Richie Kotzen

Richie Kotzen: Lead guitar, mandolin, dobro, piano, backing vocals Born: February 3, 1970 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Albums: Native Tongue Richie joined Poison after the departure of C.C. DeVille. He recorded one album with Poison, Native Tongue (an album heavily flavored by his great guitar and backing vocals) Richie first began playing piano at the age of five. Later, at the age of seven and inspired by a Kiss poster, Richie took up playing guitar.

Amazingly by the time Richie reached the age of seventeen, he had traveled back and forth across the United States playing in excess of five hundred gigs, opening for acts such as the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Greg Allman and the Smithereens. It was during that year that Richie released his first eponymously titled record on Shrapnel Records and graced the cover of several publications including Guitar World magazine. Richie's success and virtuoso playing caught the eye of Bret Michaels, lead singer of the multi-platinum act Poison. Richie was asked to join the band at the age of twenty. The album Native Tongue was released in 1993 and achieved platinum world-wide sales, and produced two top twenty singles which Richie wrote "Stand" and "Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice)". Appearances on numerous national TV shows such as Letterman and The Arsenio Hall show followed on the heals of intense MTV coverage. The video for "Stand" which included backing vocals by the entire AME Church Choir, was a Top 10 video on MTV's Most Wanted. Once again Richie graced the covers of numerous magazines. A world tour followed with sold out dates from London to Los Angeles.