Johnny Depp, Guitarist, Surprises Crowd at Tom Petty Tribute Show
This story first appeared in the Nov. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The crowd at the El Rey Theatre on Nov. 14 was expecting musicians to drop in to jam at Petty Fest, a charity event for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund where celebs covered Tom Petty’s greatest hits.
Members of The Strokes, The Black Keys and Kings of Leon all rocked out, but nobody expected Johnny Depp -- a friend of Petty -- to show up and play guitar on “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” with Ke$ha on vocals.
And Depp even hung out afterward. “He was looking pretty cool,” says Nick Valensi of The Strokes. “He’s the closest thing to Keith Richards that you’re going to get.”
The low point? When The Hangover and The New Normal star Justin Bartha sang “Into the Great Wide Open” off-key, then read the words out of a lyrics book.