Johnny Depp has been brought together with classic rock musicians Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, and the three legends have formed Hollywood Vampires, a rock band with enough star power to draw the interests of other musicians, even with their first, self-titled debut album. For those curious enough to buy Hollywood Vampires, they will find an album filled with guest appearances from some of rock music’s heaviest hitters. To name a few, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Slash, Joe Walsh, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger all add to the impressive list of musicians on Hollywood Vampires.
Johnny Depp isn’t the only prominent actor-turned-musician to be featured on the Hollywood Vampires album. One of the greatest vampires to ever grace the silver screen added his voice to Hollywood Vampires as well. The late Christopher Lee also worked on the project, making this one of Christopher’s last contributions. “The Last Vampire” prominently features Mr. Lee’s narration, which he recorded shortly before he passed.
While the Hollywood Vampires album consists primarily of cover songs of some of rocks greatest hits from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Harry Nilsson, Led Zeppelin, and The Who, the album does consist of some original songs as well.
Johnny Depp co-wrote “Raise the Dead” and “Dead Drunk Friends” with Alice Cooper and producer Bob Ezrin.
The group, led by Alice Cooper, named the band after a club on Sunset Strip that Cooper frequented over the years. Alice explains that the club had an unusual method of gaining new members.
“To join the club, one simply had to out-drink all of the members,” Cooper said. “I would walk in on a typical night and John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon — who would usually be in a costume like a maid or a chauffeur — Bernie Taupin, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz would be there.”
The current version of the Hollywood Vampires is alcohol free, but that hasn’t kept notables like Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell, Zak Starkey, and Kip Winger from dropping by to participate in the creation of the album.
The Hollywood Vampires album is currently available for preorder on iTunes.
The clothing designer John Varvatos created the packaging, which was made to resemble the cover and binding of an antique book, while one of the original Hollywood Vampires, Taupin, penned an inscription in the liner notes.
“I’m not completely sure what constituted bad behavior back then, but in this lair it existed in a bubble, a hermetically sealed dome of fun,” Taupin wrote. “It may not have been the round table at the Algonquin, but these were witty, intelligent guys who often got raucous and loud, but rest assured there were no bystanders or animals hurt in the making of the Hollywood Vampires.”
“[Johnny was] a really good little guitarist,” Cooper said. “We sort of look at him as being our auxiliary guitar player.”
[Featured image: Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS]