Tonto's Giant Nuts

(established 2013; last updated 6/9/13)

Tonto's Giant Nuts isn't so much a band as it is an alterego for Johnny.  Tonto's Giant Nuts have surfaced twice so far: on the Once Upon A Time In Mexico Soundrack in 2003, and on the West Of Memphis Soundtrack in 2013.
    When Robert Rodriguez was preparing the soundtrack to his 2003 film, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, he decided to get help from the film's cast members.  In the liner notes to the album, he says, "One aspect of the score that I'm most excited about was the fact that I asked several of the actors (musicians in their own right) to come up with musical ideas that best represnted the characters they were playing... Johnny Depp went out and wrote a whole piece for his character.  I'm presenting it here in the film he sent it to me ('Sands Theme'). It also plays in the movie when Johnny steps out of the taxi cab to get dressed for the 'Coup de Etat'."  Although Rodriguez orchestrated the theme for other parts of the film, Johnny's original version is used on the on the soundtrack and credited as "Written and Produced by Johnny Depp, Bill Carter, Bruce Witkin and Ruth Ellsworth - Performed by Tonto's Giant Nuts."  According to Wikipedia, Johnny "invented the name Tonto's Giant Nuts as a joke. It is not the name of his band, as commonly thought."  Although Johnny is generally considered to be the composer and performer of the song, Carter, Witkin and Ellsworth share credit for contributions in an unknown capacity.

ouatim liner

    Tonto's Giant Nuts emerged once again a decade later for the West Of Memphis: Voices For Justice Soundtrack.  Among several contributions by Johnny to this disc are two that are credited to Tonto's Giant Nuts:  Little Lion Man (with the added credit "(Feat. Johnny Depp & Bruce Witkin)"), and Damien Echols Death Row Letter Year 16 1/2 (with the added credit "(Feat. Johnny Depp) and Nick Cave & Warren Ellis Original Score").  Johnny and Bruce are presumed to be the performers on Little Lion Man, though no individual musician credits are cited in the liner notes, and Johnny provides spoken word to Death Row Letter.  

WOM back

    With the advent of the upcoming film The Lone Ranger, in which Johnny portrays the character Tonto, there has been some renewed interest in Johnny's choice of name for this alias.  A few articles have appeared in publications in recent months, among them:

    Tonto's Giant Nuts also has its own Discography on the web.

    It remains to be seen whether Tonto's Giant Nuts will ever surface again on a future project!

    Also check out these areas of Johnny Depp Rocks:

Have any corrections or additions?  Please e-mail  at  Photos would be especially appreciated!