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Grammys 2016: Hollywood Vampires lets Johnny Depp play a guitar solo at the awards. Sure.

The Hollywood Vampires are two-thirds of a rock supergroup!

Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

The Hollywood Vampires are a rock supergroup — sort of.

Two-thirds of their three-person lineup definitely qualify as rock royalty. Alice Cooper is a heavy metal legend, and Joe Perry is best known as the guitarist of Aerosmith. These two guys don't need to prove their bona fides.

But then the third member of the group is ... actor Johnny Depp? Sure, he plays the guitar, but the world is full of actors with vanity project bands, who turn out to not be that great at playing music.

The first inclination might be to imagine that Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean millions had purchased him the best rock 'n' roll fantasy camp imaginable, and the Vampires' performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards seemed to bolster this conclusion for quite a while, mostly cutting around Depp or showing him strumming power chords on his guitar while Cooper shredded his vocals.

But then around the song's midpoint, Depp stepped in for a creepy spoken-word solo (sort of similar to the spoken-word portion of Metallica's "Enter Sandman") before launching into an entirely serviceable guitar solo. Was it great playing? Not really. But it was definitely better than you probably would have expected Johnny Depp's guitar solo to be. So that's a victory, we guess?

The band wrapped up with a performance of Motörhead's "Ace of Spades," as a tribute to metal legend Lemmy Kilmister, who died in December 2015. Cooper was great. Perry was having fun. And Depp was happy to be there.

A good time, as they say, was had by all.

Correction: An earlier version misstated when Kilmeister passed away.

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