Tupac Shakur At Coachella And 14 Other Musicians Who Should Be Hologram-ed



Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg hired a company to “resurrect” the deceased Tupac Shakur at Coachella 2012. AV Concepts built a realistic “hologram” version of the rapper. As cool as the technology is, I have to say I’m in the minority here: the whole thing creeped me out. Of course, I’d give my (Lisa) left eye (Lopes) to see Tupac, who was fatally shot in 1996, in action but reanimating someone — a real person with a life and family — in front of a crowd is so, so weird to me.

I watched the video six times and each time I alternated between muttering, “Cool” and “Weird.” What if AV Concepts starts animating, I don’t know, my grandmother who died of cancer when I was 14? Or my friend who passed away when I was in high school? It’s like a crazy Isaac Asimov short story.

That being said, there are definitely some dearly departed acts I’d love to see brought back to life in concert. Here are 14 musicians AV Concepts should animate next.

1. Kurt Cobain

Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist in Nirvana, committed suicide in 1994. I can actually see Coachella and the Foo Fighters collaborating on this one, though lord knows they’ll have to up security to keep Courtney Love outside the gates. Plus, how weird would reanimating Cobain be for his daughter, Frances Bean? Or for Dave Grohl? I want to see it, but I know it’s creepy.

2. Ian Curtis

Curtis was the lead singer of Joy Division, and died too soon at 23 years old. Like Cobain, he tragically committed suicide. Could you imagine him reuniting with Joy Division or hell, playing with New Order?

3. John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles

THIS. THIS. PLEASE. PLEASE. I would immediately devolve into one of those screaming girls from the Ed Sullivan videos. If you’ve ever seen George Harrison’s son, Dhani, performing with Ringo and Paul at The Concert for George, then you know a little bit about what this would look like. What era Beatles though? Mop tops? Sgt. Pepper? Let It Be? How about 1964 George Harrison and then someone let me know if you can make out with holograms? Thanks!

4. Selena

Jeez, do any musicians not die tragically? Selena, the crowned princess of Latin music, was murdered in 1995. The 20th anniversary of her death is in three years. Plenty of time to start planning this, Coachella. Tomorrow, we could be holding Selena tight.

5. Beethoven

Why should the holograms only be for recently-passed acts? I can just see Beethoven putting on a sold out show at Lincoln Center. What a privilege to get to see that. Upper West Siders, gear up. And I guess, you too those three or four college students who dig Beethoven. History!

6. Jeff Buckley

Buckley is another musician who died young, tragically and mysteriously. He drowned in the Wolf River in 1997. His hauntingly beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah” made him a household name. What if they made a hologram of him and then had a concert where he played all of Grace? Shivers.

7. Elvis Presley

The King died in 1977 and I bet Tennessee’s hankering for Elvis to put on one last show at Graceland. Diehard fans, like my own dad, already trek there like a pilgrimage. Why not give them a concert by the hologram hip-swinger himself?

8. Jimi Hendrix

Wanna watch arguably the world’s best guitarist set fire to a guitar like you were really there in 1967? Can a truly iconic moment like that be recaptured by a hologram? I don’t think so, but it’d be pretty awesome to get to watch live.

9. Janis Joplin

Joplin’s been a favorite of mine ever since I read the biography her sister, Laura, wrote about her called Love, Janis. She was a fantastically strong, complicated, messed up genius who sadly died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at just 27 years old. She’s one act I would really love to have seen live. Her big presence, her big hair, her even bigger voice belting “Cry Baby.” Yes.

10. Freddie Mercury

I saw Queen tour with Paul Rodgers from Bad Company filling in for Freddie Mercury. The show was exceptional, mostly due to Brian May’s guitar playing but seriously, no one can replace Mr. Fahrenheit himself. Let’s get hologram Freddie back fronting Queen.

11. Frank Sinatra

How about reanimating the whole Rat Pack and going on tour. People think they love Michael Buble? Wait until they get a load of the real old Blue Eyes.

12. Biggie

This seems like a no-brainer after bringing back B.I.G.’s West Coast rival 2Pac. Plus, I think fellow TC writer Josh Gondelman would buy out all the seats and have a solo dance party. Coachella for one. Party and bullshit. (PS: Bring back Big Pun too!)

13. Aaliyah

This one cuts deep. I think a lot of us remember when we heard about the plane crash that killed R&B’s little sister. Imagine hologram Aaliyah on stage with Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Just keep her away from real-life R. Kelly.

14. Marvin Gaye

When I was in middle school, my mom took my sister and I to a Motown impersonators show in Las Vegas and then proceeded to flip out when faux “Marvin Gaye” came on stage. I think reanimating the famous “Let’s Get It On” singer would be a personal favor to her, AV Concepts.

