Bret Michaels Without the Bandana Is ‘Like Superman Without the Cape’

Bret Michaels Without the Bandana Is ‘Like Superman Without the Cape’

May 19, 2010

Bret Michaels Without the Bandana Is 'Like Superman Without the Cape'Molly Willow of reports: To earn some time on Oprah Winfrey’s rarefied air, all Bret Michaels had to do was nearly die.

The former Poison frontman and current ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ star gave his first TV interview Wednesday to the daytime queen on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ following his potentially fatal brain hemorrhage April 21.

From satellite in Phoenix, Ariz., where he’s undergoing rehab twice a day, Michaels described the night he felt the “pop” in his head, the focus on family and friends that got him through the scariest times, and why he insisted on wearing his bandana, even in his hospital bed.

Oprah welcomed him to the show with a “Bret, you’re aliiiiive!” for a 30-minute segment that included messages from his girlfriend Kristi Gibson, their daughter and several of his “Celebrity Apprentice” costars, including Donald Trump. “He’s a very solid guy, a very good guy,” Trump said, “and the women really like him.”

Michaels described the night of April 21 when he felt a pain “like a migraine times 10.”

“It just exploded instantly and ran from my temple all the way down the back of my skull…at that point I knew something was severely wrong.”

He asked Gibson to take him to the hospital where, after a CT scan he heard a doctor tell Gibson she should bring their children, 5-year-old Georgia and 9-year-old Raine, to the hospital.

“It wasn’t like a rerun of my life,” Michaels said of the moments when he knew he could die,” what happened was I got very sad. I went into completely just asking God, ‘You gotta let me live through this.'”

Michaels described thinking not about his career in those moments, but his family and friends, saying they’re what really matter. Thinking about his daughters gave him “this amazing courage to want to survive.”

His neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Zabramski, showed the blood in Michaels’ brain from his scan and called it a “miracle” that he has done so well. Michaels admitted the show-and-tell made him a little nervous.

“I had this fear that he’d show a neurosurgeon’s brain is big and thick and normal, and I’d have this little walnut,” Michaels said. “This is a point where size mattered.” (At which point, over audience laughter, Oprah told him his brain was “beautiful.”)

Michaels also confessed to some sick bed vanity after Oprah asked about a picture that showed him hooked up to machines in the hospital, shirtless but wearing his trademark bandana.

“It’s like superman without the cape. I said if I’m going out, I want to go rockin’.”

Michaels teared up listening to messages from Raine, and his ‘Apprentice’ costars Sharon Osbourne and Holly Robinson Peete. “That’s what matters,” he said, “that’s awesome.”

Courtesy of and