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Poison Drummer To Play Greeley Stampede, Despite Concerns

Rikki Rockett Didn't Know Stampede Included Rodeos

July 3, 2008

ABC-Channel 7 News, TheDenverChannel.com includes video

DENVER -- The drummer of the metal band Poison is upset he will perform at the Greeley Stampede Saturday, despite his concerns about alleged animal abuses at rodeos.

Rikki Rockett told 7NEWS that he had no idea the Greeley Stampede included a rodeo when the group accepted the booking.

A statement from a group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, quoted Rockett as saying, "I had no idea that this gig included a rodeo. I have a huge problem with animal cruelty at rodeos. Greeley is a huge rodeo, which means an enormous amount of animal abuse! I am blown away that I missed the description of this show on our touring schedule printout."

Even so, Rockett, 46, told 7NEWS that he didn't plan to say anything about it during the performance because he doesn't want to "bash an American tradition."

"I represent one quarter of Poison, not Poison as a band. My band mates do understand my feelings about this. I don't own the band, but Poison isn't Poison without me. I have decided to keep my commitment to the fans and educate them about rodeo cruelty at the same time. However, this is the last gig like this, and the rest of the band agrees with that," he said in his statement.

The Greeley Stampede issued a statement Thursday that read in part:

"The Stampede is committed to supporting the PRCA's policies and guidelines of humane treatment of all animals that participate in the rodeo supporting the western American tradition of rodeo. The Greeley Stampede does not condone the mistreatment of animals in the production of the annual rodeo."

The Stampede offered to meet with Rockett regarding any concerns he had.

Poison will perform at the Stampede Arena at 8 p.m. Saturday, as part of their 49-date tour.

In a strange twist, charges of rape were dropped against Rockett earlier this week in Mississippi.

A woman claimed he had raped her at a Mississippi casino in 2007, but Rockett proved he was in California at the time and authorities said they were now looking for a man with a history of passing himself off as a musician to pick up women.