Bret Michaels figures that if nothing else, his recent medical maladies -- which he likes to refer to as "a bump in the road" -- has added another chapter to his long-awaited autobiography, "Roses & Thorns."
"I don't think Simon & Schuster has ever had a book like this, where every day something else happens to me," Michaels tells Billboard.com. "This book was supposed to come out June 23 of last summer (2009), and then I had the Tony Awards incident (where he was hit in the head by a piece of scenery) happen, so they wanted to put that in there. Then I had the brain hemorrhage (in April), and they're like, 'You gotta talk about that...' This book is going to be like 'War and Peace' times six. It's ridiculous." Michaels hopes to have "Roses & Thorns" out in November, although the publisher currently lists it listed as a Feb. 1 release.
Meanwhile, Michaels -- despite the hemorrhage, an emergency appendectomy before it and a subsequent stroke that led to doctors finding a hole in his heart which requires an operation later this year -- has a full pile of other activities on his plate. Though some would expect him to take it easy given what he's been through, the winner of this year's "Celebrity Apprentice" is going ahead with a full summer tour, mostly with Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special. On July 6 he brings out a new solo album, "Custom Built," which features a duet with Miley Cyrus on the single "Nothing to Lose" and a country-flavored remake of the Poison hit "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." He's also resumed filming his next VH1 reality show, "Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It."
"My way of healing is making music, is going back on the road," explains Michaels, who now takes six drug injections a day. "I spent almost two months in three different ICUs, right? If I never see the inside of a hospital again, it will be too soon for me. If I have a chance of healing all the way, I need to just be around people and stuff that I feel will help me best. I need to be out on the road and out with my family. I just want to make sure that as much as this is a very traumatic thing to go through, I'm hoping the legacy I leave behind is that I'm a fighter, not that I had a brain hemorrhage."
Michaels will also join Cyrus on June 18 for ABC's "Good Morning America" Summer Concert Series in New York, where they'll perform "Every Rose...," which Cyrus covers on her new album "Can't Be Tamed." "Miley's first concert ever was a Poison show in Nashville," Michaels notes. "She told me, like, 'The whole thing got me excited and sort of turned my whole life into wanting to be a musician.' It's a great feeling to sort of pay that forward, you know?"
Michaels says that the "Life As I Know It" show will deal with the health issues but that the cameras were turned off while he was in the hospital.
"They were filming, and then when I got sick...that's not what I wanted to leave behind for my daughters," says Michaels, who has two. "We didn't now if I was going to live or die when I had the brain hemorrhage; it was a roll of the dice for 10 days. We'll talk about it when the show comes on TV, but I didn't want to leave a legacy of having a brain hemorrhage for my kids."
With a good prognosis for his heart surgery "sometime in the fall or early winter," Michaels is also eyeballing the 25th anniversary celebration for Poison's first album, "Look What the Cat Dragged In." A tour is "for sure," he says, but Michaels is hoping to make it even better by teaming up with some old friends for the occasion.
"I think it would be killer to do something with Motley Crue," he says. "Me and Vince Neil are really great friends, and we're talking about doing something really cool with the two of us solo, or maybe it could be Motley Crue and Poison, their 30th anniversary and our 25th, and go out together. It could be the 55th anniversary of Motley Crue and Poison! I think that would be awesome."