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C. C. DeVille (born Bruce Anthony Johannesson; May 14, 1962) is the lead guitarist of the American glam metal band Poison. He has also acted in both reality television and television drama shows.

Early years

DeVille was born Bruce Anthony Johannesson in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker. His interest in music began at age two while watching The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. DeVille began playing the guitar at the age of five after he was given a $27 Japanese Telecaster copy. As his love of music grew, he began listening to bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Queen, and especially Kiss.

At the age of 18, DeVille formed the band Lace in New York, which adopted a highly sexual, "glam" image. It was during this time period that DeVille began writing the song "Talk Dirty To Me", which would later appear on Poison's first album, Look What the Cat Dragged In.

DeVille began studying music theory at New York Universitymarker, but never completed his studies. Instead, he moved to Los Angelesmarker in 1981 and played in various bands, including Screaming Mimi, Lace Slip, St James, and Roxx Regime (which later changed their name to Stryper), before auditioning for Poison.

DeVille's audition impressed drummer Rikki Rockett and bassist Bobby Dall, but angered vocalist Bret Michaels. DeVille refused to play the songs that had been given to him as preparation, and instead jammed with a guitar riff he had written. The riff, which would eventually be featured in the Poison single "Talk Dirty to Me", would ultimately launch the band's career. Slash, who would go onto fame with Guns N' Roses, also auditioned for the position and made it to the final three, but lost to DeVille; Slash acknowledged discomfort with Poison's image when Rikki Rockett suggested that Slash wear make-up and change his clothing style.

Popular success

DeVille co-wrote Poison's debut album with Bret Michaels, Bobby Dall, and Rikki Rockett. Look What the Cat Dragged In was released on August 2, 1986. It included three hits, "Talk Dirty to Me", "I Want Action", and "I Won't Forget You". Sales for the album topped 3 million copies in the United States alone. DeVille also wrote much of the material for Poison's second album, Open Up And Say...Ahh!, which was released on May 21, 1988 and would ultimately go on to sell 8 million copies worldwide. It included the hit song "Nothin' But a Good Time", co-written by DeVille.

In 1990, Poison released Flesh and Blood, an album which was again largely written by DeVille. During this period, DeVille also performed lead guitar on Warrant's hit song "Cherry Pie", from the album Cherry Pie.

Leaving Poison

Whilst touring in support of the album Flesh and Blood substance abuse and tensions with other members of the band, particularly lead singer Bret Michaels, began to become a destructive force within the band leading up to the release of the live album Swallow This Live in 1991.

At the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, DeVille turned in a disastrous performance when his guitar became unplugged and he appeared to change the song choice mid-performance. Immediately following the performance, DeVille and Michaels were involved in a fist-fight backstage. DeVille departed the band Poison as a result of the physical altercation.

Recovery

In the years following his exit from the band Poison, DeVille underwent rehabilitation for his substance abuse problems and also launched several solo and side project bands including acts such as "Needle Park" and "The Stepmothers". None of these bands had the commercial success of the Band Poison which continued on without DeVille with a number of replacement guitar players.

Samantha 7

Samantha 7 was a short-lived band composed of guitarist Deville, guitarist Ty Longley, bassist Krys Baratto, and drummer Francis Ruiz. They played at Woodstock 1999. Originally the band's name was "The Stepmothers" but the band was forced to change their name following a legal dispute with another band of the same name. Deville can be heard referring to this band as The Stepmothers in a Behind the Music interview. Samantha 7 released the self-titled album Samantha 7 in 2000.

The Samantha 7 song, "I Wanna be Famous", would later be used in the opening of the reality show The Surreal Life: Fame Games, in which Deville starred.

Return to Poison

DeVille regained contact with his ex-bandmates from Poison in 1999 and made a successful return to the band for a reunion tour in that year. Several shows were recorded and released as a studio album/live album hybrid release in the following year titled Power to the People. DeVille continues to record and perform with Poison.

In 2006 DeVille starred in The Surreal Life on VH1.

Parodies

In 2001, DeVille became the inspiration for rock & roll comic C.C. Banana. A twisted homage to DeVille, C.C. Banana speaks in a cartoonish parody of DeVille's voice and wears a large yellow banana costume. C.C. Banana has interviewed numerous rock stars and made many TV appearances.

Discography

1986 - Poison Look What the Cat Dragged In

1988 - Poison - Open Up and Say...Ahh!

1990 - Poison - Flesh & Blood

1990 - Warrant - Cherry Pie (Performing lead guitar in the song's "Cherry Pie" solo)

1990 - Sam Kinison - Have You Seen Me Lately? - Wild Thing

1990 - Sam Kinison - Leader of the Banned

1991 - Poison - Swallow This Live (Double Live Disc Set)

1993 - C.C. Deville - Son in Law Soundtrack - Hey Good Lookin' (with Spike from the Quireboys)

1996 - Poison - Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986-1996

1997 - LEN - You Can't Stop The Bum Rush - Feelin' Alright

1998 - Bret Michaels - A Letter From Death Row - Party Rock Band

2000 - The Muffs - Hamburger

2000 - Samantha 7

2000 - Poison - Crack a Smile...and More! (features DeVille on the bonus tracks)

2000 - Poison - Power to the People

2001 - Poison Greatest Video Hits - DVD

2002 - Poison - Hollyweird

2003 - Poison - Best Of Ballads & Blues

2003 - Bret Michaels - Songs of Life - Party Rock Band

2004 - Spin The Bottle: An All-Star Tribute To Kiss - "I Stole Your Love"

2006 - Poison - The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock

2007 - Motörhead - Kiss of Death (Guitar Solo on "God Was Never On Your Side")

2007 - Poison - Poison'd (cover album)

2008 - Poison - Live, Raw & Uncut

References



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