Exclusive Q&A with Bret Michaels
Watch an exclusive clip of Bret's new series.
This 47-year-old father of two also opens up about his daughters' musical taste, his legacy and the three wishes he has for himself. Plus, the five things Bret thinks every rocker needs.
Bret Michaels: It's a little tough for me because I've never really done that. ... What you see on TV is what you get off. When we were doing the Rock of Love stuff, and I was at sort of a crossroads between dating and obviously trying to be a good father to my kids and work out my on-again, off-again relationship with [my girlfriend] Kristi. But through that, I think what they saw—and this is what they said—is they saw was this person who had a lot more to offer than just being drunk and sucking face. They're like, "There's so much more of that we want to show."
You're going to see me at moments where I tell them: "I'm done. Do not film anymore," but at the same time, you have to open up enough that it isn't a generic slice of your life either. It's a roller coaster of emotion with this show, and I think people will see that when I say that it's "life as I know it," it is showing my life as it really is. Between being a good dad and trying to be a better boyfriend.
BM: Being the dad of two daughters. Here's the thing, I love it because it presents a whole new set of challenges. I've learned to negotiate. I've become a better businessperson negotiating with my kids. I've learned all my negotiating skills from two daughters. ... I take it into my [meetings] with agents and promoters and managers. The rock 'n' roll world, on one side, is absolutely great because you're living out your dream, but on the other side, there's a lot of sleaze involved.
KF: Is it true that your daughters call you "Poppa Rocka"?
BM: They do. It was very funny because they're just like, "Dad, you're like a rockin' pop." So it became "Poppa Rocka."
KF: When it comes time for your daughters to start dating, what advice will you give them about boys? What should they look out for?
BM: When people always ask me, "Man, how do you feel about your daughters when they get older, and they're dating a musician or whatever?" I said, "Look, as long as they date someone they love." I'll be able to read the guys in a heartbeat. I'll be able to read whether they're true, whether they are after my daughters for the right or wrong reason. But, the bottom line is I just want them to find someone that they're really attracted to and love. ... You get that gut feeling that says, "This isn't a good person, or this is a good person."
That's the only advice I can really give them, because God knows after Rock of Love and my dating ups and downs, I have not always picked the right person. So probably, anything I say, you should do the opposite of. Hopefully they'll take that advice.
BM: Obviously an unbelievable family vacation, and here's why. I spend so much time on the road in different cities around the world that when I come home, I'm so excited to be home. ... However, a lot of times, [my family] is here, so they're jonesing to go. Even if it's to go down to Panama City in Florida and have fun, or go to Cabo San Lucas. For me, it has to be a beach vacation, just to go to somewhere for a few weeks and do nothing and have fun. That's number one.
Number two for me is, and I've said this before, is to really hone in on the great friends and great family and spend more time with my parents. My mom travels all the time, so spending more quality time with her.
I think number three, more than anything, I'm one of those people—I don't mean to be—but I get a little too caught up in the details. I'm extremely passionate. I have to learn to let go a little bit and just let things roll. That will help me to have more free time for myself.
KF: The detail-oriented aspect of your personality has helped you get to the finals on Celebrity Apprentice. What has that experience been like for you?
BM: It's been a great experience. I got to be around, first of all, a lot of amazing people all of whom are successful in their own right. ... I tell you what my blessing was and why I think I have done so well thus far. I forgot about everything else, but what Donald Trump asked us to do. Whatever the task was, I stopped worrying about sleep, food anything and said, "This is all I've got to do is be creative and find a way to get this done." I forgot that the cameras were there and threw myself into every project they asked us to do.
BM: I introduce them to all kinds of music. I've started them out with some good classic rock. I take them back to their Zeppelin, their Hendrix, their Skynard, their Aerosmith, and of course, you have to get some KISS in there, and then their ACDC. Those are the standards. But my daughters also love Hannah Montana. They turn around, and they listen to country music. They listen to anything from old-school country like Hank Williams Sr. We'll listen to "Family Tradition." Then, I turn around, and they'll be listening to Justin Bieber. ... Anything from Ludacris to Justin Bieber.
On my new album, I remade Sublime. I love Sublime. I love Foo Fighters. I'm one of these guys who likes to put together my greatest hits iPod. It's everything from Hank to Skynard to Sublime to Foo Fighters to Justin Bieber to Hannah Montana.
KF: Were your daughters thrilled when you did the duet "Nothin' to Lose" with Miley Cyrus?
BM: They loved it. She's talked to them on the phone a few times, and obviously, they've been to her concerts. We've been friends with her family for a long time, and Miley, as I've said, I truly believe she is a talented musician and will make that very tough transition from what we'll call "tween star" or "teen star" into being a real music star, because the girl can play. ... She's not what I call a karaoke star. She's a real musician.
BM: Obviously in my situation, for styling purposes, I need a bandanna. That's number one. You have to have a good pair of cowboy boots. I know that's so old school, but they're just like sneakers to me. They're just comfortable. All right, a quality pair of leather pants if you can handle it.
You've got to have a good tour bus, and you have to have a good crew. I'm friends with my crew, and people forget that's what makes my world go 'round. I've been blessed. I've got some really good people who have been with me a long time.
KF: What do you want your legacy to be?
BM: I'm hoping that I was able to rock the world. In doing it, I was able to take it to the heights, but also be a very, down to earth, grounded Pittsburghian. ... You hope, when it's all said and done, you made some good friends along the way.
KF: And gave us some great music.
BM: And left some good music behind.
More about Bret Michaels' medical emergency
Get a sneak peek of Bret's VH1 series Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It