Rock’s hottest duo, the Black Keys, spiced up their 2012 MTV Movie Awards performance by playing “Gold on the Ceiling” with actor Johnny Depp, who was receiving the MTV Generation Award.
Depp held his own on electric guitar as drummer Patrick Carney and vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach (and a couple of other hidden background musicians) played the scorching rock song, which recently hit #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.
This was a really cool collaboration. With rock songs pretty much absent from top 40 radio these days, the Black Keys are one of the few rock bands growing their fan base these days. Seeing Depp, who was once an aspiring musician, perform with the Akron duo was exactly the kind of cool performance you’d never see at the Grammy Awards.
Depp was presented with the MTV Generation Award by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Perry said, “Johnny is a gutsy actor, a gutsy musician, a gutsy artist with passion. We admire his artistic courage.” Tyler added, “Johnny, it’s all about you.”
Depp accepted the award and jokingly called it the “get out of the business award.” He called the Black Keys “up and coming legends.”
After the speech, the Keys and Depp jammed on the Keys’ other recent hit, “Lonely Boy,” as the show cut to commercial.