A&E’s ‘Biography’ Salutes Exhausting Rock Legends


Taylor Hanson on Social Media's 'Beautiful,' 'Toxic' Power of Instant Opinions
Taylor Hanson on Social Media’s ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Toxic’ Power of Instant Opinions

A&E’s beloved Biography series is turning its attention to some of the most notable names in hard rock with a series of specials beginning June 16. Produced by Banger Films in association with A+E Factual Studios group, the shows will spotlight Poison’s Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar and former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach.

All of the artists sat for new interviews for the series, while also providing photos and videos from their personal archives. The show also features performance footage and interviews with band and family members, journalists and music industry insiders. Click here for the series trailer, which promises “big hair” and even “bigger stories.”

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The first two-hour episode will feature Michaels, who explores the highs and lows of Poison’s career, his own near-death experiences and his later career pivot to hit reality shows such as Rock of Love With Bret Micheals and Celebrity Apprentice. Michaels will be on tour with his solo band throughout the summer and then into December.

Twisted Sister’s Snider is the subject of the June 23 episode, detailing his transition from high school-era choir boy to hard rock bad boy. Snider also discusses the inspiration for Twisted Sister’s immortal “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as well as his struggles with fame and success.

Cooper’s episode also premieres June 23 and will offer a chronicle of his emergence from the 1960s Detroit rock scene to the vanguard of stage presentation and theatricality while leading the Alice Cooper Group. Ever heard the infamous story involving Cooper and a chicken? If not, you’ll want to tune in for all the glorious and gory details.

Episodes featuring Hagar and Bach both premiere June 30. Hagar goes deep into the internal politics of Van Halen, whom he helped achieve their first No. 1 hit single, as well as his enduring solo career, the inspiration behind his 1984 smash “I Can’t Drive 55” and his lucrative business ventures. In his special, Bach traces his upbringing in a small Canadian town to playing sold-out arenas with ‘80s favorites Skid Row, and discusses embarking on a successful solo career after leaving his primary band in 1996.

Alice Cooper (Photo Credit: Spencer Ostrander)

“At Banger, we’ve been producing films and series on rock and metal musicians for 20+ years,” co-director/Banger Films executive producer Sam Dunn tells SPIN. “But what makes these A&E Rock Legend Biography films stand apart can be summarized in one word: intimacy. They provide a much deeper, more personal look at the triumphs and struggles of these artists. From Sammy Hagar opening up about his relationship with Eddie Van Halen, to Bret Michaels revealing the moment he found Poison guitarist CC Deville on the brink of overdose, to Sebastian Bach digging through his man-cave to discover never-before-seen Skid Row memorabilia, I’m proud that we found new ways to tell the stories of these legendary musicians and bring viewers closer to them than ever before.” 

The new episodes were co-directed by Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, with Dunn and Scot McFadyen serving as executive producers for Banger Films (Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, ZZ top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas). Additional executive producers include Rick Krim, Stephen Mintz, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson.

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.