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Michaels, Springfield perform at Pala

A pair of inspirations performed in concert July 31 at the Pala Casino’s Starlight Theater.

Bret Michaels, who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was six, has become an inspiration to juvenile diabetics and their families. He was followed by Rick Springfield, who during his acting career backed up the legendary Lorne Greene in Battlestar

Galactica before becoming a headline act as a singer.

Officially Michaels and Springfield were double headliners at Pala. Springfield was scheduled initially, and when Michaels became available the promoter felt that a double billing would enhance the concert and Springfield was amenable to the arrangement. The strategy was certainly sufficient to sell out the 2,237-seat theater.

As the opening act, Michaels was limited by the need to accommodate Springfield, and health problems earlier this year (not related to diabetes) limited his ability to interact with the audience as did his time constraints. He performed eight

songs, many of which included extended segments, in a 53-minute performance.

“It is good to be alive,” Michaels said. “It is truly a great feeling to be here tonight.”

Springfield, who performed 12 songs in 57 minutes, had more of an ability to interact with the audience. His extended version of “Don’t Talk to Strangers” included bringing the microphone to fans in the seats to sing that line, and he concluded the song by bringing a three-year-old girl onto the stage to provide those words.

The two singers whose stardom dates back to the 1980s made sure their biggest hits were included. While Michaels sang one song from his Custom Built album released earlier in July and covered the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Sweet Home Alabama,” his other songs were from his first three albums with Poison and included “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and “Fallen Angel.”

Springfield also sang a song from his most recent album but included the classics “I’ve Done Everything For You” and “Jessie’s Girl” as well as “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”

A tradition Michaels now has at his concerts is to dedicate the song “Something To Believe In” (which was from Poison’s third album) to the men and women serving in the Armed Forces and to film the audience joining in that song for subsequent uploading

to Armed Forces personnel. Part-time Bonsall resident and former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg joined Michaels on stage and led the audience in their contribution to the men and women in the military.

In an effort to raise money for diabetes programs, Michaels agreed to be a contestant on the television show “Celebrity Apprentice” and ended up winning the 2009-10 season. Goldberg was also on the “Celebrity Apprentice” show. “He is a great friend and one of the most awesome people I have ever met,” Michaels said of Goldberg.

Goldberg informed the audience that after he was removed from

“Celebrity Apprentice,” Michaels donated $10,000 to Goldberg’s charity.

The concert was not without flaws. The project screen to the left of the stage was reversed during Michaels’ portion, providing a mirror image, although that was corrected for Springfield’s songs. And the reason Michaels is quoted in this article while Springfield is not is that Michaels used cleaner language than Springfield. But the audience left entertained from the two inspirations.

“We had an awesome time tonight,” Michaels said. “I hope we get our chance next summer to come back here.”

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