is, is you get a nice draw of blood off this. You just pop your finger, right?
MICHAELS: And my fingers as you can see, they're pretty -- they're a little beat up.
MORGAN: So you nick your finger to draw the blood. MICHAELS: You just nick it, and I learned through trial and error not to do the tip of your fingers as a guitar player. Not only is it painful, but it hurts when you play the guitar, right? And then you just drop it on here like this.
MORGAN: And if you get a bad result, what do you need to do?
MICHAELS: Well, my result right now is 119 which is really good. If it's really low, let's say I get 50, 40, 30, 20, that range, that's low. You can feel it and you become completely delusional. You start to get out of it and a lot of times cops will pull over, people that are having insulin shock which is a low blood sugar, right?
And think that they're drunk but they're not. They're just -- you have -- I would be talking to you and forget who you were. That's happened with other drugs to me, too, but for now we're talking about diabetes. It's -- but it's really like a strange experience and the reason that diabetes and being a diabetic is so complicated it's a balance. It's a lifelong balance, right?
MICHAELS: Because if I high then I would inject a little bit of insulin to correct it.
MORGAN: To correct it.
MICHAELS: Usually after meal.
MORGAN: Just keeping everything on an even keel.
MICHAELS: All the time.
MORGAN: I want to take you back to a really harrowing moment in "The Apprentice."
MORGAN: And I was watching this at the time. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It's when you take a call and you know, you're pretty protected when you're in that show. They don't let you have any normal sort of interaction with others.
MORGAN: And the call is that your oldest dawn Raine has had a bad test for diabetes, and may potentially be a diabetic.
MORGAN: And you broke down, you're very emotional.
MORGAN: Remind me of that moment. In fact, I'll tell you. Let's see the clip and then talk to me about your feelings afterwards. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAELS: I just want to tell you, guys, I'm in a serious situation. Last night my daughter had blood sugar spill into her urine and they're testing her for diabetes. I got to be honest, I'm freaking out.
I take the insulin injections and she's asking me today, she said, dad, do I have to take shots? Like you do? You know, she just asked me if she had to take shots. I don't want her to.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What sort of memory does that bring back that moment?
MICHAELS: You know, for me very, very painful and I say it for this reason. You know, being a diabetic my whole life, and I fight so hard to raise so much money for that cause, that -- and I say this, you -- here is the bittersweet moment in my life right here, is that I am -- why I broke down is because, first of all, it's my daughter, doesn't matter regardless if they said she broke her leg, diabetes, anything, you don't want anything to happen to your kids.
When I found out that she had tested before earlier in her life for high blood sugar -- so we've been fighting that borderline or what's called pre-diabetes for awhile. And as a dad, it rocked my world. She's my first girl. And it took me out of -- again, not out of the game; I'm a fighter.
But, you know, what was bittersweet in that exact moment was I also have to show strength because this is what I'm fighting for. In other words, I can't -- I was in such a weird position. And I had a very emotional and long talk with Donald Trump, Mr. Trump after and during -- not only on TV but as a human being, as a friend. He was a great guy.
And we had a talk about -- I said to him, obviously the first thing I want to do -- I'm not a quitter on any level, on any level. But I said I need to go home and take care of my girl. I need to be there for the results.
And we had a long talk about how I could do that and maintain being on the show without letting anyone else carry my weight. And he said one thing to me -- Donald Trump said, Bret, that is the reason you're here. And it really sunk in that night. Because when you're sleeping there, you know you're isolated.
MORGAN: Smart thing of him to say actually. Back to reality for you.
MICHAELS: It made my reality my reality.
MORGAN: What's happened to Raine since then?
MICHAELS: She's pre-diabetic. And we have her on a complete diet. She goes down and sees a nurse, goes down and sees a nurse every day. And -- but she's not full-blown Type I diabetic yet. But that's what we're fighting. That's what happens in most kids that you see. They battle it. And then once it kicks, it -- once whatever it is, whatever it is in the pancreas that stops working or stops secreting enough insulin --
MORGAN: Do you worry about it all at time?
