Johnny's Guitars 
 
Various Makes
(guitars and other stringed instruments)


(updated 12/6/16)


(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 Decca, Gretsch, Echopark, Schoen, Teye, Zemaitis, RKS, Ibanez, Baxendale, Weymann, Kif, and Stella guitars.

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

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Electric Guitars
 
 
Johnny's First Guitar: 1960's/70's Decca Guitar

"When I was twelve, I talked my mom into picking up a Decca electric guitar for me for twenty-five dollars. It had a little blue plush amp."
        - Johnny Depp, Rolling Stone January 24, 2008

It might've looked something like this:
ca. 1965 Decca
or perhaps like one of these:
1967 Decca ad
And the Plush amp might be something like this:
1970 Plush Amp
  


Gretsch Jet Firebird Guitar

iggy 2

Johnny played this guitar at an Iggy Pop concert in Paris on 12/12/99.  The show was broadcast.  As per Mike E., the guitar has 2 Super Tron pickups, which would date the guitar to around 1968-1970.

gretsch 3   gretsch 6   gretsch 7


 
Updated Echopark Ghetto Bird Guitars

alice guitar   ghettobird2
Johnny played 8 songs with Alice Cooper at his Orpheum Theatre, LA show in November of 2012 and 2 songs with Aerosmith a few days later at the Staples Center.  He played the guitar at top left, which has a shape similar to the Gibson Firebird.  The logo identifies this as an Echopark guitar; this model is the Ghetto Bird (thanks to Rubén and Andrea for the ID, and Ina, Mary, and Adde for their help).  Echopark is a new trademark established in 2012, and is a favorite of Aerosmith members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, as well as Jakob Dylan and others. 

In the fall of 2015, Johnny was spotted in his home recording studio playing a similar guitar, in a photo taken by Ross Halfin.  Around that time, Echopark Instagrammed that they'd been hanging with Johnny at "3 o'clock in da mownin." Later, they posted a photo of the "Ghetto Bird number 2...#johnnydepp."  The finish is darker on this second guitar, and according another Instagram, it features "Echotron pickups." In 2016, Echopark posted another Instagram (top right) with the caption "Ghettobird I Custom built for Jonny Depp."

The Echopark Website


   
alice 2   alice 3   aero1   aero 2   halfin e73   ghetto bird 2   ghetto bird 2


(photos 1 and 2: November 29, 2012 with Alice Cooper; photos 3 and 4: December 3, 2012 with Aerosmith; photo 5: Ghetto Bird number 2 at Johnny's home studio, October 2015, photo by Ross Halfin; photo 6: closeup of Echotron pickups; photo 7: photo by Echopark)



Echopark El Cabillo Guitar

xmas pudding

Johnny played this guitar at Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding show on December 8, 2012.  Like the guitar above, the headstock identifies it as an Echopark; the model is an El Cabillo.  Joe Perry played a similar guitar with a different finish on the Aerosmith video of Train Kept A Rollin' featuring Johnny that is on the Music From Another Dimension! release.

unknown guitar crop   xmas pudding 1   xmas pudding 2



Schoen Guitar

schoen guitar

A post found on the imgdonkey online image site showed a photo of a guitar with the following caption: "recently discovered that my family has more talent than i thought here is a guitar dad&039s cousin made for johnny depp."  A close-up of the headstock reveals the guitar to be a Schoen.  Johnny also owns a resonator guitar made by Kurt Schoen; this one is a solid body guitar but is made from the same Apache Powder Company crate that the resonator is made from.  Like the resonator, this one also has a bullet inlaid and antique skeleton keyheads.

schoen-huge   schoen headstock

To see the Schoen Apache Powder Resonator Guitar that was made for Johnny, visit the Johnny Depp Rocks Johnny's Guitars: Resonator Guitars and Cigar Box Guitars page.

