This Hollywood Vampire article was written by Al Hall, a GIGsoup contributor
Normally the announcement that an A-list actor is planning to ‘give music a go’ is greeted with sighs and head-shaking, and the whole thing is usually over and forgotten about within a matter of months. When Johnny Depp announces that he is teaming up with rock giants Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, however, things are slightly different.
This new hardrock/Hollywood supergroup go by the name of The Hollywood Vampires, and they are a proposition that will make any classic rock fan go slightly weak at the knees. The band takes its name from a 1970’s drinking club consisting of male rock stars, of which Cooper was the president. In one interview, back in the day, the members were listed as including Cooper, Bernie Taupin, Harry Nilsson, Micky Dolenz, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Keith Moon, with the terms of entry requiring would-be members to out-drink those already inducted.
The modern musical incarnation boasts an equally impressive roll-call. The core of the band consists of the aforementioned trio, with Cooper explaining that the idea behind the musical project was to “celebrate all of our dead drunk friends”, and this celebration has taken the form of an album of classic rock covers performed by a veritable who’s-who of rock royalty. Amongst the names appearing on the album are Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Brian Johnson, Slash and Joe Walsh, performing a variety of timeless songs from ‘My Generation’ to ‘Whole Lotta Love’ to ‘Manic Depression’.
The Hollywood Vampires have also played a limited number of live shows in Los Angeles and at the famous Rock In Rio festival. At these dates Cooper, Depp and Perry were accompanied on stage by by the Guns ‘N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver rhythm section of Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums), Cooper’s guitarist Tommy Henriksen and Bruce Witkin on keyboard and guitar.
Whilst there are currently no further dates confirmed for the Hollywood Vampires, the album is definitely worth buying, and with such a fluid membership, it is hard to imagine that they will not return to the stage in one form or another in the years to come.