Whether it was drugs, alcohol or a tragic accident, many of our favorite and most beloved rock stars had their time on Earth ended prematurely. What was left was not only a feeling of extreme loss for those who inspired us greatly with their art, but also a void filled with curiosity: if given more time, what more could they have accomplished? Or, at the very least, what would they look like today?
That’s why Ron Sachs of Sachs Media Group collaborated with Phojoe, a photo restoration and manipulation company, to create the Rock & Roll Heaven tribute campaign. Sachs spoke with “Broadway” Bill Lee yesterday (November 19) at WCBS-FM, our sister station in New York, about the the campaign, the inspiration behind it and the feedback it’s received during the short time since going public.
“We love rock ‘n’ roll, as people all over the world do, and creating Rock & Roll Heaven for these 12 legends (including John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix) has opened up a tidal wave of interest in what they might look like today and what they might have achieved in all the years since their untimely death,” says Sachs.
“For these 12 legends, these icons, we brought them back to life lovingly, with respect and we’ve engaged the entire community of rock fans all over the world in a conversation about how much do you love them, would you still love them today and what might they still have achieved,” adds Sachs.
Sachs Media Group enlisted the help of Dr. Reebee Garofalo—a professor of Community Media and Technology at the University of Massachusetts Boston— and Elijah Wald— a musician and music writer (How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music)—to deduce how the careers of each musician would have progressed.
Listen to Bill Lee’s complete interview with Ron Sachs and check out more “before” and fictional “after” photos at WCBS-FM’s website.
— E.J. Judge/WCBS-FM