American actor Johnny Depp impressed his fans over the weekend when he did an impromptu gig with English musician Jeff Beck during the latter’s ongoing tour in England.
On May 29, several social media users uploaded videos of the actor online, who rocked the stage with a guitar. According to sources, the duo sang their 2020 duet Isolation, a reworking of John Lennon’s 1970 classic.
Several Johnny Depp fans are aware that before acting, the star aspired to be a musician. He even testified on the bench about his early musical ambitions, noting that he wasn’t experiencing as much success as he desired, prompting him to switch to acting.
Depp has been a passionate guitarist since he was 12-years-old, when his mother gave him his first instrument. In an interview with People Magazine in 1994, the star revealed that he used music to distract himself from problems, stating that he “locked” himself in a room and played guitar.
When Depp initially arrived in Los Angeles, he was exclusively focused on his music career, until his good friend Nicolas Cage persuaded him to pursue acting. However, he is still a part of the band named Hollywood Vampires, which he formed in 2015 with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.
Johnny Depp’s passion for guitar has been praised by many. His bandmate and friend Alice Cooper revealed that more than an actor, he sees Depp as a “guitar player” and defended him for “trying to be a rock star.” While speaking on the Mistress Carrie podcast, he said:
“He just did an album with Jeff Beck! He’s a much better rock star, and it’s in him, he was a guitar player way before he was an actor. So when he steps on stage with Joe Perry, he can trade leads with Joe, and Joe says, ‘Yeah, he’s good.’ And I can totally trust Johnny to take any lead up there.”
Jeff Beck, a British guitar hero, rose to prominence in the 1960s with the Yardbirds and has collaborated with David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, and ZZ Top. He has six Grammys and has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice.
But being a good actor, as in Depp’s case, has also drawn a lot of criticism towards the star, who is constantly doubted for his skills as a guitarist. Speaking to New York radio station Q105.7, Cooper has defended his bandmate, Depp, stating that he is “as good a guitar player as anybody,” who records his gig with Jeff Beck.
“If you’re playing with Jeff Beck, the greatest guitar player of all time, that does say something about your guitar playing.”
Moreover, over the course of years, Johnny Depp has also played in studio recordings with Marilyn Manson and Aerosmith.
It is not just his bandmates but other legendary musicians too who have recognized his talent.
Blue Oyster Cult vocalist Eric Bloom revealed in an interview with Radio Forrest that he was amazed to see how good Depp was on guitar.
“I did that gig with them (Hollywood Vampires) in late 2018, on Christmas – with Alice, and yeah, it’s surprising, I had no idea that he’s ( Depp) a pretty good guitar player.”
Moreover, he added that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor is also very “pleasant” and “approachable” compared to other Hollywood stars.
At MTV Movie Awards in 2012, where Johnny performed alongside The Black Keys, Joe Perry praised his bandmate Depp, calling him a “gutsy musician and a gutsy artist with passion.”
Black Keys singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach also said:
He’s legitimately great on guitar.”
On the personal front, Johnny Depp is embroiled in a defamation trial with ex-wife Amber Heard. It began on April 11 in Fairfax, Virginia.
Johnny Depp alleges she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse.
Despite Depp not being named in the story, his legal team believes it has a “clear implication” that he is a domestic abuser, which they argue is inaccurate.
Depp is seeking “at least $50 million” in damages. Amber Heard has sued Johnny Depp for $100 million, claiming immunity from his allegations.