After jamming on stage earlier this week, Johnny Depp and guitar legend Jeff Beck confirmed that they are dropping a joint album. The 13-track collection, 18, is slated for release on July 15 and in addition to two new Depp originals (“Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade,” “This Is a Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr”), the collection will feature an eclectic selection of covers of songs by Killing Joke, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, the Velvet Underground, the Everly Brothers and Janis Ian.
The duo released a live video for the “Space Oddity”-esque “Hedy Lamarr” on Thursday (June 9), on which Depp sings, “I don’t believe, I can’t believe, I won’t believe humans anymore.” According to a release announcing the project, Beck found a “kindred spirit” in embattled actor Depp when the pair first met in 2016 and bonded over “cars and guitars and spent most of their time together trying to make each other laugh.”
Beck was convinced they should make music together, so they began recording in 2019 and over the next three years they pulled together their eclectic clutch of covers as well as their first single together, an early 2020 pandemic lockdown cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.”
“When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity. We would joke about how we felt 18 again so that just became the album title too,” Beck said in a statement about the album whose cover features an illustration of the men as 18-year-olds drawn by Beck’s wife, Sandra. “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother,” said Depp.
The album announcement comes just days after a jury awarded Depp more than $10 million in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard in a widely watched trial. “I met this guy five years ago and we’ve never stopped laughing since. We actually made an album. I don’t know how it happened. It will be out in July,” Beck told a crowd at the Sage Gateshead in Gateshead, England during a show last Thursday in which Depp joined him on stage for a run of songs that included covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”
Depp surprised fans earlier this week at Beck’s Sunday night show in Sheffield, England when he jumped on stage to perform “Isolation” and the other clutch of covers, then did it again on Monday and Tuesday during Beck’s gigs at Royal Albert Hall in London. Before becoming a blockbuster movie icon, Depp harbored dreams of rock stardom and over the years he has collaborate with everyone from Iggy Pop to Marilyn Manson and the supergroup Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
See the full 18 track listing and listen to the video for “Hedy Lamarr” below: