Backstage in South Florida: Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson, Two Expats, Team Up as a New Dynamic Duo

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares observations, insights, and updates relating to South Florida's musical environs. This week, Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson find vanity a common bond.

I get lots of missives from publicists and record companies on a weekly -- wait, make that a daily -- basis. I gotta admit, most of them I tend to ignore, causing me to hit the delete button as quickly as my fingers can make it happen. Not all the time, mind you -- if there's an announcement about an upcoming album that I'm eagerly anticipating (and yeah, there are a lot of those!) or a news release from a reliable source, I'll look and I'll linger. Then there are those updates that prove as entertaining as they are informative.

That was especially true of one particular news release I came across recently, mainly because it concerned a reunion of sorts between two South Florida homeboys. "It's not exactly the Bro-mance of Pitt and Clooney," the release began. "But there's been something special between Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp for over a decade now."


The next line had me especially intrigued. "Manson was Depp's date to the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at Disneyland, and a remix version of Manson's song 'The Nobodies' was featured in the 2001 Johnny Depp film From Hell." 

Depp's dating Manson? And they're both going to Disneyland? Wow. What could possibly bond these two distinctive individuals? One's adept at playing all manner of odd characters and offbeat eccentrics. And then there's Manson, who wears a lot of makeup to alter his natural look. So they pretty much score equally when it comes to odd imaging. 

And then too, there's a certain similarity when it comes the names of the bands they were involved in. Depp had his Kids. Marilyn Manson was in the Spooky Kids. Twin sons of different mothers? A ghoulish shock rocker hanging with a Hollywood hunk? All things are possible.

In truth, their paths have crossed before. According to Wikipedia, Depp reportedly used Manson as his inspiration when he was preparing to play the role of Willy Wonka in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Truth be told, Manson had also expressed interest in playing the Willy Wonka role. So while Marilyn Manson competing for a role against Johnny Depp may seem to put him at a disadvantage, it's not as uneven a matchup as one might expect. After all, when it comes down to having a freak playing a freak, it's not such a stretch if Manson's involved.

Still, it seems that now the two are joining forces. Allegedly they opted to cover that Carly Simon chestnut "You're So Vain." One only wonders if they'll sing it in an accusatory style, each pointing fingers at the other. Now that's a visual we have to see. The song is reportedly slated to be included on Manson's upcoming album, Born Villain, due out in May on Manson's vanity label, Hell, Etc.

The fact that this collaboration involves two individuals who used to call our local environs home is intriguing enough. But then too, a cover of a Carly Simon track seems very out of sync with both of their personas. 

What can we expect next from our more disparate homegrown heroes? Barry Gibb and Gloria Estefan harmonizing in "I Got You, Babe"? Charlie Pickett and Betty Wright singing together on "Happy Together"? Vanilla Ice and Harry Wayne Casey cashing in with a comeback of "Memories"?

South Florida's not always in tune with the rest of the country. Still, we can only hope that if our local talent joins forces, they mine appropriate material.

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