Taking Names: Johnny Depp dipping into publishing world

Johnny Depp is bringing a dash of cool to the book world. He will help run a publishing imprint with the same name as his production company, Infinitum Nihil, meaning “Nothing is forever.”

Already on the list of books is “The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan,” which aims to set the record straight on the songwriter’s enigmatic life and career and will be based in part on interviews with Mr. Dylan by best-selling historian Douglas Brinkley.

According to The Associated Press, the imprint will be part of HarperCollins Publishers, which announced Monday that Mr. Depp will seek “authentic, outspoken and visionary ideas and voices.”

“I pledge, on behalf of Infinitum Nihil, that we will do our best to deliver publications worthy of peoples’ time, of peoples’ concern, publications that might ordinarily never have breached the parapet,” Mr. Depp said in a statement released by HarperCollins. “For this dream realized, we would like to salute HarperCollins for their faith in us and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship together.”

Mr. Brinkley, who recently wrote a cover story on Mr. Dylan for Rolling Stone, said he and Mr. Depp thought the Dylan book was “the ideal way” to inaugurate the Infinitum Nihil series.

“Bob has been very warm and forthcoming with us,” Mr. Brinkley said in a statement. “His music has inspired us both deeply since we were teenagers.”

The Dylan book is scheduled for publication in 2015. Mr. Dylan and Mr. Brinkley also will collaborate on the editing and publication of a previously announced novel by one of Mr. Dylan’s heroes, folk musician Woody Guthrie, who died in 1967. The novel, “House of Earth,” was completed by Guthrie in 1947 but was only recently discovered. It’s scheduled for a January release.

Mr. Depp, whose movies include “Edward Scissorhands” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, already has ties to the book world. He was a close friend of Hunter S. Thompson and starred in film adaptations of Thompson’s “Rum Diary” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” He also narrated parts of the audio edition of Keith Richards’ memoir “Life.”

Other celebrities with their own imprints include Chelsea Handler and Rachael Ray.

Elton John: Teen’s death was a turning point

On the red carpet of his annual AIDS foundation benefit Monday night, Sir Elton John remembered AIDS sufferer Ryan White.

According to the Associated Press, the 65-year-old musician said dealing with the teenager’s death was a major turning point in his life, which at the time was “out of whack.”

“Six months after Ryan died, I decided that was it,” Mr. John said. And within a year of becoming sober, he begin thinking about starting a foundation and “giving something back and making up for lost time.”

White contracted AIDS in 1984 after a blood transfusion for his hemophilia. Once diagnosed, he was expelled from middle school and became a poster child for young people afflicted with the disease. Mr. John was with the boy and his family when he died in 1990.

While great strides are being made in research and behavior, Mr. John said we have a long way to go.

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