MICHAELS: Yeah, absolutely. It's in the back of my mind all the time. But I also got to tell her to be positive and I got to be positive, because we exercise. We live on a ranch, right? We have acres. And we do stuff all the time. And she -- sometimes when she's on her video game -- I want to make it lighter now.
When she is on her video doing motor-cross or horror stuff on the video I'm like, listen, we have this stuff. Why don't we actually go out and ride the motorcycle or ride the bike. Because that exercise -- I say this to everyone who is diabetic and is able still to do it -- is to get out and move.
MORGAN: Move around. Get the blood moving.
MICHAELS: All the time. It keeps the blood sugar down. It makes you think positive. It really helps a lot.
MORGAN: One final thing on Donald Trump; he's got a roast coming up. Are you involved in that?
MICHAELS: Let me explain what happened. First of all, a Donald Trump roast would be one of the greatest and funniest things ever. I was asked to do it. The reason, seriously, I bowed out and I said -- I'm funny and I can be self-deprecating funny. But I'm not professional ha ha funny.
Also, I like New York. I love the people of New York. I love the city. And so I'd like to go back there a lot. And I figure me up there talking bad jokes to Trump for me isn't going to work because I got to play at Madison Square Garden. I don't want to take a dirt nap in the weeds in Jersey. So I like right where I'm at.
MORGAN: Very sensible.
MICHAELS: And I will be watching it and laughing at his expense.
MORGAN: Absolutely right.
MICHAELS: But I will not be saying it.
MORGAN: Let's take another break. When we come back, I want to lighten the load a bit and talk about sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and the one --
MICHAELS: I would like to lighten that load myself.
MORGAN: And the one anything even you have never done.
MICHAELS: Uh-uh. Wait. What would that be? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MORGAN: Right now, my guest Bret Michaels. Bret, I always wondered about you rock star, the really big ones, sold your millions and millions of albums and toured the world. You've got millions of dollars. Is it all it's cracked up to be?
Do you ever sit there sometimes -- obviously you're settled down a bit now. But in your wildest days --
MICHAELS: Take that back. I'm leaving. I'm out.
MORGAN: Is that the most damning thing anyone could say to a rock star?
MICHAELS: Where is my cocaine, beer? And I spit on the table. OK. The -- this -- it is -- I will say this, the truth is I can only tell you my version and some of the other bands I've witnessed, but mostly my own band. It is everything I -- everything I wanted it to be, but nothing like I dreamed it would be.
That is exactly what it is. It's everything -- in my shoes, I'm an independently owned artist, I kept my publishing. All the things that I could have done smart, believe it or not, I learned from street level in what I call the -- bar none, the music business -- I have some great friends -- but, bar none, it is the sleaziest business in the world. There is -- it's a business where there's 50 ways to get rich and rock the world, and there is 50 ways to get screwed from just one incident. Not -- you know, it's royalties here.
MORGAN: So you've been quite smart protecting yourself?
MORGAN: You made sure you got the money you should have got?
MICHAELS: Here's where it is -- with our band, I give this credit to Bobby and Ricky and CC growing up together. We had street smarts. We definitely did not have a silver spoon. We had an independent record deal, which turned out to be a blessing.
But here it is: rock 'n' roll is wild. It's insane. It's crazy. And what happens is you pull into a different town every night. Music is primitive. We love to party. We love to have a great time. I still love to party on my bus and have a great time.
MORGAN: Can you still be as wild as you used to be?
MICHAELS: Absolutely. I may not be able to do quite as much drugs as I used to. But you know what, it just levels out because as things have happened to me, they just turn into a different set of drugs.
MORGAN: Have you ever kept a score card on the women.
