Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Celebrity Bands Week,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

In a vast sea of celebrity bands and super groups, perhaps the most well known one is the American band known as the Hollywood Vampires.

Hollywood Vampires formed in 2015 by Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry to honor the music of the rock stars who died from excess in the 1970s. The band name derives from The Hollywood Vampires, a celebrity drinking club formed by Cooper in the 1970s which included but was not limited to: John Lennon and Ringo Starr of The Beatles, Keith Moon of The Who, and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees. Touring members include or have included Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses fame, as well as Robert DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots.

Hollywood Vampires at Wembley Arena on June 20, 2018. (L-R: Chris Wyse, Buck Johnson, Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Tommy Henriksen and Glen Sobel)

The band has released two studio albums, featuring guest appearances by Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Joe Walsh, and Christopher Lee among others. Cooper and Perry have discussed plans for a future live album, stating that Depp’s schedule works differently than theirs.

The mission of the original Hollywood Vampires Club was to drink until no one could stand up. This took place during the height of Cooper’s drinking in the 1970s. Cooper talks more in depth about the Rainbow Bar incarnation of the Vampires in the 1991 video biography Prime Cuts.

A plaque at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood which honors the drinking club.

The group’s debut live performances were held at Roxy Theatre (West Hollywood) in Los Angeles across September 16 and 17, 2015. The three core members were accompanied by bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, rhythm guitarist Tommy Henriksen, and Bruce Witkin on keyboards and additional guitar. KGuest performers for both nights were Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, Perry Farrell, Zak Starkey, and Kesha, and Marilyn Manson guesting on the second night. The next week, the group performed at Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival on September 24, 2015, and was webcast live by AOL. Guest performers were, Lzzy Hale, Zak Starkey, and Andreas Kisser.

In February 2016, the group performed at the Grammy Award ceremony as a tribute to Lemmy, who had died at the end of 2015. The group also announced their first concert tour, which began at Turning Stone Resort & Casino on May 24. The group was scheduled to make their first late-night television appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on July 11, 2016; however, lead guitarist and co-founder Perry collapsed on stage during a performance on July 10. The band continued to perform without Perry prior to his return to the tour on July 22. The group made their first late-night television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 19, 2019.

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