BONUS: Michael Jackson. Too soon? TC mark

image – All Eyez on Me


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/elinaroseb Elina Bergmann

    I’m with you, hologram people creep the hell out of me. I feel like it could be the starting point for a slightly-too-real horror film: music legends resurrected via hologram going on a murderous rampage at a music festival. Actually, I may have to earmark that idea…

  • Steven


  • http://crayolaoctopus.tumblr.com/ Julia G

    back in ’09 celine dion did a duet with a hologram elvis presley.. i’m pretty sure at the mtv awards

  • Mike

    Gaby Dunn, I’m surprised at you! Normally you’re hilarious and insightful, but this is like some weak ’10 musicians who died young’ feature you’d get on the MSN homepage six years ago. Poor.

    • Anonymous

      They can’t all be gems, Mike! I try!

  • Geoff

    Yup, actual musicians are quickly becoming irrelevant.  In 20 years will concert halls be like movie theaters?  It wouldn’t surprise me, but I sure wish we didn’t go down that road.

  • Christina

    John Lennon and George Harrison? I’d definitely devolve into a squealing fangirl in a heartbeat. And ditto on the making out with holograms. 

  • Ashley

    Well, I can say as soon as I heard about the hologram Tupac I immediately demanded a John, George, and Jimi. I’d be right there screaming like I was at the Ed Sullivan show with you, girl.

  • um

    Selena wasn’t murdered by a crazed fan.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right. I don’t know why I thought that. Who am I thinking of? (Female singer, murdered by a fan?)

    • Lukitotumtum

      selena was murdered by the president of her fan club.

    • Lukitotumtum

      selena was murdered by the president of her fan club.

    • Gleek1991

      Yes she was look it up idiot

  • http://twitter.com/RequiredMusic RequiredMusic

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

  • http://twitter.com/geology_rocks Haley F

    This is all great until they progress the technology to allow the holograms to interact with physical objects and hologram Tupac and hologram Biggie have a gun fight at some LA venue….

  • Guest

    The Pac hologram was in bad taste. I hate what the future is becoming.

    Besides, this has already been don ad infinitum on out twitter feeds. :/

  • DW

    wait… how you gonna leave out whitney. I want to make a hologram version of her and just make her walk around with me and sing to me all the time. </3

    • Anonymous

      Too soon!!!

  • http://twitter.com/geology_rocks Haley F

    Also no Micheal Jackson circa 1983?!

  • AK

    Um why is Jim Morrison missing?

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure I’ll be shanked, but I don’t like the Doors! I mean. I don’t mind them. But I’m not a fan. I know! It’s bad!

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure I’ll be shanked, but I don’t like the Doors! I mean. I don’t mind them. But I’m not a fan. I know! It’s bad!

  • Email

    The writer of this post is completely out of sync with the rest of the Thought Catalog writers. This is like an AOL article. 

    • Guest

      FALSE. DISLIKE. we love gaby dunn. 

  • Josh Gondelman

    I wish I were still on the west coast, so I could tell you to keep my name out yo’ mouf and have a cross-country beef. But I’m in New York, and so we have to be allies! You’re lucky, Dunn!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WQXSSKAMOU4WCHKCWYMUKKKNU Aladin Sane

    Really glad I’m not the only one to be slightly disturbed by this shit. I can only see this getting worst. “Guess what! BEATLES on TOUR 2017! Tickets only $666 dolla bills, yo”

  • Thekarencarpenterdiet

    It’s “my sister and me”, not “my sister and I”.  You wouldn’t say “my mother took I”…

    Enough trying to sound intelligent by misusing grammar!  

    • scott

      And I’ll bet you’re not even getting paid! A pro-bono editor!

    • ABBY

      Um no. It really is “my sister and I”.

      • Guest

        hahaha that is hilarious.  no thekarenwhatever, you wouldn’t say me took my mother….

  • http://www.facebook.com/ivanavi Ivan Dutton

    you forgot Madonna! oh wait she’s still alive.

  • Shane

    No Johnny Cash?

  • Lakdasl

    you had me at jeff buckely…

  • Jennifer

    I doubt Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic would agree to performing with a hologrammed Kurt Cobain, and I doubt Frances Bean would agree to appear with it. It seems like something Courtney would do with his likeness though, considering what she’s done already (a la Guitar Hero 5)

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    Elliott Smith but that would be too much for me

  • Guesting

    Freddie Mercury would be the only one of these worth digging up.  Or whatever.

  • Jenesuispasmorrissey

    Get in line to make out with hologram Harrison! Dream come true tbh

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