After all the horrible losses in the music world last year, British artist Chris Barker created an updated a version of the iconic artwork for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band to feature those who left us. Barker has returned with a new version for 2017. See Gord Downie at the Back?
— christhebarker (@christhebarker) November 6, 2017
Barker says he appreciated the public attention to his project, even though he decided to stay away from a command performance, choosing instead to use his increased online profile to make comments about the state of the world via his #faketoys series, which took on British and American political figures including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer.
“But I never intended to do another Sgt. Pepper montage,” he says. “I had done that. And this year wasn’t like last year. Sure, a lot of famous people had died but, to a certain degree, they weren’t world-changers. You could argue that Fats Domino and Chuck Berry changed the world and maybe a few others, but generally speaking these are all just good people who are good at their jobs and happened to get a lucky break. The story wasn’t the same as last year, so it would be pointless to try and replicate it. I didn’t want me doing a dead celebrity montage to become a sign that the end of the year was approaching, like the Coca Cola trucks or something.”
But, he started thinking, it was another monumental year, and maybe a dead celebrity montage could tell “another story.”