Official Schoen Guitars Website



Teye T Series La Pirata Guitar

Roxy guitar

Johnny was sporting this beautifully intricate guitar backstage at The Roxy on September 17, 2015, the night of the second Hollywood Vampires show.  Teye guitars are hand-crafted by Teye, with unique and artistic designs.  Hopefully we will be seeing much more of this guitar.  Thanks to Evert at Teye for the identification!

roxy backstage   teye with marilyn   teye headstock

Teye Guitars Website



Zemaitis Custom Metal Fronttm Guitar

zemaitis thumb

Johnny was spotted playing this guitar in the studio, as captured by photographer Suzanne Allison.   The guitar is identified by its headstock as a Zemaitis model.  It appears to be a custom Metal Fronttm with a monocut shape, though the specific Celtic knot-style design is not shown on Zemaitis' website.  A close-up of a Zemaitis guitar headstock is shown below.

zemaitis headstock




RKS Electric Guitar


AWE guitarhttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v291/MadScntst/music/guitars/20070519guitarscr.jpg

This guitar was spotted with Johnny and another guest at the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End premiere on May 19, 2007.  It was built by inventor and designer Ravi Sawhney, who founded RKS Guitars with Dave Mason as a partner.  The guitar business was a sideline that was apparently active from 2003 to 2007.

RKS Guitars old official site (no longer updated)
RKS Guitars Legacy (official legacy site with videos and a photo gallery)
Ravi Sawhney on Wikipedia

AWE guitar



Ibanez Destroyer model

Ibanez crop

Johnny played this guitar to perform his solo for the Shane MacGowan & Friends Haitian relief charity single, I Put A Spell On You.  The headstock identifies it as an Ibanez, and it is probably a Destroyer model from circa 1975.  In the early 70's, Ibanez was selling guitars that closely resembled Gibson models, and the Destroyer was similar to the Gibson Explorer.  Gibson filed a lawsuit against Ibanez in 1977, forcing them to change their designs.  These pre-lawsuit guitars are very much collectors' instruments.

Ibanez Destoyer on Wikipedia
Guitar Attack article about the Gibson lawsuit
Gibson Explorer on Wikipedia

Haiti3   Haiti5   Ibanez Logo   Haiti 4
   


Baxendale "Do It For Johnny" Guitar


difj guitar

This custom guitar was given to Johnny as part of a quest by filmmakers Haylar Garcia and Darcy Grabowski to bring Johnny a screenplay.  Entitled Narcophonic, the Ballad of Bad Bax, the screenplay tells the story of the life of guitarmaker Scott Baxendale, and it was/is hoped that Johnny would consider starring in it.  Baxendale built this guitar, which is described as follows: "Made of aged solid swamp ash and capped with a curly maple top, it combines elements of the Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster and Dan Electro guitars. The headstock is inlaid with a design by Garcia, and in the back is a specially constructed chamber that displays the Narcophonic script."  When the filmmakers and Baxendale finally caught up with Johnny in 2005, Johnny explained that he was not permitted to accept the screenplay personally-- it would have to go through traditional channels.  However, he was able to accept the guitar itself.  The story of the quest to deliver the screenplay is told in the documentary, Do It For Johnny, which screened at a number of festivals in 2007.  The film is still awaiting domestic and foreign distribution.  See the Johnny Depp Rocks! Documentaries page for more on Do It For Johnny.

March 2005 Westword.com article featuring description of the Do It For Johnny Guitar

difj   difj 2   difj 1   difj 375




Acoustic/Semi-Acoustic Guitars



Gretsch Americana Series Limited Edition Showdown Acoustic Guitar

showdown

In June of 2015, Johnny put his French Estate on the market, including a number of his personal belongings.  News and real estate photos showed many of the buildings and their rooms and furnishings that are up for sale.  Included in two of the photographs is this Gretsch 3/4 size model, that was perhaps played by Johnny and/or Jack.

Gretsch Guitars G4510 Americana Series Limited-Edition Showdown Acoustic Guitar

showdown1   showdown 2



Gretsch Guitar seen in Cry-Baby


cry baby

It's not as hard to identify a guitar when it says right on it what it is!  This is a vintage Gretsch Synchromatic archtop guitar.  This guitar and an amp were reportedly damaged during shipment to the Cry-Baby shoot in Baltimore, and had to have emergency repairs.  There was not time to do a proper repair but enough was done quickly in time for the shoot.  Since this was Johnny's own guitar, hopefully the repair was completed later  (Thanks Gordy).  

