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Not sure why Jim Morrison or Elvis Presley are included.
November 18, 2013 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Rock & Roll Heaven: What dead rock stars would look like if they were alive today.
posted by Cookiebastard (84 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently, all of these folks would be caught somewhere without the benefit of decent hairdressers.
posted by xingcat at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


I like the fact that John Lennon apparently would have become a tenured history professor at a small liberal arts college.
posted by scody at 12:10 PM on November 18, 2013 [42 favorites]


Apparently Jim Morrison would've cleaned up and turned into Kris Kristofferson.
posted by saul wright at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


They all look quite healthy.

Meanwhile, back in the real world we have Keith Richards to compare against - a fossilized example of what a hard life of drink and drugs can do to you if you happen to survive.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Any way to pause the slide show? I was halfway through reading the commentary and it switched to the next slide.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2013


I'm about to turn the age that Bobby Darin died when everyone was like "Huh, that's a little sad but who cares really, his career was long over." Cool. Cool cool cool.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:14 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bob Marley and Janis Joplin look pretty good. I do wish they had pictures of them around the age they died, though, for comparison.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, back in the real world we have Keith Richards to compare against - a fossilized example of what a hard life of drink and drugs can do to you if you happen to survive.

I'm actually finding Ronnie Wood (god love him) a more terrifying example these days.
posted by scody at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Live fast, die young, leave an image to be digitally manipulated in the weirdo future.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2013 [25 favorites]


Needs more Brian Jones.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


They're overestimating the amount of hair they'd have, especially Keith Moon.
posted by sageleaf at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Needs more Buddy Holly.
posted by ogooglebar at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like the most depressing series of trading cards ever made.
posted by mittens at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Keith Richards to compare against...

Come to think of it, I wonder what Richards would look like if he were alive today.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [30 favorites]


It's like the most depressing series of trading cards ever made.

I would like to see a "Child Stars who died young made into attractive young adults" series to compliment this one.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kurt kept up the flannel, I see.
posted by Beardman at 12:22 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dennis Wilson is Huey Lewis.
posted by davebush at 12:22 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


davebush: "Dennis Wilson is Huey Lewis."

For real!
posted by Mister_A at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2013


When most people think of rock 'n' roll, they think of the late 1960s and early 1970s. What happened to the mid 50s to the early 60s?
posted by ChuckRamone at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2013


Dennis Wilson is Huey Lewis.

I was thinking Scott Bakula, but you're not wrong.
posted by scody at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Shame Lennon didn't live to see his 'next Doctor Who' Twitter campaign pick up steam.
posted by 0 answers at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Imagine.
posted by 0 answers at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2013


I would be much more interested in seeing what Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, et al, would look like today if they had died thirty years ago.
posted by flarbuse at 12:28 PM on November 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not sure why it was necessary to make Elvis look like a Mississippi feed-store owner.
posted by Lefty68 at 12:28 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


What? No GG Allin??
posted by wcfields at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's like the most depressing series of trading cards ever made.

Not even close.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like to see a "Child Stars who died young made into attractive young adults" series to compliment this one.

Cute children do not necessarily grow up into attractive adults, even in Hollywood.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2013


You folks are cracking me up here, really.

How's the veal?
posted by marxchivist at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2013


I like the fact that John Lennon apparently would have become a tenured history professor at a small liberal arts college.

I LOL'd. (For comparison, Paul McCartney in 2012.)

No, Elvis isn't a Mississippi feed-store owner, Elvis is Old Biff.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Dennis Wilson is Huey Lewis.

The concept of "a new drug" would have been awfully perplexing for Dennis Wilson.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:35 PM on November 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


After seeing the sitdown jam from the '68 Comeback Special, I really feel cheated out of a 1990s Elvis revival (in the mode of Johnny Cash).

I also regret not being able to grow old with Kurt; I'm sure he would have made a lot of great music in the past 19 years (!) with or without Nirvana.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:41 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


What, no Amy Winehouse?
posted by munchingzombie at 12:43 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never noticed until now that Presley and Lennon were born just five years apart. They could have been in a band together.
posted by pracowity at 12:46 PM on November 18, 2013


It's like the most depressing series of trading cards ever made.

Along with Insights, they should have added a Medical section that lists all statistics for old people ailments: Had Kurt Cobain lived, he would likely suffer acid reflux and sleep apnea between bouts of grumpy flatulence.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:52 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Bob Marley still looks awesome.
posted by lkc at 12:52 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, so Elvis became my crooked-grin wearing Tennessee grandpa, Papa George?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:55 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I was the only one who found the eyes really creepy on most of these? They don't look right...misaligned, or just...off.

Surprising lack of shaved heads. C'mon, that's what you do when the hair goes, unless you choose the Unfortunate Hair Plugs route, ala "The Nick Cage."
posted by emjaybee at 12:58 PM on November 18, 2013


Jimi for the win.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2013


I really feel cheated out of a 1990s Elvis revival (in the mode of Johnny Cash).

Parlor game: if they had lived, which younger artists would they be covering/performing with and/or what styles would they be adopting in an attempt to stay relevant?

"That last album Elvis did with Jack White remains my favorite, man." or "I really like Hendrix's work with Braxton, but Jimi's attempt to get into grime was just ridiculous."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember MAD Magazine doing something like this, except it was, "where will they be 30 years from now" or something. It included the Beatles, and John had become an Anglican minister or something. Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about?
posted by not_on_display at 1:01 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Michael McDonald
McDonald (1952-1979) succumbed to a marijuana overdose backstage at a Doobie Brothers concert. A few months later, he was awarded a posthumous Grammy for "What a Fool Believes" - a tribute to a promising career cropped short by the twin mandibles of fame and hashish.

