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By Johnny Archive

Welcome to the Johnny Depp Zone’s By Johnny Archive.

The Zone’s By Johnny Archive collects pieces written by Johnny Depp over the course of his public life. Although Johnny never claims any skill with a pen—quite the opposite, as his biography for The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats asserts (“Johnny Depp is not a writer [. . . .] He writes nothing for no one”)—these articles demonstrate his abundant literary gifts. These writings are gifts in the literal sense as well, in the sense of being presents for people he loves and admires.

Many of these pieces are introductions for books by or about Johnny’s friends—Hunter S. Thompson, Tim Burton—or reminiscences about artists whose work has deeply affected him. Of course these categories overlap. Also included in the archive are Johnny’s interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Mickey Rourke, and most recently Lili Taylor, which were published in Interview Magazine.

We are proud to carry these works in the Zone’s archives because we feel they illuminate a side of Johnny Depp that cannot be accessed through his screen performances: there, he is creating a character, but here, he is speaking for himself.

The Zone sends a special thank you to Joni, who has transcribed and donated nearly every article here from her personal collection. We are very grateful for her generosity, and we hope you enjoy the collected writings of Johnny Depp.

Part-Time Poet
Johnny Depp Zone Webmaster

Before They Were Famous—In Their Own Words

December 1987—(Published 1996) In 1987, Johnny Depp was already a teen idol through his starring role on the television series 21 Jump Street. He was living in a modest one-bedroom apartment in an art-deco building on Whitley Avenue in Hollywood . . .

Interview Magazine—Allen Ginsberg

June 1994—Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and actor-on-the-beat Johnny Depp in a conversation that spans the nation and the generations . . .

Burton on Burton

September 1994—In the winter of 1989, I was in Vancouver, British Columbia, doing a television series. It was a very difficult situation: bound by a contract doing assembly-line stuff, that, to me, was borderline Fascist . . .

Kerouac, Ginsberg, the Beats and Other Bastards Who Ruined My Life

1999—The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats. There I was, age thirteen, eyes shut tight listening intently to Frampton Comes Alive over and over again, as some kind of pubescent mantra that helped to cushion the dementia of just how badly . . .

Where Were You When The Fun Stopped?

1999—Hunter S. Thompson's CD Compilation. Doc, I just this morning received your CD “Where were you when the fun stopped?” About 3 seconds after I hit play on the machine, I was transported to another plane. I wanted to drive . . .

Blow by Blow—Introduction

April 2001—I arrived in New York City late, somewhere around 11:30pm, from Europe. With just enough jet lag to keep my peepers wide open for one too many hours—my brain crowded with the threat of Mr Sun's arrival . . .

Basquiat Paintings—for Enrico—Under the Influence of Pork

2003—On a turbulent flight out of Vienna, en route to Paris, I was asked to write a couple of pages about the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The passengers on this bumpy journey—Enrico Navarra, Sebastian Moreu, and myself were in the throes of . . .

Interview Magazine—Mickey Rourke

October 2003—One of the most acclaimed actors of the '80s, Mickey Rourke spent much of the '90s burning bridges in the business that made him a star . . .

Gypsy Caravan — Letter from Johnny Depp

October 21, 2004—Dear Alex and Christopher, I have recently been in contact with a young filmmaker, named Jasmine Dellal, who is working on what promises to be an extraordinary film, called Caravan  . . .

A Pair of Deviant Bookends

March 24, 2005—Rolling Stone’s Tribute to Hunter S. Thompson “Buy the ticket, take the ride” These are the words that echo in my skull. The words that our Good Doctor lived by and, by God, died by . . .

Burton on Burton—Revised

May 2005—Many a moon has passed since the days of my brief brush with TV stardom, or whatever one might dare call it. I mostly think of them as the do-or-die years:  picture, if you will, the confused young man hurtling dangerously . . .

Christie's: The Personal Property of Marlon Brando

June 30, 2005—Of all the levels of connections, the most consistent was humor. Humor, often meaning practical jokes. There was no one more gifted in this arena or as skilled a craftsman as Marlon. He possessed the sense of humor . . .

*NEW* Tracey Jacobs, “Woman of Impact”

July 29, 2005—Variety. Darling Tracey, Thank you is not nearly enough. You believed in me when no one else did, or would. You stuck by me through great difficulties, ugliness and beauty while others . . .

Interview Magazine—Lili Taylor

May 2006—Here, the 39-year-old actress [Lili Taylor] talks with her Arizona Dream co-star Johnny Depp, who gets the measure of the woman . . .


December 2006—When I think of Hunter, which is often, the floodgates open and I am instantly, easily and willingly overcome by a great deluge of memories. Memories as diverse as the man himself soar through my mind . . .

Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson,
An Oral Biography—Introduction and Selected Excerpts

October 2007—We are here, without him. But in no way are we left with nothing, far from it. For the multitudes of die-hard gonzo admirers out there, of which I too am one, we have his words, his books, his insights, his humor and his truth . . .

*NEW* Jonathan Shaw

April 4, 2008—Finally, after twenty-plus years of coaxing, cajoling, pleading and basic needling on my part, my ol’ scallywag brother, Jonathan Shaw has put pen to paper . . .

*NEW* Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Music from the Film—Liner Notes

September 18, 2008—by Johnny Depp & Douglas Brinkley. “Gonzo” was a James Booker tune for Hammond organ, bass, flute, and drums that made journalist Hunter S. Thompson go bonkers when he first heard the boisterous cut . . .

*NEW* The Rum Diary, A Screenplay—Foreword

August 2011—The year was 1997. Pre-production on the film version of the HST classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was at full gallop. Having had the opportunity to know Hunter . . .

*NEW* Harvey Weinstein, Moviemaker

April 18, 2012—TIME Magazine. There are producers, and then there are producers. It’s an elite club for those with the kind of maverick vision . . .

*NEW* This Land Was His Land—The New York Times

July 09, 2012—by Douglas Brinkley & Johnny Depp. The legend of Woody Guthrie as folk singer is firmly etched in America’s collective consciousness . . .