Following the debut of a holographic image of late rapper Tupac Shakur "performing" at the Coachella Festival in California last month, Billboard.com asked QUEEN drummer Roger Taylor if he would ever consider playing alongside any similar image of the band's late singer, Freddie Mercury."I don't think I want to," Taylor told Billboard.com. "Were somebody (else) to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection... It just doesn't sit too well with me. I don't want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It's the real one or no hologram for me. But I think it's an amazing effect when used properly — obviously in darkness." Sanj Surati of Musion Technology, the company that created the Shakur hologram, rerportedly now has other dead artists in his sights. Surati gave NME his wishlist, saying, "Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, oh, and Michael Jackson would be the ultimate one. Maybe even Whitney Houston." Surati added that putting "Elvis on stage with Justin Bieber would be a cool thing."
The audience at Coachella was stunned three weeks ago when the image of Shakur, who was shot to death in 1996, appeared onstage to sing alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. The image even addressed the crowd. Dre reportedly said that the effect was strictly for Coachella and would not be taken on tour. Crowd reaction to the hologram was mixed, and its inclusion in the show has launched a discussion about the future of live performance. A handful of artists in Japan have already used holograms in this manner. Surati called the hologram technology "a historic and exciting initiative." SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he thought holograms could be used to beam living artists into any festival in the world from wherever they were: "If the technology is available and we can get away with it, that would be awesome. Then you'd have, like, THE POLICE from one part of the world, you have, you know, U2 from another part or you have African bands and all these people playing from different parts of the world on the same stage without being there."