MICHAELS: I have never done that, ever. We did have a condom machine. Poison practiced safe sex because we had a condom machine at the front of the bus. We made a little money, 50 cents, and a Poison condom. It was great.
But the -- we were entrepreneurs while we were touring and having a good time. But I think that the real truth is rock 'n' roll is crazy. It's fun. And the beauty of it is it is a universal language. You go to -- like I said, the nice before "Apprentice" I was in Mexico and it was sold out arena. And it was solo, just Bret Michaels, and it was awesome. And we had a great time.
And then my life -- I flew in -- we flew in the jet, landed at -- we landed in Brownsville, where you have to land to touch down. Luckily, I'm a big supporter of the troops, so a few of the troops guys were there. Two were friendly, one that wasn't. So me and Big John sat on the tarmac at about 3:00 in the morning, 4:00 in the morning, on the yellow line. It's just us, the jet, the two pilots and me and John sitting Indian style.
But I've got "Apprentice." So they went to our whole plane. So on the U.S. side coming back in they were great, but they were brutal. But I'm a big supporter of the troops. And one of the guys was over in Iraq while I was over there. And I said, listen, I got nothing on me and if I had it, I already smoked it.
So, listen, we're good. And they let us cruise. And he came in late. And Donald said you're not going to be here long. And I won, Donald, so take that.
MORGAN: Is there a special --
MICHAELS: Yes, it's awesome.
MORGAN: Coming to one awesome part of your back catalog, which is is it now obligatory to enter a certain very special rock star club, that you have had to made a sex tape with Pamela Anderson?
MICHAELS: Apparently it is. You sign that contract when you go in. It's just the way it is. You have to -- you know, you go in. You sign up. OK, great. And that's it. I'm not going to say anymore on that. She's a wonderful person. I'll leave it at that. It was great.
MORGAN: The one thing you've never done is get married.
MICHAELS: I haven't.
MORGAN: You have proposed now. I've got the moment I want to show you of the proposal to Christi.
MICHAELS: Got you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAELS: I want you to be my wife.
CHRISTI MICHAELS, GIRLFRIEND OF BRET MICHAELS: Are you sure? MICHAELS: I'm sure. Just say yes because rejection will kill me right now if you reject me.
C. MICHAELS: Of course I will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Does every rock star, for any sense of kind of sanity, need that kind of woman.
MICHAELS: Here's what happened in that exact moment. You know, she was happy. Her boyfriend wasn't real happy about what happened. Ba dum. She was like, man, how am I going to tell the other guy?
She is a great person. So, you know what, I think for us -- Christi and I have had 16 amazing years, on and off. I mean, we've like -- I won't say like all relationships, but like a lot of relationships there's ups and downs.
But we have two beautiful daughters. We love and respect each other. And for me, we've been through a lot together over these last few years. And, you know, not to mention that -- you know, obviously "Rock of Love," when I did that being single, that was a lot of fun. But -- and everyone on there -- I want to say this in the girls' defense. It was fun. It was crazy.
But it may not have been what I was looking for. And I realize with Christi, we have a lot and --
MORGAN: Got a wedding date yet?
MICHAELS: We haven't. It's going to be the longest engagement in the history of human mankind, in any relationship. You go through ups and downs and you hope that you can make them work. But my -- I don't blame anybody. My parents went through, you know, a divorce when I was about 16. And my two sister, Michelle and Nicole, we love our parents. They were great to us. But --
MORGAN: You don't want to end up this that position.
MICHAELS: My dad was -- you know, my dad was and mom went through a tough time. And I said, listen, if you love somebody -- for me I'm not sure I needed a piece of paper to say that. But if that's -- you know, if we do, it'll be great. If we don't, we'll still love each other.
MORGAN: We come back in a moment with a big exclusive tour announcement from Bret Michaels.
MORGAN: Back now with Bret Michaels and an exclusive tour announcement, Bret. Hit me with it.
