Alice Cooper Hires Michael Jackson's Guitarist

(Gibson) Australian guitarist Orianthi Panagaris has stepped in to replace Damon Johnson as Alice Cooper's guitarist. BraveWords.com reports the news from sources who claim Johnson left the band to join Thin Lizzy, stepping into the spot left vacant by Vivian Campbell when he returned to his Def Leppard commitments.

Johnson wrote a goodbye message to his bandmates on Facebook yesterday: "I love you, Alice Cooper. And Chuck, Tommy, Steve, and Glen. And Keri, Jimmy, Eric, Ryan, and Tommy C. With all my heart." Meanwhile Orianthi confirmed the news via Twitter ("Thanks! Gonna be a blast!"), while also confirming that she'd just that day begun recording her new album.

Orianthi is known for her hit "According to You" as well as her role as Michael Jackson's last lead guitarist. Steve Vai began singing Orianthi's praises when she was 15, and Carlos Santana took her under his wing when she was 18. Oranthi and Vai recorded the track "Highly Strung" for her album Believe in 2009. more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for the Day in Rock.

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