Johnny Depp performs with guitar legend Jeff Beck in surprise appearance

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has been embroiled in a high-profile defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard

Johnny Depp was at Sheffield City Hall for a performance with Jeff Beck on Sunday, as the jury deliberate in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard. AFP
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Two days after lawyers delivered closing arguments in his libel case trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp travelled to England for a surprise performance with guitar legend Jeff Beck.

The actor appeared on stage with his guitar during the concert, which took place at Sheffield City Hall on Sunday, performing a cover of John Lennon’s Isolation alongside Beck. They also performed remakes of the Jimi Hendrix classic Little Wing and the Marvin Gaye song What’s Going On.

It didn’t take long for footage of the performance to take the internet by storm.

“Wasn't expecting this,” one Instagrammer wrote. “I thought he was in court but turns out he's in Sheffield with Jeff Beck.”

“Johnny Depp’s now back doing what he loves the most!” a Twitter user wrote. “Few days after end of the trial, he’s on stage with Jeff Beck singing Isolation.”

Depp’s musical history goes back to before his days as an actor.

As a teenager, he dropped out of high school in Florida to pursue a career in music. His band, the Kids, enjoyed local success and opened for established acts including the Ramones, Iggy Pop and Talking Heads.

The band then moved to Los Angeles, hoping for wider recognition, but soon split. Depp turned to acting, on the behest of his friend Nicolas Cage, making his debut in the 1984 horror A Nightmare on Elm Street.

But even after becoming Hollywood’s rising star, appearing in acclaimed projects such as the 1986 Oliver Stone film Platoon and the 1990 Tim Burton fantasy Edward Scissorhands, Depp wasn’t ready to turn down music.

He first joined glam rockers Rock City Angels in the mid-1980s, and was credited among the writers of their song Mary from their first album Young Man’s Blues. He then went on to form the band P. They broke up after releasing a self-titled album in 1995 on Capitol Records.

Depp has since then collaborated with a number of musicians. He played guitar on two Oasis tracks — Fade Away and Fade In-Out. He has performed with Iggy Pop, his former romantic partner Vanessa Paradis and Aerosmith. He has also been featured on the soundtracks for his films, including Chocolat, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and The Rum Diary.

Scroll through the gallery to see photos from closing arguments in the Depp v Heard trial.

Updated: May 30, 2022, 9:14 AM