Bret Michaels: A Little Girl’s Hero

The following article originally appeared on Hub Pages as a sit-down interview with yours truly. 

The following is an article based on an interview with the little known underground erotic writer Nicola Matthews. Nicola talks about her life, her work, and her personal hero, singer/songwriter Bret Michaels.

In the Beginning:

“I first heard the song Every Rose has its Thorn way back in 1989 when I was only twelve years old. Back then I had never heard of Bret Michaels or Poison. But there was something in Bret’s voice that spoke to me, a hidden sorrow that suggested that even though he may have lived a charmed life compared to most, that he still knew what it meant to suffer emotionally. It didn’t take me long to dig up everything I could about the band. I came to think of them as “my guys,” like they were part of the family or something. Stupid, I know, but that’s the way I felt about them. I felt a kinship with Bret more than any of the other band members. It’s hard to explain, but there was just something about him, about his voice….he could speak volumes by singing just a few lines. I think it’s that way with a lot of his fans. A lot of people will come across that certain singer or musician that they feel some sort of ethereal connection to. For me, it has always been Bret Michaels.”

“Bret saved my life.”

“I grew up in a broken home.  These days having divorced parents or parents that have never even been married is nothing unusual.  In fact, it seems that me and my husband are in the minority, having been married for fifteen years now.  But back then, people just didn’t get divorced.  My parents didn’t just divorce.  My mom up and left when I was eleven years old.  My father had just had a triple bypass done on his heart and hadn’t been home but like maybe two months when she left.  I remember my dad telling me, ‘If you go with your mom then I’ll blow my brains out!  I will, I swear I will!  Don’t you go with her!”  At the age of eleven all I could think about was who was supposed to take care of my dad if I left?  So I stayed.

Things were okay for a while.  But soon it became apparent why my mom had split.  Without her there, there was no one to protect me from tirade of verbal abuse that came from my father.  I know I’m not the only one to have ever been emotionally and physically abused as a child, but unless you have been there, you honestly don’t know what kind of mental and emotional scars it can leave on a person, especially a young child.  I was told so many times that I was ‘useless’ and ‘worthless’ that I began to shut people out.  I was very lonely growing up.  Every time I made a close friend my father would find some reason to forbid me to see that person outside of school.  It got to the point that I was too embarrassed to have anyone over any way.  The beatings and verbal abuse didn’t stop just because I had a friend over.  It was just easier to be by myself and pretend everything was fine.  But it takes a toll, you know?  By the time I was twelve I had already attempted suicide twice.

And then I heard Bret’s voice.  As corny as it sounds, I decided at the age of twelve that I was not going to leave this earth until I had met Bret Michaels.  In his own way, Bret saved my life.”

A Funny Story…

“When I was in eighth grade I had a very close friend named April.  She, like me, had a horrible home life.  Her mom was a nurse who worked four days a week at a hospital in New Orleans.  Now the story of how I got a backstage pass and ticket to a Poison concert was told to me like this:

While the band was playing in New Orleans one of the techies fell off a catwalk and broke his leg or his hip or something like that.  April’s mom was one of the nurses assigned to take care of this guy.  When she found out that he worked for Poison she told him about her daughter and her friend who were these huge fans of the band.  So this guy, who was nicknamed Studs, got her two tickets and two backstage passes for us for an upcoming show scheduled to be held on the Gulf Coast.  April, being the wonderful friend that she was, gave me the other ticket and backstage pass.  I was fourteen years old and might as well just have won a $100 million lottery.

Well, my life being what it was and my dad being the kind of person that he was, refused to let me go to the concert.  I had to give the ticket and backstage pass to April’s boyfriend at the time, Brian.  However, Brian was nice enough to get C.C. DeVille to autograph a shirt for me.  I had wanted a pair of Bret’s undies, but beggars can’t be choosers.”

Music Spawns Creativity

“I started writing when I was about six years old.  I can remember as a child that I loved to make up stories.  As soon as I learned how to write, I began to write down stories to amuse myself.  I was an only child, so I learned to read at a very early age.  Once my parents split up, I escaped my world of sorrow for adventures across the globe in books of all kinds.  I tried my own hand at writing and attempted my very first novel when I was eight years old.  By the age of ten I had tried to write two additional novels, without much success.  At thirteen, I began writing on a romance/mystery that I entitled Big Dreams and Nightmares.  It took me my entire seventh grade year to complete.  I would sit in front of my stereo with headphones on and listen to Poison’s Open Up and Say…Ahh album over and over again while I wrote.  The guys inspired me to do more than merely jot down my random ideas and thoughts.  It was then that I realized that deep down, no matter how smart I was or how good my grades were, I would always be a writer.  It was the one God-given talent that I had been granted, and I wanted to share it with the world.

You asked me why Bret was my hero.  It’s because no matter what life has thrown at him, no matter how dismal things may have seemed,  no matter how much people told him that he “couldn’t” he looked life straight in the face and said, ‘Oh yes I can!’  I guess Bret reminds me of myself.  I have been to the depths of hell and back over the years, and no matter what, I have always crawled back out of the hole that life had dug for me.   Bret Michaels is my hero, and I still refuse to leave this earth until I have met him.”

Personal Message for Bret:

 We caught up with Nicola on April 23, 2010 in regards to the brain hemorrhage suffered by Bret Michaels on April 21.

“My husband and I had went out to eat Friday night.  When we got home he got on the internet and saw the news banner on Yahoo!  He was the one who told me about it.  After reading the article I went into the bathroom and cried like a baby.  I was terrified for him, for his family, for his two girls.  I didn’t even want to fathom a world without Bret in it.”

MS:  Do you have any personal words for Bret?

“Bret, we are all standing behind you and praying for your recovery.  You hang in there, and fight.  And always remember that little girls, even when they are all grown up, will always need their hero.”

Original article appeared here:


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