Well, maybe not down MY memory lane. See, I wasn’t anywhere near Johnny Depp back in the day when he was pursuing a career in music. In the early 80’s, while Johnny was playing with his dream band The Kids, I was rocking out to Durham, NC’s resident new wave band, The X-Teens. And in 1986-87, after he returned from filming Platoon in the Philippines and got a gig with the Rock City Angels, I was on the opposite coast, a regular at Ben Vaughn shows in Philly and Trenton, NJ. But if I’d been in a different place and time, maybe I’d have seen a few of the shows that I’m only learning about all these years later.
It’s one thing to hear that The Kids moved to LA in late 1983 and changed their name to Six Gun Method, but it’s another to see actual confirmation of the band, in the form of a 1984 ad in the LA Weekly:
and while it’s great to see the occasional magazine article where either Johnny or his former Rock City Angels bandmates describe the band or the shows they played, a handbill from their New Year’s Eve 1986 show is a cool artifact.
Getting to see these blasts from the past doesn’t necessarily add any earth-shattering knowledge to the History Of Rock & Roll, but it’s still very cool to get to find a few little souvenirs of Johnny’s tenure as a musician in LA. Each small tidbit adds a little bit of knowledge to Johnny’s musical history– a show date here, a venue there; every piece fills in a little of the puzzle. Several new puzzle pieces dropped in my lap earlier this month, thanks to Mike of janesaddiction.org, who helped point me to some vintage (’84-’87) LA Weekly ads he’d scanned for Jane’s Addiction (a band that the Rock City Angels opened for on several occasions). Besides the Six Gun Method and Rock City Angels scans shown here, several other Rock City Angels ads were found. Check them out on the Johnny Depp Rocks! Live On Stage page. It’s just a little taste of some actual shows that really existed, in which Johnny (presumably, if the timing is as accurate as I hope) was living his first dream as a rock & roll guitarist.
It makes me wonder how many other puzzle pieces may be sitting around– ads, articles or reviews of The Kids, Six Gun Method, Rock City Angels, or P in newspapers or entertainment rags that are sitting around in someone’s basement, or a South Florida or LA public library, just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a day job 🙂