Born Bruce Anthony Johannesson on May 14, 1962, C. C. Deville shot to mainstream popularity when he auditioned for the chart-topping American rock band Poison as the lead guitarist in the 1980s. In this capacity, he even bested the fame of the Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash. The Brooklyn-born musician began playing the guitar at the tender of age of five, with the Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan Show piquing his interest. Later on, he would acquire musical influences which would shape his taste and style as a musician himself. These include Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, and, more notably, KISS. He did have some formal training in music, studying music theory at New York University, but dropping out and moving to Los Angeles in 1981 to play in several bands before auditioning for Poison. Other than being the guitarist, Deville likewise wrote or co-wrote most of Poison's hits, including “Talk Dirty to Me,” which single-handedly catapulted Poison into popular success, with over two million copies sold.
In 2006, Deville was cast in the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life season 6. The show features celebrities who are said to have been past their primes and puts them in a Hollywood Hills mansion for two weeks, all while being followed by an unforgiving camera that aimed to capture their every move. VH1 tried to fuel excitement for the series by advertising Deville's “fresh out of rehab” status before entering the mansion. Moreover, he is described as the “wildest rock and roll axeman ever,” creating anticipation for the crazy antics that he'd pull inside the mansion. In season 6, the cast was made to shoot a music video, produce and broadcast a live news program, host their own talk show, and participate in a battle of the bands competition. He also appeared in a The Surreal Life spin-off The Surreal Life: Fame Games, which puts together ten alumni of the show's six prior seasons.
(Photo courtesy of VH1)