Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper on Undead Supergroup Hollywood Vampires

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper on Undead Supergroup Hollywood Vampires.

If Johnny Depp says he’s done with someone then he means it, as he has now sold his 156-foot luxury yacht, which was named after his former lover Vanessa Paradis.There’s a break in rehearsals for the Hollywood Vampires — a band made up, as singer Alice Cooper says, of men who’ve all had near-death experiences. The sources informed that the actual reason behind the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star selling his luxurious yacht was because his present-wife Amber Heard refused to climb “Vajoliroja” i.e. one named after the actor’s former love of 14 years in 2007, Us Magazine reported. The group recently released its self-titled debut, a blast of classic-rock karaoke featuring covers of “My Generation,” “Manic Depression” and an un-reinvented “Whole Lotta Love,” not to mention a “School’s Out”/”Another Brick in the Wall” medley.

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s dark-copper-colored chest is covered in puka shells, and he’s mumbling something about working as a janitor in a synagogue. Drummer Matt Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan — Guns N’ Roses’ old rhythm section — are having a laugh as a dude in a bandana, baggy jeans and black boots listens respectfully. Cooper suggests they pad out the set with “Brown Sugar.” Depp launches into an impeccable Keith Richards imitation, and the song reaches a joyous crescendo as Depp and Perry trade licks. Sorum talks to a hanger-on about how he used to keep it together during shows by sweating the booze out onstage. “When I was in GNR with Slash and Duff and everyone, I gauged my alcoholism on their drinking,” Sorum says. “They drank all day. Hollywood Vampires started with the idea of recording a covers album, giving them an excuse to fool around in the actor’s well-appointed studio (“He has the best guitar collection I’ve seen,” says Perry).

The band took its name from a 1970s L.A. drinking collective that included Cooper, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson and guest stars like John Lennon and Ringo Starr. Eventually, the new Hollywood Vampires cut an album, with a number of tracks paying tribute to rock greats who drank or drugged themselves to death — Moon, John Bonham, Jim Morrison — some of whom were friends of Cooper. (Cooper himself quit drinking in the 1980s after his doctor told him he could either stop or join his friends in the hereafter.) Recalling all those ghosts might’ve been a melancholy experience for Cooper, but he shrugs off that suggestion. “These are historical characters,” he says. “When you’re talking about a John Lennon, that goes beyond being a guy you drank with and into Abraham Lincoln. You’re over the sadness of it, and you’re now going, ‘All right, if John were here, what would he do?'” For his part, Depp acts like he’s won the classic-rock Powerball. Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare got him through some tough times. “I approach my work as an actor in the same way I play music,” says Depp. “There is this element of chance — grabbing some moment that you didn’t really plan on. Music is the fastest way to emotion.” He puffs on what he calls a “poison stick” and admits there’s something nice about being in a band rather than being the sole focus of a project, like on a tent-pole film.

I ask them if, now that they’re older, they were doing anything to protect their health as they get ready for a series of gigs that will include a festival in Rio. At one point, the Vampires launch into “My Generation.” And for a second the world’s most famous cover band makes one of the world’s most covered songs sound almost young again. To say there’s buzz around the return of Empire, Fox’s ballsy King-Lear-meets-Mahogany hit that kicks off its sophomore season on September 23rd, is an understatement. (It’s like observing that there’s a few GOP hopefuls running for President.) All eyes are on the series to see if it can maintain the level of drama, glam and delightful camp that turned it into a ratings powerhouse and Twitter champ. The series hits every pleasure point for successful trashy TV: ludicrous plots, gleaming fashions, breakout performances, and a true gasp of it’s own ambitions to reinvent the glitzy nighttime soap for a new generation. If it’s been a while since you caught Season One, or you missed the first run and want to jump into the game on Wednesday, here’s a quick catch-up on where we left Empire Entertainment’s iconic Lyons.

