(Originally posted on my Facebook on July 15, 2012.)
So where did I leave off with my story???
1997 and AOL Message Boards, I believe. Message boards were the Facebook and Twitter of their day. You were as anonymous as you wanted to be. More so than today, you could truly ‘hide’ behind you’re keyboard. No one had to know anymore about you than you wanted them to know.
It was around that time, maybe back in 1996, that I became PoisonCris. At home, in the real world, I was Christine or Chrissy, but online I was PoisonCris. That became my name for awhile. 😉 You ask the Poison guys and they know who PoisonCris is…it took a little while for my real name to be as known, but I didn’t care.
The message boards were fun. We’d share information, trade stories, photos, and get to know one another. ICQ chats (uh-oh — I hear it every time I think of ICQ) were another way of getting to know one another. Rikki would even pop in every now and again. Oh the trouble we’d get into in those chats. If you were there, you know, if you weren’t – not gonna tell ya — what happens in ICQ stays in ICQ. HA HA
I joined the Bret Michaels Fan Club in 1996 sometime. Not long after learning that while I was in Nashville being a tourist, seeing Marty Stuart and all that fun stuff, Bret Michaels was in Nashville at about the same time filming his movie “A Letter From Death Row.”
Before I continue on, let me say this – I love music, I listen to all kinds of music and each genre has given me a few favorites that I really latch on to. I will say, unapologetically, that I was not the big Poison fan back in the day. Yes, I am from PA, but I am from the right side of the state (;P) just outside of Philly. My favorite hard rock bands were Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Skid Row and Motley Crue. (Yes and Warrant, too.) Don’t get me wrong, I had a few Poison posters on my wall, too. But I was all about the Crue during those particular years. In the 1990s is was almost all about the country music. Marty Stuart, was and still is one of my most favorite artists across all genres of music.
I just never considered myself the diehard Poison fan prior to 1996. I liked them, I had a tape or CD or two, but I had everything Motley or Def Leppard, etc. Plus the Cinderella guys were from Philly, gotta support local music — they could go far if given all the right opportunities and work their arses off (just like my boys in First Things First – they’re gonna be a big deal someday soon).
For whatever reason, when I saw Bret Michaels on TNN Country News in late 1995 as I was catching up on the countless hours of TNN I used to tape (I had a job, couldn’t watch TV all day, even though I wanted to) I was hooked. I had to have everything Poison and Bret Michaels. I can’t explain it, other than he is a master of charisma. He has a genuine charm, down home, treat you like family way about him that you don’t expect from the big rock stars.
I joined his fan club and joined the AOL Message Boards and came out of my shell a little bit. Now, for the record, I have and always will credit Marty Stuart for bringing me out of my shell and comfort zone. When I joined his fan club in the early 1990s, I signed up for the pen pal section in the newsletter. I met a few people that way — there was no Internet like we have now kiddies, it was all snail mail back in those days. We traded tapes and photos and wrote back and forth about Marty. In 1994, I went to Fan Fair for the first time with my brother and we met up with one of my Pen Pals. Matthew went off and did his thing and I stood in line for countless hours to meet Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, among others.
I actually took a vacation and met up with ‘strangers’ that I had something in common with. Me, shy and quiet, picked on by everyone for being shy and quiet, left my comfort zone.
….and this is getting long, so stay tuned for more another time… (I’m good at cliff hangers huh?)