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The era of glam metal in the late 80s was rocked by excess, and among the legends of that time, the story of CC Deville, the lead guitarist of the group Poison, stands out. From band tensions to personal struggles, Deville’s journey has been a rollercoaster on and off stage.

Poison’s origin and Devil’s entry

In the mid-’80s, Poison emerged on the scene, starting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before moving to Los Angeles in 1985. After signing a club deal, the band faced a crisis when founding guitarist Matt Smith retired. Enter CC Deville, a native New Yorker who, despite the band members’ initial misgivings, has become the missing piece. The rise of Poison has begun.

Years of success and excess

Poison rose to fame with their 1986 debut album, Look What the Cat Dragged In, with hits such as “I Want Action”, “Talk Dirty to Me” and “I Won’t Forget You”. A pattern of rock success laced with excess set the stage for the tumultuous journey that awaited Deville.

Failure at the MTV Video Music Awards

In 1991, Poison, on the verge of breaking up, took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards. Deville’s unpredictable behavior became apparent during their performance of “Unskinny Bop”. He deviated from the plan, started the song too early, which led to a chaotic moment on stage. After the set, tensions boiled over, resulting in frontman Bret Michaels getting into a physical altercation with Deville, which led to his immediate dismissal from the band.

Fights behind the scenes

The clash at the MTV Awards was not the first for the members of Poison. Michaels revealed another feud during the interview, recalling an altercation with Deville at a sports bar in New Orleans. Alcohol and words escalated into a physical confrontation, giving a glimpse into the backstage chaos that marked Poison’s journey.

Legal battles: Allegations of stolen songs

In 2011, Poison faced a legal challenge as a lawsuit claimed that four of their hits, including “Talk Dirty To Me” and “I Won’t Forget You,” were stolen. Members of the Chicago band, Kid Rocker, claimed that before joining Poison, Deville auditioned for them and kept the master recordings of their songs. A court ruled in Poison’s favor in 2013, limiting damages and allowing Poison to continue performing the disputed songs.

Brushes with the Law

Deville’s troubles extended beyond the stage. In 1990, he was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky for public intoxication and criminal mischief after causing mayhem on the roof of a car. Years later, in 2005, Deville faced allegations of domestic abuse against his girlfriend, Shannon Malone. A subsequent DUI arrest resulted in an 80-day jail sentence.

Turning over a new leaf

Approaching 60, Deville, still part of Poison, is looking to put past troubles behind him. Despite the break in concerts due to the pandemic, the band, along with Motley Crüe, Def Leppard and Joan Jett, expects to return for a summer stadium tour. As Deville navigates the path of Poison’s continued success, fans are hoping for a chapter marked more by music than mayhem.

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