Johnny's Guitars

Fender Guitars


(updated 4/5/17)


(Click all images to enlarge)
 
     This gallery and information section is an attempt to compile all of the guitars, basses, and other stringed instruments we've seen with Johnny Depp.  This page focuses on Fender Guitars and Basses.

For photos and info about Johnny's other guitars and miscellaneous instruments, please return to the Guitars page!

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1956 Cream Fender Telecaster

56 tele

This is one of Johnny's first main electric guitars; he has been seen playing it often from 1982 through 2008.  It has been seen with The Kids and P.

Musician Albert Elbaz (aka Al LoJack) reports that back in the day, he purchased this guitar for $1000 on 42nd St. in NYC, but because he prefers Fender Strats to Teles, he sold the guitar to Johnny for $600.  "He gave me two $300 payments. As we were both young aspiring musicians and knew Depp from the tight squeeze club where he used to play in a band called the kids. The Purchase,he came to a little room where I lived behind a house on Prairie Ave., Miami Beach, FL. Where I sold the guitar to Depp because he was a very cool dude and I never connected with the guitar. Telecasters and I don't connect... I know that 1956 fender telecaster I sold to JOHNNY Depp changed his life and in a great way. I hope one day we can reminisce and actually laughed about the fact he did not have the full dollar amount to purchase it at once."

Mention of the guitar in Vanity Fair 2004: "Depp harks back to lessons he learned when he was prowling rock-club stages with his beloved Fender Telecaster—classic ’56 model, cream-colored—on his hip... He still owns that same Telecaster"
Keith Richards also gives it a nod in a 2010 BBC Radio2 interview (listen at ~8:30) "I mean, we're talking like, '56 Fenders, here."

In a 2015 Twitter Periscope interview, when asked, "Is there any one guitar in particular that you’re fondest of, Johnny?" Johnny mentioned two guitars.  The first was the Duesenberg Artist Series Signature guitar that was custom made with Johnny's input.  As for the second, Johnny said, "But the, God, the one that’s I think most important to me is the guitar that I scraped and fell for when I was about 17, and it’s a ’56 Tele.  And it’s yeah, it’s still my best friend."
 
kids 1982   kids 1982   kids 1983   kids 1983   kids undated   kids undated   kids undated

summersong   jump st 0   jump st 3   jump st 4a   jump st. 7

P vienna 1   P vienna 2   Witkin concert 2007   kids aug 29   kids aug 30

fender case   fender case crop   herborn 2016

(row 1: The Kids, left to right:  1982, circa 1982, 1983, 1983, undated, undated (possibly 1981), undated)
(row 2:  21 Jump Street: black & white - Season 2 finale, others - "High High" episode from Season 3)
(row 3:  left to right:  P - 12/12/97, P - 12/15/97, The Kids - 1/28/07, The Kids - 8/29/08, The Kids - 8/30/08)
(row 4:  left and middle: a photo caption from 12/8/09 upon Johnny's arrival in Japan states:  "Airport staff carries vintage Fender guitar case owned by Actor Johnny Depp as he arrives at Narita International Airport."  An enlargement of the case's tag says "guitar 090."  A Japan Today article covering Johnny's visit says, "He likes to bring his 1956 Fender Telecaster electric guitar with him to Japan," so it is plausible that the case belongs to this guitar.  The article also states, "In between movies, Depp enjoys playing the many vintage guitars in his collection." right: this is possibly the 1956 tele on the far right in this photo backstage in Herborn, Germany, 5/29/16)



Butterscotch/Natural Fender Telecaster

1972 tele

Johnny used this guitar to perform on Mother with Ryan Adams at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on September 18, 2014.  It resembles this 1972 American Vintage Telecaster.  Ryan Adams appears to be playing the same guitar in July of 2014 at the Newport Folk Festival, so perhaps this is Ryan's guitar that Johnny borrowed for the show.

RA show 1 1   ryan adams A   RA show 1 2



New White/Blonde Fender Telecaster

fender tele black pick
A guitar similar to the one above, but with a white or blonde finish (probably the latter) was Johnny's choice for his April 4, 2017 performance with Patti Smith at Teragram Ballroom in LA.

