Famed actor Johnny Depp has been known to play a little rock on occasion and now he’s doing it with some of the greatest names in the music business with his resurrection of the Hollywood Vampires, a supergroup he helped form to honor the original group of the same name. One of his projects at present is recording a new album with his bandmates Alice Cooper and Joe Perry (yes, of Aerosmith). Along with a who’s who of rockers they’ve already pulled in to contribute to their album, Depp and company now have added the inestimable Sir Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
Entertainment Tonight reported August 8 that Johnny Depp, who has often stated that he wouldn’t make music a second career because he abhors the idea of people coming to see him perform only because they like his movies, seems to have changed his mind a bit. Brock Wilbur, writing for ETOnline, noted that his past protestations notwithstanding, Depp certainly looks “very much like he’s taking on the role of a rockstar.”
Or maybe it is that Johnny Depp feels that if, surrounded by other rock stars (or should they be labeled “rock gods”?), those that would come out would not just be coming to see him because of his movies but to actually see the band, loaded with all-star rock talent as it is. Who knows? One thing is certain: The band has pulled in an A-list of rock performers.
Besides the new additions Paul McCarney and Dave Grohl, the new Hollywood Vampires have roped in Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Kip Winger (Winger) and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. The rockers add their talents to the new album that will be available on iTunes (and can be pre-ordered now, although Wilbur snarkily writes: “Just promise you won’t buy it simply because you like ‘Edward Scissorhands’.”).
The original Hollywood Vampires, according to Blabbermouth, was a group of rockers that formed a club in the 1970s where the price of membership was the out-drinking of the other members of the club. That bunch of rockers was also led by Alice Cooper. The members included John Lennon, Bernie Taupin (of Elton John fame), Mickey Dolenz (of The Monkees), Harry Nilsson, Jim Morrison, and The Who’s legendary drummer Keith Moon. Depp, Cooper, and Perry brought the club back, sans all the drinking, three years ago to pay tribute to the original bunch of guys. (In fact, Bernie Taupin has contributed as well to the new offering. He’ll be found as author of the liner notes.)
The album, when it arrives, will mostly be comprised of cover songs of The Doors, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper. Johnny Depp has added a few original compositions as well. There is reportedly a spoken word segment narrated by the recently deceased Christopher Lee. One can only hope Lee’s famed voice will be part of a revamping of The Doors’ “The End.” (Although listings at the iTunes pre-order doesn’t list “The End,” one can hope it is included on a bonus edition. Blabbermouth wrote that Lee’s voiceover would, however, be on the first track on the album, “The Last Vampire.”)
Proceeds from the album’s sales will be donated to charity. It’s scheduled release date is September 11, 2015.