A&R Director: “Johnny Depp was the worst guitarist I’ve ever seen” – Guitar.com

A&R Director: “Johnny Depp was the worst guitarist I’ve ever seen” – Guitar.com

In addition to his acting career, Johnny Depp has made numerous forays into the world of rock’n’roll, notably within the supergroup Hollywood Vampires where he shared the stage with Alice Cooper. However, according to a famous A&R rep, he wasn’t very good with a guitar at first – in fact, he has now said that Depp was “the worst guitar player I’ve ever seen.”

The A&R rep in question was Tom Zutaut, responsible for signing Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses, who recounts the experience of seeing Depp play with a band before his career took off. Although his guitar skills may have been lacking, Zutaut believed he had star quality.

“I thought Johnny Depp wasn’t going to be a rock star… You know, Johnny Depp auditioned for me twice,” he tells Podcast x5 [transcribed by Ultimate Guitar]. It’s a funny story. I go to a rehearsal, the manager is a friend of mine, and he says, “I have this band from Jacksonville, they’re awesome.” I went to see them and they were horrible. Johnny Depp was the worst guitarist I’ve ever seen – but his charisma was crazy, you know?

“Then I looked at his manager and said, ‘Look, buddy, he can’t come, but you should get this kid an agent and put him on TV or in a movie; this kid is a star. But the songs suck and the musicianship is terrible.

A few months later, Zutaut learned that “every label in the world” had rejected the group but that Depp had signed with an agent who landed him a role in 21, rue Jump.

Ten years later, Zutaut finally heard Depp playing guitar again. “Johnny Depp reappears in my life, 10 years later. He’s like the greatest actor in the world,” he recalls. “And I get a phone call. Someone says, “Hey, there’s this band that plays [Hollywood nightclub] Coconut teaszer tonight. They are awesome. They’re from Jacksonville and they have a famous guitar player, but I’m not going to tell you who it is. Just come.’

“So I go there and I see Johnny Depp on stage, and the band is Rock City Angels…And he wasn’t the best, but he does it. He finally learned to play, I guess. When you’re born on set, you can learn to play guitar when they’re filming other people’s scenes. »

Rock City Angels was a band that Zutaut had previously signed, and which he said earlier in the interview was the only band he had signed that had not become a major success.


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