One of Hollywood’s biggest stars has collaborated with one of rock’s most renowned guitarists to cover one of John Lennon’s most enduring songs.
Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck just dropped a wailing rendition of “Isolation,” a track off the Beatle’s debut solo effort “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.” The cover serves as the duo’s first single and was released early in the hope it would provide comfort during the coronavirus pandemic.
Depp, famous for starring in everything from “The Pirates of Caribbean” franchise to Tim Burton classics like “Ed Wood” and “Edward Scissorhands,” serves as the lead vocalist on the bluesy take. Beck—a world-class axe man known both for fronting the Jeff Beck Group and his many collaborations with legends like Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, ZZ Top, and Cyndi Lauper—delivers the kind of scorching guitar work his fans have come to expect. The track also features longtime Beck collaborators Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Rhonda Smith on bass.
Beck and Depp have performed together live multiple times in the past, making their stage debut at Eric Clapton’s 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Texas. “Isolation” has reportedly been part of their set list on more than one occasion.
“Jeff Beck and I recorded this song ‘Isolation’ last year, as our take on a beautiful John Lennon tune,” Depp explained in a statement. “Lennon’s poetry — ‘We’re afraid of everyone. Afraid of the Sun!’ — seemed to Jeff and me especially profound right now, this song about isolation, fear, and existential risks to our world. So we wanted to give it to you, and hope it helps you make sense of the moment or just helps you pass the time as we endure isolation together.”
“We weren’t expecting to release it so soon, but given all the hard days and true ‘isolation’ that people are going through in these challenging times, we decided now might be the right time to let you all hear it. You’ll be hearing more from Johnny and me in a little while, but until then we hope you find some comfort and solidarity in our take on this Lennon classic,” Beck added.
When Sir Paul McCartney joined the Stern Show on Tuesday, the Beatles great didn’t shy away from talking about Lennon, his sometimes pointed solo work, and their occasionally rocky relationship. “He’s a crazy dude,” McCartney told Howard. “John is a crazy dude—you know, the most lovable crazy dude you ever met—but he’d just say what he felt, whatever he wanted, and a lot of it wasn’t true.” Check out more of their conversation (below).