2017 patti 762   2017 patti 863



Blonde Fender Telecaster

tele crop

This one has a white pickguard.  Johnny was seen playing this guitar on May 7, 2012 at the Dark Shadows Premiere afterparty.  He again used it at the January 26, 2014 Imperial 8 Ball in Anaheim, CA.

tele white 1   tele white 2   tele head   imperial 1   imperial 2
 
(Photos 1 through 3: May 7, 2012 Dark Shadows afterparty;   Photos 4 and 5: January 25, 2014 Imperial 8 Ball)



Fender Telecaster Custom

vanessa show

Johnny joined Vanessa Paradis in concert on March 25, 2001 in Paris, playing this guitar on the song Fais pas ci, fais pas ša. The existing photos from this show had to be magnified considerably to see any detail of the guitar.  Fortunately, one of the photos magnified passably.  The guitar has a sunburst finish, a white binding and a white pickguard, typical of a Telecaster Custom.  The "B" in the tailpiece is a country code sticker denoting Belgium.
 
JD van 1   JDvan crop   JD van 2   JD van 3
 


Fender Telecaster

vancouver

Johnny played this guitar at a benefit concert in Vancouver in late 1988 or early 1989.  The concert featured Debbie Harry, Sal Jenco, Richard Grieco and Jim Ryan.  Although the photo is very grainy, this appears to be a Fender Telecaster, with possibly a woodtone body and white pickguard.

vancouver benefit   vancouver crop



1967 Fiesta Red Fender Telecaster (unpictured)

Johnny is said to have purchased this guitar in the late 90's, at Centrale Guitars in Paris.  A few years later, he is thought to have given it to Vanessa Paradis as a gift.  Thanks to Claude for the information!  Any photos of Vanessa (or Johnny) with this guitar would be appreciated!

The guitar may resemble this 1966 Fiesta Red Telecaster.



Fender Stratocaster

feingold shoot

Used for the 1987 Deborah Feingold photoshoot.
Something like this?

feingold 1   feingold 13   feingold D8



Fender Sunburst Stratocaster

partibrejkers

Are these all the same guitar?  If so, he has played it with The Kids, The Big Bang, and The Partibrejkers, and may have used it to record his guitar solo for Babybird's Unloveable.

kids 1981   1981-0   big bang 1987

partibrejkers 1992   partibrejkers-headstock   babybird bts   babybird bts 2

(row 1: photo 1: The Kids - 1981, photo 2: The Kids - 1981, photo 3: The Big Bang - 1987)
(row 2:
photos 1 and 2: The Partibrejkers - 1992, photos 3 and 4: Unison Studios - 2009)



Red Fender Stratocaster

ITGWO21

Here is a red one from the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Into The Great Wide Open video in 1991

great wide open   ITGWO20   RDAD-1600



Blonde Fender Stratocaster

white man sings

...and a blonde one with a white pickguard from the Austin Music Awards wth P, SXSW, 3/17/93

peoplewhodied   and a blonde one   white man 18



Another Blonde Fender Stratocaster

letterman

...and another guitar with a different neck from the one above, that Johnny played on David Letterman, 2/21/13.  Johnny was also seen with this guitar at his home studio in late 2015, in a photograph taken by Ross Halfin.

letterman 6   letterman rehearsal   halfin 416



Black Fender Stratocaster

TOTP43

... and a black one from Top Of The Pops with Shane MacGowan, 9/28/94

TOTP 19   top of the pops   TOTP 44



Another Black Fender Stratocaster

keef guitar

This is the guitar Johnny played on stage with Keith Richards and the JD band at the Hiro Ballroom in 2011.  He again chose this guitar to perform Kim with Ryan Adams in 2014. This one has a tortoise pickguard.
Similar Deluxe Super Strat and a close-up seen on The Gear Page.

keef guitar 1   kr crop2   keef group   keef 3   ryan adams 2   ryan adams 3

(photos 1 through 4: October 25, 2011 with Keith Richards; photos 5 and 6: September 18, 2014 with Ryan Adams)
 



Basses


Fender Bass VI


fender bass VI

This is a 6 string bass tuned one octave lower than a guitar.  Johnny played this instrument during Hunter S. Thompson's cannon blast ceremony in 2005.


HST mem 2   HST mem 6   HST mem 4



Fender Precision Bass

Austin bass

This bass guitar was played at the Austin Music Awards at SXSW, March 17, 1993.  It resembles an (aptly named) Vintage 1978 Precision P Bass Guitar shown at bassexchange.com.

Precision Bass on Wikipedia

Johnny B Goode   austin bass bw   mumble 11   mumble 13   P bass headstock
 


Fender Precision Bass

itaru hirama bass

This bass guitar was seen in a 1995 Itaru Hirama photoshoot.  This one does not have the black pickguard.
 


For photos and info about Johnny's other guitars and miscellaneous instruments, please return to the Guitars page!

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