By: Chris O'Shea
Because this is America, when an idea — no matter how bad it is — gets a lot of press, it will be copied and copied until it is ground into the dirt where it should have stayed in the first place. Such is the case with the new "hologram" epidemic. It started on a late Sunday night in mid April, when the hologram of rapper Tupac Shakur spit his rhymes along with Dr. Dre and Snoop. The blame for this starts with producer, former rapper turned entrepreneur, Dr. Dre.
"We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre's vision to bring this back to life," Nick Smith told MTV. "It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life." Smith is the president of AV Concepts, a San Diego-based company that created the Pac hologram for the Coachella music festival. Without Dre's idea, perhaps Pac never appears on the stage and gets people buzzing about bringing back dead singers for tours. But alas, it's too late. And Smith knows it, because he — as any guy getting paid for a bad idea would do — kept pumping up the hologram.
First, he said he could bring anyone back. "You can take their likenesses and voice and take people that haven't done concerts before or perform music they haven't sung and digitally recreate it," said Smith. Then he added that it's not as expensive as one might think. "I can't say how much that event cost, but I can say it's affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country," he explained.
With Smith pumping the story, and countless media outlets talking up hologram Tupac, it was only a matter of time before someone else picked up on the bad idea. Remember the late Freddie Mercury? He's up next.
According to the BBC, Brian May, the bassist for Mercury's band, Queen, has confirmed a hologram version of Mercury coming to a stage near you. Of course May is acting like it won't be a hologram, but that's only to try and separate what Queen is doing from what Dre started. "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," he told BBC News. "[That technique] is something we've looked at ourselves but I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week it's not really quite practical."
There you have it. Bring on the holograms. There will be plenty more. Jimi Hendrix? Sure, why the hell not. Notorious BIG? You better believe it. John Lennon? Yoko Ono will be hugging his hologram before the first show is over. This is America. We love bad ideas. Don't believe us? Try a Hot Pocket. Okay, not the ham and cheese one. We like those.
[Pic via Flickr - evsmitty]