In 2012, Johnny Depp joined Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi and drummer Fabrizio Moretti for a special performance of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” at the annual Petty Fest tribute show in Los Angeles. While fan-shot videos of the all-star performance have been floating around the Internet for years, a new clip featuring high-quality audio and video has arrived in honor of Petty, who died suddenly October 2nd after going into cardiac arrest.
Casey McGrath of Phear Creative directed the clip, which opens with Valensi leading a rehearsal, during which he quips to Moretti, “At the end, that solo is so fast – don’t get too fast on me, man!” After the band launches into “American Girl” in their practice space, the clip deftly cuts to the El Rey Theatre, where Depp appears alongside the band – which also includes guitarist Alex Levy, bassist Austin Scaggs and keyboardist Dave “Moose” Sherman – to pick out the song’s memorable lead riffs. As the performance continues, others including Matt Sorum, Sarah Silverman, Har Mar Superstar and Nicole Atkins flood onto the stage to provide back-up vocals while Valensi eventually hits the “American Girl” solo in stride, tearing through the familiar deluge of hammer-ons before spinning out into his own interpretation.
Petty Fest 2012 also featured appearances from Kesha, Butch Walker and members of the Black Keys, Kings of Leon and Eagles of Death Metal. The Cabin Down Below Band served as the house band and and hosts for the evening.