Johnny has described music as his first love and claims he is, first and foremost, a musician. He credits his uncle, a preacher who played guitar, for his introduction to music. However, Johnny’s self-proclaimed obsession with music began at the age of twelve when his mother bought him a Decca electric guitar for twenty-five dollars. He spent the following year locked in his bedroom with a Mel Bay chord book learning to play.
After several years playing with various garage bands, Johnny joined The Kids. The rock band enjoyed success in South Florida and opened for well-known artists. After The Kids split up, Johnny became involved with the Rock City Angels, and then P. He occasionally plays with various other popular bands and musicians.
Johnny’s interest in music is not limited to playing guitar. He has produced and directed both video and audio performances, composed music, owned The Viper Room, a popular club that featured live bands and most recently, wowed audiences when he brought a rock quality to the film version of Stephen Sondheim’sSweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
As a guitar player, Depp has recorded a solo album, played slide guitar on the Oasis song “Fade In-Out” (from Be Here Now, 1997), as well as on “Fade Away (Warchild Version)” (b-side of the “Don’t Go Away” single). He also played acoustic guitar in the movie Chocolat and on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He is a friend of The Pogues‘ Shane MacGowan, and performed on MacGowan’s first solo album. He was also a member of P, a group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassistFlea. He has appeared in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers‘ music video “Into the Great Wide Open“.