Vintage Gretsch Synchromatic from the Guitar Museum
Ezine: The Beginning of Vintage Gretsch Guitars
Memorabilia 1951 Gretsch Catalog (to give an idea of a similar model, check out image #11)

crybaby1   crybaby 3   crybaby 4   crybaby 4 crop   crybaby 5
 


Acoustic Weymann Guitar seen in My Valentine Video

macca guitar

This beautiful guitar was played by Johnny the Paul McCartney-directed video of his song, My Valentine, in April of 2012.  In November of 2012, McCartney released his Live Kisses DVD, which features a Making My Valentine featurette.  In it, Johnny is seen taking the guitar out of its case.  Here is some of the dialogue that took place:
Paul:  THAT's a nice-looking guitar
Johnny:  That's a Weymann...
Off camera (could be cinematographer Wally Pfister):  (Gasp!) Oh WOW!
Johnny:  That's an old Weymann
Paul:  Maybe it'd be nice with the f-holes like that
Off camera:  Right, yeah!
Johnny:  It's more romantic...
Paul:  Something romantic about it, yeah.  It'd be a good look.
Heinrich Arnold Weymann was a Philadelphia-based instrument maker who began in 1864 with harmonicas and sheet music, according to one of his descendents on an Allexperts.com post.  His son and grandson continued with the company, H.A. Weymann and Son, which later became mostly known for its banjos, but also made guitars, mandolins, and even brass instruments.  The company went out of business in 1942.  Online, one can find a 1925 Weymann Deluxe and a 1928 Deluxe that are very different from Johnny's guitar, notably in the much more ornate neck and headstock.  However, the body styles with the f-holes are very similar, as are the tailpieces in all these models.  

Shortly before Live Kisses was released, I received an e-mail from a fellow named Phil Arnold, who believes that a guitar he owns is nearly identical to Johnny's.  The body shape and style, the placement of the f-holes, and even the unusual tailpiece look identical.  He purchased his guitar on a California street corner in 1988, and has been trying to identify it ever since.  He told me what he had learned about it from various luthiers while having repairs made, and that he believed it to be very old; possibly dating back to the 1800's, and possibly originating from a European violin maker.  Once I relayed Johnny's identification of his guitar as a Weymann, the possibility emerges that this guitar could still date back to the 1800s and could be inspired by European violin design.  Read Phil's intriguing story here:
Phil's Guitar
Photo of Phil's Guitar

macca 1   macca 2   macca 4   val 22   mmv 32
 


Acoustic Kif Guitar from Chocolat still

choc roux still

This is a guitar made by Kif Wood, a maker of unique, tailor-made instruments from Cornwall, UK.  The photos is from his Official Website.  This guitar is clearly different than another unidentified "Acoustic Guitar seen in Chocolat DVD extras"; note the lighter wood color and the different headstock.  Thanks to Ian B. for the information!

Kif Guitars Official Website Home Page
   


 Stella Acoustic Guitar
(unpictured)

In her interview with Johnny for the January 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, Patti Smith mentions that, in Johnny's trailer on the London set of Pirates 4, "There is an old Stella acoustic guitar that he cannot resist picking up and strumming quietly."

See the Vanity Fair snippet here.
Image of a Stella headstock.




Other Stringed Instruments


Flying Dutchman's Collective Ukulele

flying dutchman

Backstage at Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding show on December 3, 2016, Johnny was seen strumming this ukulele with the guys from Korn.  The uke was gifted to Johnny by photographer Tony Paul Adams.  It was made by Flying Dutchman's Collective from salvaged skate decks.
Instagram by Tony Paul Adams
Flying Dutchman's Website
Fieldy's Instagram of Korn and Johnny performing Encarnacion

uke1   fieldy2   korn4



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

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