Johnny Depp is expected in Montreux for a concert with Jeff Beck

The noisy world star, the American actor Johnny Depp, is expected on Friday evening in the Stravinski Auditorium of the Montreux Jazz Festival. He, who is also a singer and guitarist, will share the stage with Brit Jeff Beck, whose special guest he is.

Johnny Depp has just emerged from a bitter and high-profile six-week trial with his ex-girlfriend Amber Heard in the United States. Their life as a couple has been scrutinized from top to bottom, with its share of indiscreet and sometimes shabby details. The US actress accused the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star of domestic and sexual violence and lost the defamation lawsuit against her ex-husband.

“The jury brought me back to life,” Johnny Depp said after the Washington-area court’s verdict awarded him $15 million in damages. However, the jury also found that the actor had slandered his ex-wife and awarded her $2 million in monetary compensation.

Life goes on, in music

And life has moved on well for Johnny Depp. At 59, with his film career taking a hit and his return to Hollywood on hold for the moment, the star seems delighted to swap his actor’s attire for that of a singer.

For a few weeks now, the American has been giving concerts from Great Britain to France via Switzerland. Legendary sixties English guitarist Jeff Beck, 77, has indeed chosen him as a “special guest” for his current European tour. It is therefore a concert event between music and people that is on the program on the penultimate evening of the Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF).

Recently asked about the subject, MJF boss Mathieu Jaton simply replied that Montreux “already had big stars, whether Prince or Stevie Wonder: we know the management of the fans”.


Questioned by Keystone-ATS, the Vaud police said that they were “attentive” to this concert, but without providing any particular security device, in any case the MJF’s private responsibility.

For its part, the collective Grève féministe Vaud was outraged by the announcement of the controversial star’s arrival on the shores of Lake Geneva. He had condemned her on social networks.

“It is opportunist, sexist and anti-feminist to invite Johnny Depp almost a day after the court hearing. There has been a breach of trust in the MJF. We also deplore a public opinion backlash against domestic violence,” he wrote. When asked, the Vaud section of the collective is not planning a demonstration on Friday evening.

Album and concert on the same day

Back to the music. The Beck-Depp duo, who are set to play to a packed house on Friday, have known each other well since they met in 2016 and bonded over “cars and guitars.” They had previously collaborated on an electric cover of John Lennon’s track “Isolation” in 2020. A collaboration and an agreement that is now taking the form of a studio album, released on the same day of their concert on the Riviera.

The 13-track CD entitled “18” consists mostly of covers by the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye or Velvet Underground. It will also feature two songs written by Johnny Depp: “This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr” and “Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade”.

“When Johnny and I started playing together, it really sparked our youthful spirit and creativity,” Jeff Beck said recently. “We joked about how we felt like we were 18 again, so that became the title of the album,” he explained.

Two reunions

This isn’t the first time Johnny Depp has played in Montreux. He appeared in the 2018 edition of Hollywood Vampires alongside Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Tommy Henriksen. The actor is also planning a musical tour with this formation in 2023, with which he has been recording and touring for more than a decade.

As for Jeff Beck, his return to the shores of Lake Geneva was awaited for thirteen years. The Brit, former member of the Yardbirds, was named one of the top five guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. As a staffer to the greatest – Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Kate Bush, etc. – he was twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


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