Johnny Depp has wrapped up playing two tribute concerts for his late friend Jeff Beck after being left “totally devastated” by the musician’s death.
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor, 59, played and sang at the gigs on Monday (22.05.23) and Tuesday nights in London’s Royal Albert Hall alongside rockers such as Sir Rod Stewart, 78, Ronnie Wood, 75, and 78-year-old Eric Clapton.
Johnny toured with Jeff – who died on 10 January aged 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis – in 2022 during his final tour and joined the whole host of stars in honouring the musician at Monday’s incredible show.
One highlight on Monday included Johnny inviting ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, 73, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, 60, on stage, with the actor singing as they strummed to a cover of John Lennon’s 1970 track ‘Isolation’.
Johnny previously played the track in a 2020 collaboration with Jeff, with whom he played during his concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2022.
Any surplus income made from the two tribute concerts this week will be donated to the Folly Wildlife Rescue based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Johnny was reported to have been grief-stricken by Jeff’s death and was by his side the day before he died, along with a group of other close rocks stars.
The tribute gigs were announced by Jeff’s widow Sandra Beck and Eric Clapton.
Former Yardbirds star Jeff had just completed a transatlantic tour with Johnny as they promoted their debut album ’18’ before his death.
A source told People: :They had a really tight friendship, they were extremely close, and he got even closer over this past summer when they were touring together.
“The sickness came on really quickly and it all deteriorated rapidly in the last couple weeks. Johnny is still processing this news. He’s devastated.”
A statement from Jeff’s agent at the time of his death said: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing.
“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Jeff, ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once with the Yardbirds in 1992 and as a solo artist in 2009.