Video Review: Poison "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"

In French blue light, Bret sleeps with his arm on his forehead. The clock ticks. His girlfriend lies awake, staring out the window. She turns around and looks at him. Bret sighs and gets up from the bed.

On the leaf strewn pavement, he plays his guitar.

Lit by French blue light, Bobby chomps on his cigarette as he tunes his guitar. In grainy olive green footage, C.C. plays his guitar near the keyboard during sound check.

Back in the bedroom, his girlfriend flops over on the bed, facing forward. Bret hits a jacket, throwing it to the ground as the band enters a venue.  In the grainy, olive green footage, the band plays through a song.

In the French blue light, Bret wails at the band, waving something over his head as the audience cheers behind him. He helps one of his band members off the stage.

C.C. exhales smoke in the grainy, olive green. The band rides to another show in the pouring rain. Bret stretches as he exits the bus and then looks across the street.  Back in the French blue light, a crew member picks up Bret and takes him off stage. Rikki, his hair wringing with sweat, plays the drums. Bret bows down to the audience.

Bret scratches his ear as he figures out a song. Two security people stay between Bret. However, he reaches out his arm to someone he knows.

In the French blue light, Bret drives into the night, away from the memories. Before a show, Bret takes the cigarette out of a sleeping Rikki’s mouth as he sleeps on a chair.

Bret tosses a bottle at a chalkboard with the band name on it. Back in the French blue light, Bobby smashes a guitar on stage.

Rikki, with a towel around his neck, gives a disaffected look to the camera, wanting to be alone. Bret leaps on stage.

Bret lies on the couch, beer in hand.

In the French blue light, a crew member helps a drunk Bobby off stage. A female audience member cries.

In the bathroom, Bret sets his beer on the sink and plays his guitar while sitting on the toilet.

Rikki skateboards in the hallway of the venue.

In the French blue light, they bow down to the audience, their arms linked around each other. Bret swings on a pole.

In sepia-toned footage, Rikki plays the drums.

In the French blue light, a crew member bandages up Bret’s finger. He turns to the camera, cigarette dangling in his mouth, questioning its presence  in the dressing room. With guitar in hand and spotlight bearing down on him, Bret walks towards the stool on the stage.

Rating: 4/5

As raucous as Poison gets on stage by destroying guitars and needing the intervention of crew members, they are simmering in their emotions.

Bret and Rikki have to have some space from everyone and the chaos of the road. Simple things like washing up and getting a bandage are now filmed. There aren’t moments where they can let themselves be. A camera is always there, intruding.

Bobby, though, medicates himself with alcohol, getting drunk before shows and then lets out his resentment out on the guitars, breaking them into a dozen pieces. The once comforting outlet has changed to a persistent demon, nagging at him.

Nonetheless, the open displays of irritation and anger put Bret’s behavior into context with the addition of the storyline.

In bed, Bret  and his girlfriend are back to back, their bodies far apart. Both are questioning why they are even there. Wracked with hurt, he takes some private time to pen the song. Wearing his black sunglasses to cover his puffy eyes, he plays the guitar, thinking of what the relationship used to be like.

After viewing his athletic leaps in the air and endless energy on stage, seeing him actively hide his emotion with his sunglasses as he plays the guitar by himself is an effective image, full of loneliness and questioning.

Director: N/A Year: 1988


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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