The precisely coiffed founder and CEO of Empire Entertainment spent the majority of last season battling ALS, pitting his sons against each other to inherit the company, belittling middle child Jamal for his open homosexuality, and juggling current girlfriend Anika with ex-wife Cookie — when he wasn’t distancing himself from a past that includes Cuba Gooding Jr. as a romantic rival and his point-blank assassination of cousin-by-marriage Bunkie (Antoine McKay), that is. Turns out, instead of the death sentence of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Luther’s suffers from the rarely lethal myasthenia gravis, meaning he’s not going anywhere. After all the Jamal derision, he finally wised up that the smooth singer is also the savviest Lyon, and passed the scepter of Empire’s leadership to him (not a metaphor – he actually gave Jamal a scepter).

With Jamal installed as head of Empire, Cookie finds herself banished from the Executive Suite and elected president of the “We Hate Lucious Club,” ready to plot a takeover. She knows her ex killed her beloved cousin Bunkie (see above: pillow smother), and he knows she “went to the Berkshires” with bodyguard Malcolm, leaving the Lyons’ relationship in tatters. The eldest and least joyous Lyon has a baby on the way with wife Rhonda, and a psycho-religious-sexual ménage-a-trois to untangle with musical therapist Michelle (Jennifer Hudson), but as always with Dre, it’s all about the meds.

If he sticks to the pills, the business-minded Lyon stands a fighting chance of rescuing Empire Entertainment from its stock price plummet after his father’s arrest – assuming he and his merry band of Lucious-Haters can get back into the boardroom, that is. Staying on his medication might also keep his deadly secrets from slipping out: his father killed Bunkie, his wife killed Vernon (RIP, Malik Yoba), he occasionally tries to kill himself.

But considering Andre plots his intrigue by literally speaking the plans out loud into the notes function on his phone (“Figure out how to undermine Hakeem at Leviticus”), the good money is on some of those covert cats out of the bag. No longer the little boy banished to the garbage can, he is his father’s only stalwart ally – bringing back his Pop’s songwriting mojo after a Cookie-influenced round of writer’s block, and then dangling Billy Beretti off a balcony to retrieve the rights to the early Lucious Lyon catalogue. Still processing his love/hate relationship with brother Jamal, abandonment issues with his ex-con mom, and his blind rage at his father for banishing his cougar girlfriend (Naomi Campbell), aspiring rapper Hakeem needs to work on himself, if not his rhymes (“Drip Drop,” anyone?).

He left a path of destruction in the finale, making good on the Snoop-witnessed threat to bed Anika and joining the Unholy Alliance to take Empire back. Still up in the air – the status of his teen dream beard relationship with Tiana, whether Camilla is catching a flight back to New York, and if we’ll ever see more of the AzMarie in his crew.

Strong, scheming, and loyal to a fault, Rhonda took a mighty tumble towards the freshman season finish, going from the hot brains behind Dre to the pimped out prize for a geriatric Mr. While her candlestick clubbing of Vernon can be chalked up to self-defense, Rhonda’s decision to swear Andre to secrecy over the crime seems destined to blow up in their faces. Now in the family way, we can only guess the baby is Andre’s — but because this is Empire, there’s even money on anyone from Lucious to Black Rambo being this kid’s father. She walks out on Lucious and Empire, landing a key spot at competitor Creedmoor and wastes no time trying to poach as many Lyon-signed acts as possible, starting with Hakeem. Remember, “You use your inside voice when you talk to Becky.” Elle Dallas (Courtney Love), Michelle White (Jennifer Hudson), Puma (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), Woman Singing at Piano in Flashback (Mary J.

Blige), Snoop Dogg, Rita Ora, Gladys Knight, etc. – Season One of Empire was jammed with award winners, platinum-selling A-listers and “seriously, that guy?” stars (see: Judd Nelson). While it’s unknown who from the above roster will make another appearance in Season Two, Fox has already teased the guest appearances of Ludacris, Chris Rock, Marisa Tomei, Pitbull, Magic Mike’s Adam Rodriguez (as a romantic interest for Cookie) and a woman who seems like she was born to star in the joyous pile of cheese that is Empire: Mariah Carey. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

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