Updated 1956 Cream Fender Telecaster
is one of Johnny's first main electric guitars; he has been seen playing it
from 1982 through 2018. 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
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."
(row 1: The Kids, left to
right: 1982, circa 1982, 1983, 1983, undated, undated (possibly 1981),
(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; 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
4: left to right: this is possibly the 1956 tele on the far right
in this photo backstage in Herborn, Germany, 5/29/16; Shane MacGowan
60th Birthday Celebration in Dublin, 1/15/18; with Joe Perry and
Friends at the Roxy in W. Hollywood, 1/16/18; Turning Stone Resort in
Verona NY, 5/24/18 (first night of the 2018 Hollywood Vampires tour-
Johnny played this guitar nightly on the tour)
Butterscotch/Natural Fender Telecaster
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.
White/Blonde Fender Telecaster
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.
Blonde Fender Telecaster
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.
Fender Telecaster Custom
joined Vanessa Paradis in concert on March 25, 2001 in Paris, playing
guitar on the song Fais
pas ci, fais pas ša. The existing photos from this show had
be magnified considerably to see any detail of the guitar.
Fortunately, one of the photos magnified passably.
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
played this guitar at a benefit concert in Vancouver in late 1988 or
early 1989. The concert featured Debbie Harry, Sal Jenco,
Grieco and Jim Ryan. Although the photo is very grainy, this
appears to be a Fender Telecaster, with possibly a woodtone body and
Fiesta Red Fender Telecaster (unpictured)
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
it to Vanessa Paradis as a gift. Thanks to Claude for the
information! Any photos of Vanessa (or Johnny) with this
would be appreciated!
The guitar may resemble this 1966
Fiesta Red Telecaster.
these all the same guitar? If so, he has played it with The
The Big Bang, and The Partibrejkers, and may have used it to record his
guitar solo for Babybird's Unloveable.
(row 1: photo 1: The Kids - 1981, photo 2: The Kids - 1981, photo 3: The Big Bang -
(row 2: photos 1 and 2: The Partibrejkers - 1992, photos 3 and 4: Unison Studios - 2009)
Red Fender Stratocaster
Here is a red one from the Tom
Petty and the Heartbreakers' Into The Great Wide Open video in 1991
...and a blonde one with a
white pickguard from
the Austin Music Awards wth P, SXSW, 3/17/93
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.
Black Fender Stratocaster
... and a black one from Top Of The
Pops with Shane MacGowan, 9/28/94
Black Fender Stratocaster
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
Deluxe Super Strat and a close-up
seen on The