By now you've more than likely seen the video of [artist id="14301"]Poison[/artist] singer Bret Michaels' nasty run-in with a huge set piece at Sunday's Tony Awards. And you may have even seen pictures of the bloody aftermath, which included a busted-up nose and lacerations to his mouth.
Michaels' reps have made it clear that the singer felt like he was not treated fairly by the Tony Awards organization, but on Thursday Michaels finally broke his silence in a long letter posted on his official Web site in which he aired grievances while trying to maintain a good sense of humor about the whole incident.
"I am trying to remain very positive and somewhat humorous about the whole situation," Michaels wrote. "I apologize that I did not make a statement earlier as I have been feeling pretty beat up over the last few days. The fact is I was honored to be asked to perform at the event. The entire 'Rock of Ages' production [was] awesome and even though I was completely out of my element I was really enjoying myself prior to my injury. In fact all involved at the awards show treated me good.
"I had a great time at the Tonys right up until I got blindsided, I must admit it was a little blurry after that. In hindsight, there is no doubt I got my bell rung, unfortunately it has been posted and perhaps funny to watch, but I can assure you it has been painful to experience.
"In all honesty I had absolutely no idea what struck my head. Upon impact I thought a piece of the lighting rig had fallen out of the ceiling and as I fell back it seemed like my head struck the stage and I blacked out for a second. When I opened my eyes I noticed a large set prop coming down straight for me. I immediately pushed myself out of the way and amidst the chaos I laid on the floor and asked 'what the hell just happened?' "
Michaels wrote that following the impact, his nose, mouth and the back of his head felt numb and he vaguely remembers asking his minder, "Big John," if he had any teeth left in his mouth. "I knew I could move my arms and legs and that was an instant relief," continued Michaels, who had suffered a previous neck injury that caused him some concern following Sunday night's incident. "Somebody handed me a towel to wipe the blood from my face and in my dazed state I recall staring at what seemed to be Shrek, a talking goat head and several monkey like creatures. Over the last few days a lot of speculation as to what happened and who is to blame have surfaced. I need to make clear at no point since the incident occurred do I feel like the accident was malicious in any way and I feel this will all work itself out."
Michaels wrote that he found it "a little strange" that the only comment from the Tony organization in the wake of the onscreen accident was that he had missed his mark on the stage and that he was "completely fine."
"First, I thought, 'what mark?' as there was no official mark, just a retracting drum riser and an overhead prop being rapidly lowered which was out of my view," Michaels wrote. "Second, I think it was slightly irresponsible for them to report that I was fine without full knowledge of my condition, when a doctor hadn't even looked at me yet and I surely don't remember any X-Ray machines backstage. I am not looking for an apology, I only hoped that on a human level that the Tony organizations' representative would have expressed some concern for injury in their statement or at the very least claim they would be looking into the matter."
A spokesperson for the Tonys could not be reached at press time.
Michaels continued, "Whether it was a miscommunication, missed cue or missed mark no matter what the situation was the prop should have been stopped or at least slowed for a few more seconds until I cleared the stage. I apparently had less than two seconds to avoid being hit. It was evident I was backing up and moving in the direction to exit the stage for at least 30 to 40 feet and it is plain to see I had no clue this prop was descending. For [God's] sake, they have at least a five second delay to prevent the airing of unapproved expletives and nudity!"
Michaels said that "never at any point" during his Sunday morning rehearsal was he instructed that the set piece would be coming down and that he had to hurry to leave the stage. "Otherwise believe me I would have stopped or at least ducked so as not to be knocked out at the Tonys," he wrote. "Trust me I never wanted any of this to happen. I was simply doing as I was told which was to exit the stage as Poison's song 'Nothin' But a Good Time' came to a close.
"I feel for the actors and actresses who put in so much time and hard work on or off Broadway to get to the Tonys. This is their moment and I am sorry that some of it may have gotten overshadowed by my thick rocker cranium being struck by a stage prop. On a high note I hear it was the highest rated Tonys they have had in years." Broadway newbie Michaels lamented that he didn't get to see any of the other acts perform and was even more bummed that he could not attend any afterparties, "cuz rumor has it Anne Hathaway was going to be there and she is hot."
He ended the long missive, signed "Broadway Bret Michaels," by thanking his bandmates, crew and Broadway legend Liza Minnelli for rushing to his dressing room to check on him. And with good humor, he signed off, "I thank the Good Lord I have a thick skull and I have a feeling this may have been my first and final curtain call at the Tonys."