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Black Keys Jam With Johnny Depp at 2012 MTV Movie Awards

Johnny Depp-Black Keys' Dan Auerbach
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

We knew the 2012 MTV Movie Awards were tying the Black Keys to the Johnny Depp Generation Award tribute, but organizers had a surprise in mind when Depp himself joined the Black Keys onstage for the performance.

Depp, who has been showing off his musical side more frequently lately by jamming with Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper and Aerosmith at recent performances, joined the band after a few kind words from the presenters, Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

Perry explained, “Too often actors find success in their single comfort zone. They find their niche and keep going back to the same well,” while Tyler added, “Johnny has reinvented himself countless times, embodying everyone from Edward Scissorhands to Ed Wood to John Dillinger and the Captain Jack Sparrow.”

Perry would also add that Depp had “the soul of a renegade,” while Tyler said that Depp was “a modern day Errol Flynn” that dropped out of school to become a rocker, so it was only fitting that his tribute would allow him to play some great rock music.

As the lights came up on a separate stage, there was Depp in his fedora, a striped grey vest and blue flannel rocking the guitar alongside singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney’s Life Savers-colored drum kit. Depp joined in for ‘Gold on the Ceiling,’ frequently playing dueling guitars with Auerbach during the performance.

Depp briefly accepted the honor, joking, “Based on the clips [shown during the film montage], there’s obviously something wrong with me.” After thanking MTV for the award, he concluded, “It’s an honor to be presented by these legends, Steven and Joe, and these up-and-coming legends, the Black Keys, so thank you.” After some group hugs, Tyler and Perry exited the stage as the Black Keys, with Depp on hand, played ‘Lonely Boy’ heading into the commercial break.

Watch the Black Keys Perform With Johnny Depp at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards

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