MICHAELS: Yes, huge. It's coming. Are you ready.
MORGAN: I'm ready.
MICHAELS: All the stuff I talked about is coming. I'm telling you on this. It will be the tour of the summer. That's what the promoters are calling it. It's what I'm call it. It will be Poison's 25th anniversary tour, along with Motley Crue's 30th anniversary tour. And then a very special guest that will be coming with us on the road. And Poison, Motley Crue have never toured together.
MICHAELS: It will be huge. That's the rock tour of the summer.
MORGAN: Who is the special guest though?
MICHAELS: The New York Dolls. You know, big fan. Nikki is a big fan. They're a great band. And they're coming up. But it will be their 40th anniversary.
MORGAN: When you go head to head with Motley Crue, this is like the clash of the drinking, partying --
MICHAELS: The drunken titans.
MORGAN: Who is going to win?
MICHAELS: I got to say we're going to win, come on. But they honestly -- I'm not kidding you -- it's funny because as I'm thinking back through my career, I told Nikki on the phone -- I said, we won't have to worry about you and us fighting because most of the time Poison itself, we fight at the MTV awards. I fight with CC here. I got in a fight with Bobby.
Bobby, you know, now that I think about Bobby, that son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) actually got me in Atlanta at the arena. He threw the sharpest pointiest bass in the history of man and got me in the knee with it. Then I went into my kung fu slash "Fight Club" stance and then he ran. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
MORGAN: The thing about you rockers is I always thought a lot of it was myth. Then I was set to interview Guns N' Roses once, in Denmark of all places. And I got drunk with Slash for ten hours on Jack Daniels. And I realized it was all true. You really do behave this badly. They were all fighting, falling on the ground. There were women everywhere, drugs all over the place.
I was thinking, I'm just a smart little boy from England. What am I doing in this hell hole?
MICHAELS: That was a Wednesday.
MORGAN: It was a Wednesday.
MICHAELS: That's just Wednesday. Wait till we get to Friday, Saturday. You know what, the rumor is rolling around. I wanted to ask you about this. Leather -- slash has a blue leather jacket. There is rumor, it may --
MORGAN: He stole my jacket.
MICHAELS: It's true.
MORGAN: It's true. Slash told my jacket. I want it back.
MICHAELS: Slash, I'm sending hired goons. Piers is my friend and we one "Apprentices." I'm sending hired goons to get that jacket back.
MORGAN: When do tickets go on sale?
MICHAELS: Here's what it is: Motley Crue, Poison, New York Dolls and special guest, SS. We always bring local bands. But Motley Crue and Poison together is going to rock. And in between us, there's so many something million records sold. It will be pyro, prize fights, good music. It's going to kick butt. And the tickets go on sale this upcoming week. It will be huge.
MORGAN: Is there any bigger thrill for you than that moment when you walk out on stage and you've got 80,000 people going completely crazy, and you take the mike and you start to go? Is the moment for you? Is that the greatest kick you have?
MICHAELS: Professionally, yes. Personally, no. Professionally, it's the greatest moment ever.
MORGAN: If I could tell you, here's the deal: you can either have sex for the rest of your life or perform on stage, you can't do both, which one do you take?
MORGAN: You can't. One or the other?
MICHAELS: Is this like Sophie's choice?
MICHAELS: Piers' choice.
MORGAN: Which way are you going to go?
MICHAELS: I'm going to have to go with the rock 'n' roll, and here's why, because it will bring me sex. It's a win-win. I can't lose. It will bring me awesome sex. Just not on stage.
MORGAN: When we come back, I'm going to talk to you about your friend, Charlie Sheen.
MICHAELS: Oh, boy. I'm not going to say a word.
