C.C. DeVille

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C.C. DeVille
C.C. DeVille live with Poison on July 11, 2008 at the Moondance Jam
C.C. DeVille live with Poison on July 11, 2008 at the Moondance Jam
Background information
Birth nameBruce Anthony Johannesson
Born (1962-05-14) May 14, 1962 (age 60)
OriginBrooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
GenresGlam metal,[1] hard rock
OccupationsMusician, actor
Years active1980–present

C.C. DeVille (born Bruce Anthony Johannesson; May 14, 1962) is an American guitarist best known as a member of rock band Poison. The band has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide,[2] including 15 million in the United States.[3] In addition to DeVille's work with Poison, in 1998 he formed a band called Samantha 7.

DeVille has acted in both reality television and in scripted television drama shows. He starred in The Surreal Life season 6 and in The Surreal Life: Fame Games.

In 2015, VH1 ranked DeVille at number one in its list of most underrated hair-metal guitarists of the 1980s.[4]

CC DeVille is a devout Christian.

Early years[edit]

DeVille was born Bruce Anthony Johannesson in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York City, New York. 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, The Who, Cheap Trick, New York Dolls, Queen, and especially Kiss.

At age 18 Deville auditioned and joined the local band Lace the band adopted a highly sexual glam image inspired by New York Dolls and KISS, DeVille also began studying music theory at New York University, but never completed his studies. Instead, he moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and played in various bands, including Screaming Mimi, Lace Slip, and St. James. DeVille also auditioned for the band Stryper[5] before auditioning and being accepted into Poison.

Musical career[edit]

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 on to fame with Guns N' Roses, also auditioned for the position and made it to the final three, but lost to DeVille; In his autobiography Slash acknowledged discomfort with Poison's image when Rikki Rockett suggested that Slash wear make-up and change his clothing style.

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 the 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. DeVille also wrote much of the material for Poison's second album, the multi-platinum selling 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, and Poison's only number 1 single "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".

In 1990, Poison released the multi-platinum selling Flesh & Blood, an album which was again largely written by DeVille.

Leaving Poison[edit]

While touring in support of Flesh and Blood, and despite Poison's success, substance abuse and tensions with other members of the band, particularly lead singer Bret Michaels, led to conflict within the band.[citation needed] Leading up to the release of the live album Swallow This Live conflict between Michaels and DeVille culminated in a fistfight backstage at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards after DeVille played the wrong song, playing "Talk Dirty To Me" instead of "Unskinny Bop", and being high and intoxicated during the performance.[citation needed] Asked to quit, DeVille left Poison and was replaced by guitarist Richie Kotzen.[6]

Following his departure from Poison, DeVille formed Needle Park, a band that also featured vocalist Spike of The Quireboys, bassist Tommy Henriksen, and drummer James Kottak (later of Scorpions), and recorded "Hey, Good Lookin'" for the soundtrack to the Pauly Shore movie Son in Law.

Samantha 7[edit]

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, and toured the US and UK in support of the record that was released on Columbia/Portrait Records.

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[edit]

DeVille regained contact with his Poison bandmates in 1996 for their Greatest Hits reunion tour in 1999. Several shows were recorded and released as a hybrid studio & live album release in 2000 titled Power to the People. DeVille continues to record and perform with Poison.


In 2005 and 2006, DeVille starred in a popular TV series South of Nowhere on The N. He played the role of Raife Davies, the father of Ashley Davies and Kyla Woods. Also in 2006 when Poison celebrated their 20th anniversary, DeVille starred in The Surreal Life on VH1. He also starred in the spin-off series The Surreal Life: Fame Games in 2007. In 2002, DeVille had a brief cameo appearance as "Lloyd", a member of the airband GFK Groovecart, on the last episode of season 6 of Just Shoot Me! (titled "The Boys In The Band").


In March 2007, DeVille and his girlfriend Shannon Malone became parents[7] with the birth of Vallon Deville Johannesson.[8]


In 2001, DeVille became the inspiration for rock & roll comic C.C. Banana.[9] 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[10] and made many TV appearances.[11]

Parody act Beatallica mentioned DeVille in the song "I want to choke your band", the theme of which pits heavy metal bands against glam metal like Warrant, Poison, and Whitesnake. The lyric goes "No mercy for C.C., 'cuz he's in a hair band".


With Poison / Bret Michaels


  1. ^ McPadden, Mike (August 6, 2015). "The 10 Most Underrated Hair Metal Guitarists Of The '80s". VH1 News. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "Poison joins Def Leppard for summer 2009 tour!". Signatures Network Inc. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  3. ^ "Top Selling Artists". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25.
  4. ^ VH1+ Music
  5. ^ "Yellow & Black Attack: The Stryper Story". www.annecarlini.com. Exclusive Magazine. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  6. ^ Phares, Heather. "Richie Kotzen Biography - Yahoo! Music". New.music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  7. ^ Dan Gross (April 19, 2007). "C.C. DeVille enjoying daddyhood". The Philadelphia Daily News. p. 47.
  8. ^ Michael Klein (April 19, 2007). "Inqlings: Knocking off the rock for guy talk". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D2.
  9. ^ "The Adventures of C.C. Banana". Metal Sludge. Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  10. ^ "Metal Sludge Invades Rock Never Stops Tour". Metal Sludge. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  11. ^ "Don Dokken, Mike Patton, Atreyu On This Week's "Talking Metal On Fuse"; Set Photos Available". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2008-10-11.

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