Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper on Undead Supergroup Hollywood Vampires
For his part, Depp acts like he’s won the classic-rock Powerball. Music was always at the center of his life. His first $600 went toward a ’56 Telecaster. The guitar was later stolen, but he played in bands long before he started acting. Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare got him through some tough times. “I approach my work as an actor in the same way I play music,” says Depp. “There is this element of chance — grabbing some moment that you didn’t really plan on. Music is the fastest way to emotion.” He puffs on what he calls a “poison stick” and admits there’s something nice about being in a band rather than being the sole focus of a project, like on a tent-pole film. Perry has to sometimes entice him to the front of the stage.
There have already been fantasy-camp moments. Depp’s friend Paul McCartney stopped by the actor’s studio, and they banged out “Come and Get It,” a 1969 song McCartney wrote for Badfinger. During the recording, Depp found himself staring at Perry with a “can you believe this shit?” look that Perry returned with a grin.
I ask them if, now that they’re older, they were doing anything to protect their health as they get ready for a series of gigs that will include a festival in Rio. Perry says he’s a closet health-food junkie. Cooper shoots me his ageless demonic grin. “Me? White Castle.”
It’s time for more rehearsal, before Depp has to go catch a flight. At one point, the Vampires launch into “My Generation.” And for a second the world’s most famous cover band makes one of the world’s most covered songs sound almost young again.