MORGAN: Back now with Bret Michaels. Bret, your big friend is Charlie Sheen, who has been in the water a bit recently. I'm going to play you a little clip of what he said about you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: He's an original. Bret's an original. That's about the best compliment I could pay somebody. He's just -- he's one of the best guys to ever step in shoes. He's got a real soul. Heck, I'm going to get all weepy in a minute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was actually a few years ago. Charlie was a fresh faced young man. But it showed the strength of your relationship. You remain great friends with him, but what do you make of what's been going on with Charlie?
MICHAELS: You know what? I'm going to say this. I'm not being politically correct. I'm saying here's -- the Charlie that I know, again, is this -- he's a really great guy that is -- you know, and openly admits he fights demons. Right?
The same drive that makes a person like myself or Charlie go out there and be nothing but great with the public, nothing but great with acting, is the same drive that can make you crazy. And I say this completely knowing with all the things going on out there that it -- for me, any time that I've been around him -- and we've had great times here. We've partied together. We've flown to Super Bowls. We've done all kinds of stuff.
Never once have I had a bad experience. There was never once where I was with him and I was like, oh my God, this guy -- we did a film together where I had to direct my friend. We would go out the night before and party. And when we did "No Code of Conduct," and then I would have to go out the next day and all of a sudden I'm directing my friend.
And we're looking at each other and you're saying to yourself -- you both look at each with a gun to each other's head, going don't tell me I've got to be right for this. I watched what you did last night, I know what you did. That same stuff that makes him creative and great is the same stuff that can probably make him snap.
And I say this, man, it's a tough time he's going through. As a friend, he's been nothing but great to me.
MORGAN: The thing about Charlie Sheen I always think is it would be like me telling you that you can't party in your spare time.
MORGAN: But if you're performing perfectly well, as Charlie seemed to be on the show, part of me does think well, why can't he do what he likes in his spare time? You're not proof of it. But why can't he? MICHAELS: Here's the thing, when I watch and you watch "Two and A Half Men," it's a hugely popular show, right? I think there's a fine line between who's really Charlie and who is Charlie the actor. And I think that could be part of the confusion.
Even -- whatever he's doing on that show works. You know what I'm getting at. Whatever he's doing off screen is working on screen. And I just think maybe there's something going on. I don't even want to pretend I know what's going on behind the scenes with the network and Charlie and all this stuff going on.
But, again, I say this, he was nothing -- is nothing but a great dude for me.
MORGAN: Does he need help, do you think?
MICHAELS: We all need help.
MORGAN: Do you think right now he needs to get proper help?
MICHAELS: I think -- You know what? I think what people are masking -- and I'm saying this, and this is probably the toughest thing for me to say. I think that it's -- you got to -- someone has to stop just blaming the drugs.
We have this in our band, it's happened to me. It's happened to CC, to Bobby. Sometimes you have to look beyond the drugs. The drugs just mask what's going on. I think the help has to be way beyond -- going to a couple weeks of rehab ain't going to fix it.
MORGAN: What's the answer? What's the simple quick fix for Charlie?
MICHAELS: I don't think there is one. Long fix is working out at those demons, whatever they are. I don't want to pretend I know what they are. But whatever those demons are, whatever they are inside you that you fight, that's what the answer is.
Short term, there is no short term fix. I've been through it. My band mates have been through it. My friends have been through it. Some of them didn't make it. I've got a few friends that -- I wrote "Something to Believe In" about my good friend Chemo, and it cost him his life.
MORGAN: Does part of you worry that if Charlie is not careful that it could cost him his life?
MICHAELS: Absolutely. He's a great -- inside there is -- yeah, he's a good dude. I wouldn't want to see anyone, my best friend or worst enemy, go through what -- the demons that you've got to fight like that.
MORGAN: Good advice. Bret Michaels, it's been such a pleasure to meet the second best "Celebrity Apprentice."
MICHAELS: You mean the new one? MORGAN: Seriously.
MICHAELS: It was great. Thank you for having me on. You're awesome.
MORGAN: That's great. That's all tonight. Now we go to my colleague Anderson Cooper and "AC 360.