And we're not even going out on a limb here.
We've known Rikki for more than a decade, and he's always been a principled, disciplined, straight-ahead character who's tried to use his fame for worthy causes and is aware that whether he likes it or not, he's a representative of them. We first worked with him when we filmed his animal activism activities with Chris DeRose and his Last Chance for Animals investigative team for the Genesis Award-winning documentary, Hollywood Animal Crusaders. We've worked and kept in touch with him since, and got to know a guy who came from the most decadent scene rock 'n' roll had to offer, and yet grew to stand for integrity, compassion and trying to do the right thing. (We got to know his Poison bandmate Bret Michaels, too. They're both down-to-Earth guys from the hills of Pennsylvania who know where they come from).
Yeah, Rikki's an outrageous rock 'n' roller whose taken advantage of what that world has offered, but he's also a businessman, filmmaker and martial arts expert who's set world records with his homemade rockets (and was an inspiration for the movie October Sky), and has been accompanied by good women because in the past he's been known to be good to them.
But yeah, he's a rock 'n' roller and he's a character-- ask Gene Simmons about that-- and scandals, like the charges that he may be facing, come with the territory.
And though the undereducated, unsavory rentboys at the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com (who should have been knocked off the Internet for their smarmy, unclever "Harey Bush" headline the other day) have been getting their usual jollies as they skip indiscriminately from their celebutard regulars and into the lives of grownups who fall into the category of "celebrity," the details that have emerged so far-- a hotel casino in Mississippi, a woman in his room, her trip to the police station three days later-- sound all too familiar, and we'd place an early bet on it being one of those stories in which the charges go away and someone is forced to write a fat check.
So as Rikki enters the tabloid windtunnel, check out this introduction to an interview with the late environmental/veggie magazine Satya:
As the lipstick-wearing kings of LA glam metal, Poison has embodied the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll image for almost 20 years. With a string of smash hits including “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Unskinny Bop,” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Poison have made a career out of debauchery that’s lasted far longer than most of their fans’ Aqua Net hairspray, or for that matter, hair.
Yet, out of this decadent world comes Poison’s drummer Rikki Rockett, one of the most dedicated animal activists you’ll ever meet. Working with groups such as LA’s Last Chance For Animals, Rikki has used his celebrity to bring the message of compassion and animal rights into the world of rock ‘n’ roll and beyond. In the process he has smashed the stereotype of the narcissistic, self-absorbed rock star who cares little for the world or, for that matter, animals.
As an artist who is involved with music, painting and filmmaking (Rikki is currently producing and directing Hooligan, a documentary on motorcycle “Rocker” culture), Rikki is a virtual renaissance man. Whether he’s pounding his (non-animal) drum skins in Poison or trying to save the animals from being skinned, Rikki Rockett lives his passions as both an artist and an activist.