Stomach cancer took Ronnie James Dio from us in the spring of 2010 but thanks to hologramic miracles, he lives on as singer and performer. This past February, a Dio hologram wowed the crowd at the Pollstar Music Awards. It was a short demonstration of the freaky/creepy/cool things to come.
Over the last few months, the technology has been perfected to the point where Dio’s projection is going to tour through Europe this fall. A company called Eyelllusion has been working with Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s widow, to see to it that the little guy once again hits the stage. Here are the dates.
Nov. 30 – Helsinki, Finland – The Circus
Dec. 03 – Stockholm, Sweden – Fryshuset
Dec. 04 – Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller Music Hall
Dec. 06 – Warsaw, Poland – Progresja
Dec. 13 – Barcelona, Spain – Bikini
Dec. 15 – Santander, Spain – Escenario Santander
Dec. 17 – Bucharest, Romania – Arelene Romane
Dec. 20 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
Dec. 21 – Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
This brings me back to a conversation I had with a former Industrial Light and Magic guy at Canadian Music Week. His new company was the one who brought the Pepper’s Ghost version of Tupac to Coachella back in 2012
“This Tupac, this Dio stuff is nothing,” he told me. “It’s not enough to sell tickets to see a single hologram go through their past hits. People will go ‘That’s cool’ and last about three songs before they get bored. No, the real money is getting a bunch of these holograms and sending them out on tour together!
“Imagine,” he continued, “seeing a show featuring Elvis doing a duet with Kurt Cobain. Or Frank Sinatra performing with Amy Winehouse. The band could be Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham and John Entwistle! Or different dead celebrities could have their own short ‘sets.’ Every fifteen minutes, wham! A new dead guy walks out from the wings or materializes or beams down. Or whatever! People will lose their shit over this!”
That’s when the topic of Las Vegas comes up. “This kind of show is perfect for a long-term Vegas residency. You change it up every six, eight months to keep it fresh. And because people are always dying–and because their estates want to preserve, protect and exploit their likenesses and images—we’re looking at a show that could run for decades! It sure beats going Disney’s Hall of Presidents animatronic bullshit.”
I have to admit that this is kinda cool. Missed the original incarnation of the Ramones? Hologramize Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy and suddenly it’s 1978 again. Bring The Who back together with Keith and John playing virtually while Roger and Pete do their thing out front. Get The Doors back together.
It’s not just a matter of “if.” This is gonna happen. And sooner that you might think.