Were you surprised/and or disturbed when Johnny Depp took the stage at the Grammy Awards with his band, the Hollywood Vampires, singing alongside Alice Cooper and Aerosmith's Joe Perry? You shouldn't be: Depp has a long history of yearning to be a rock star.

Unfortunately, the Hollywood Vampires got raked over the coals on social media for its live TV debut, thanks to an indecipherable performance that included lots of fire, a riding crop and a blood-spattered shirt worn by Cooper. The group paid tribute to the late Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of the band Motörhead, with Ace of Spades, and also played an original song called As Bad As I Am.

Some appeared genuinely horrified to see Depp - once known as one of the effortlessly cool actors of Hollywood - vamping on stage with his band, mid-life crisis-style. People on Twitter were not kind:

"Johnny Depp is a musician in the same way that LL Cool J is a host."

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"Johnny Depp takes on more ill-advised projects than a dad at Home Depot with something to prove."

"Johnny Depp is proof that if you dress like you're a member of a rock band long enough one will just form around you eventually"

But rock 'n' roll music has always been Depp's passion, and perhaps a motivation in opening the Viper Room in Los Angeles back in the early '90s. Still, Depp says he never wanted to start a band just to capitalise on his celebrity status.

"I hate the idea, 'Come see me play the guitar because you've seen me in 12 movies,' he told the Guardian. "It shouldn't be (that way). You want the people who are listening to the music to only be interested in the music."

So Depp channeled his guitar skills into playing with other well-known musicians. In 1993, Depp played in a rock band called P, and released one album. He's also joined a lot of famous friends on stage to play guitar over the years, including Keith Richards, Marilyn Manson and ZZ Top.

Johnny Depp, from left, Joe Perry, and Alice Cooper of The Hollywood Vampires. Photo / Getty Images
Johnny Depp, from left, Joe Perry, and Alice Cooper of The Hollywood Vampires. Photo / Getty Images

And long ago, Depp had designs on the rock 'n' roll lifestyle while growing up in south Florida: According to the Sun-Sentinel, he had a band called the Kids and eventually dropped out of high school, moving to Los Angeles to try to make it in the music scene.

At this point, Depp is rich and famous with enough royalties from "Pirates of the Caribbean" to do whatever he wants - who cares if the viewing audience wasn't impressed?

"Basically, I'm representing the very lucky. I'm the guy who somehow ended up playing in a band and having the opportunity to write songs with Joe Perry and Alice Cooper," Depp said to People magazine before his Grammys performance. "I'm just going to be the guy up there who's very lucky to be up there."