Ahead of the July 15 release of their collaborative album 18, Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp have unveiled their instrumental cover of The Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No” as well as a live music video. Depp has been palling around with Beck in Europe since the conclusion of his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard earlier this month.
Beck’s affinity for The Beach Boys stretches back to 1966’s Pet Sounds, which he says “was great support for me in horrible times. I’d left the Yardbirds and regretted it because I had nothing. I was back living with my mum and dad. I thought, right, I’m not going sit around doing nothing. So, I bought a stereo and Pet Sounds, and I was just riveted to the spot. I remember it was a great big cure from losing the Yardbirds, having Jimi Hendrix stomp all over things and losing my girlfriend. All that happened in what seemed like the same day.”
18 also features versions of The Beach Boys’ “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder),” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs,” The Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” and Davy Spillane’s “Midnight Walker.”
The album has been in the works since 2019. “When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity,” Beck says. “We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.”
“I haven’t had another creative partner like him for ages,” he adds. “He was a major force on this record. I just hope people will take him seriously as a musician because it’s a hard thing for some people to accept that Johnny Depp can sing rock and roll.”
Depp, who also plays in the classic rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires, was happy just to be in the same room with Beck. “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,” he says.