Keeping Tabs: The Travesty of Hologram Rockers
A friend of mine, in reference to the death of MCA, said, “RIP MCA, see you at Coachella next year.” Funny, a bit “too soon” , but also close to prophetic. No, MCA isn’t coming back in hologram form (yet, or hopefully, ever), but Freddie Mercury? Yeah, that’s happening.
According to Gawker, a zombie Mercury, who died in 1991, will rise from the dead in hologram form to take the stage with Queen (or part of Queen) for a 10th anniversary concert celebrating the debut of the hit musical (that I have never heard of before), WE WILL ROCK YOU.
Reportedly, the technology that will be used will not be the same “Peppers Ghost” trick that was applied at Coachella to conjure Ghost Pac the rapping ghost, but Queen guitarist Brian May did sound a bit perturbed that Dr. Dre had stolen his morbid thunder by more quickly (metaphorically) grave robbing his dead friend and making a techno puppet out of his likeness.
“It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while,” said May to the BBC. May also told the Brit net, “People will come out saying, ‘did we actually see Freddie?'”
One person who is not thrilled with idea of May’s planned Lazarus light show is Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who told Rolling Stone: “I don’t want to sit up here with a hologram of my dear friend.” Taylor did, however, say that he was okay with someone else doing it.
So with this act of sacrilege on the docket, what other headless sonic entity will try to scrape together enough coin to desperately “bring back” their departed friends, band leaders, and cash cows? At this moment, we don’t know, but according to Metal Hammer and The Pulse of Radio, one of the top henchmen from the Ghost Pac project has a wish list.
“Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, oh, and Michael Jackson would be the ultimate one,” said Sanj Surati of Musion Technology. “Maybe even Whitney Houston.” Surati also said that “Elvis on stage with Justin Bieber would be a cool thing.”
Got it, this is a sign of the apocalypse (the dead walking the earth) and Surati is the anti-christ. Harsh? He giddily dreams of teaming the “King of Rock ‘n Roll” with a Kristy McNichol look-alike that rules over the kingdom of Twitter with a chipmunk smile and an auto-tune voice — where I come from, the thought of that makes babies go color blind and church goers see Satan in their tea.
No, this is all sixes and sevens, not technological evolution bestowing a dash of immortality upon deflated pop stars, and someday movie stars, and reality TV stars, and family members, little dead pets, and everything else. Contrast spins the globe, death gives life value, and this cheats that.
Why grieve when we can play make pretend that someone isn’t gone? Why cherish their contributions, when those contributions can be diced up and re-purposed to make new Frankenstein-ian contributions that cheat the legacy and standard of those people while cashing in on the whiff of them? Why reminisce about those that still remain as ghosts made out of smoke and mirrors that await instructions?
Brian May is wrong wrong, when he gushes about people potentially walking away from Monday’s show confused if they saw the real Freddie Mercury. Mercury is dead and everyone in attendance will surely know that. The trouble is, some don’t respect it enough to let the man’s likeness and splendor rest in peace. Some call this kind of thing “fan service”, I call it a grab for attention and cash under the guise of giving fans what they want. Oh sure, there are many fans who want to see this kind of macabre spectacle, but truly, it’s just a tasteless treat whose majesty fades when the lights come up and the ghosts go back to their cage.