Insights by Dr. Reebee Garofalo and Elijah Wald: "Michael McDonald's death set back American music by at least forty years. Trip-hop, electroclash, krunk - it's all prefigured in the demo tapes he left behind. By 1981, he would in all likelihood have escaped Kenny Loggins' pop influence and opened up sonic vistas we can only guess at."
posted by Iridic at 1:03 PM on November 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


There was a positively brilliant comic I saw once outlining Kurt Cobain's entire life had he lived, including a Brian Wilson/Smile-like thwarted masterpiece decades in the making called "Fetid." It was both spot on and hilarious. Anyone remember what I'm talking about? My Google Fu is failing me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:04 PM on November 18, 2013


That was amazing, Iridic.

NOW DO ROD STEWART.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember MAD Magazine doing something like this, except it was, "where will they be 30 years from now" or something. It included the Beatles, and John had become an Anglican minister or something. Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about?

YES. I absolutely remember this, particularly the drawing of a balding Lennon in his cleric's collar.
posted by scody at 1:06 PM on November 18, 2013


I remember that not_on_display. It came out in the mid to late 70s. I couldn't find it online though.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:06 PM on November 18, 2013


WTF is up with the terrible job they did on Mama Cass? They gave her some kind of waddle randomly hanging from the right side of her neck. Perhaps a double chin that migrated to the side? I feel like it's supposed to signify "look how fat and lumpy Mama Cass still would have been", which is insulting enough, but it doesn't even look like a feature you'd see on anyone!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2013


I did find this though, an illustration from The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I did find this though

...in which Paul McCartney is ousted from the band in favor of Walter Mondale!
posted by scody at 1:14 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Parlor game: if they had lived, which younger artists would they be covering/performing with and/or what styles would they be adopting in an attempt to stay relevant?

We have Gil Scott-Heron to look to as a fabulous example.
posted by mykescipark at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


it wasn't this Mad Magazine portrait?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


DOH!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2013


Awesome band name: Elvis is melting
posted by Windopaene at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Found it! It was a feature called "Whatever Became Of...?" from 1976. Scroll down here. But it was actually George who'd become a balding, Anglican minister... John (eerily enough) was listed as having "disappeared from sight" in 1990. (Also, for some strange reason Paul seems to have been reincarnated as the tragic Dr. Crippen. And boy, MAD really didn't bank on plastic surgery for Cher.)
posted by scody at 1:24 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Look at Jim Morrison's picture and say "hot pockets!" in a soft, high-pitched voice.
posted by dr_dank at 1:26 PM on November 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


It would have been interesting to see Hendrix arrive at the moment where the 70's were truly over, and everyone cut their hair. When Frank Zappa came out with short hair, you knew shit was getting real.
posted by thelonius at 1:27 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope I die before I get old.
posted by mazola at 1:29 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


But it was actually George who'd become a balding, Anglican minister...

...Huh. The musician and writer Larry Kirwan came up with a similar fate for George in his novel Liverpool Fantasy - an alternate-history novel about "what would have happened if the Beatles never made it in the first place". He predicted that George would have sort of lost it for a little while and then ended up becoming a Jesuit priest.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:31 PM on November 18, 2013


My alternate history tale is that Jim Morrison cleans up, drops out of the Doors to return to his screenwriting ambitions, falling in with Coppola. He replaces John Milius during the Apocalypse Now development. He has a heart attack on the shoot in the Philippines, having continued to put on weight since 1970. Further reforming his diet, he brooks no foolishness on the set, reining in Brando's Kurtz monologues. "Cut out the Lizard King bullshit"

The Apocalypse Now soundtrack features The Stooges instead the Doors, since Jim wants that part of his career buried. This of course means there's no Doors revival. "Dirt" and "Search & Destory" get just the boost needed to make punk break in the US in 1980, as hesher girls all get really into Iggy. This cascades through the culture. By the early 00's, Ian McKaye becomes the first senator from Washington DC.
posted by bendybendy at 1:50 PM on November 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


What? No GG Allin??

If GG Allin hadn't died on June 28, 1993, he would have died on the 29th or shortly thereafter. Bored to death, natch.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not for nothing, but have NONE of these dead celebrities heard of Botox?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:52 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Keith Moon & Dennis Wilson already looked about 30 years older than they were when they died, so both their portraits look oddly not old enough.
posted by anazgnos at 2:44 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


On the Mad parody that scody found:

Al Pacino began his screen career in 1972 playing Micharl Corleone in "The Godfather", ended it in 1974 playing the same role in "The Godfather Part VI" In between he starred in a Broadway musical fased on "The Godfather", called "The Mov's All Here," in which he sand the Hit song, "I've Got A Contract Out On You." His last acting job was in the TV comdedy series, "The Crazy Corleones," since when he has been confisned to his home in Beverly Hills with what doctors call "an identity crisis".

Given this in 1976 (prior to Scarface and a third Godfather) this seems weirdly prescient... though, of course, it would be freakishly so if they'd done the same joke for DeNiro instead.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:56 PM on November 18, 2013


Kinda creepy how many of them died at 27.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2013


I thought they all looked off and unrealistic, and I agree that the artist was too generous with the hair. Still, it would have been nice to see an attempt at Jeff Buckley, who would have turned 47 (my age) yesterday. Kurt was also my age when he committed suicide; we were both 27 in April '94, although he was 9 months younger. I've changed quite a bit physically since '94 and '97, and not for the better, so I wonder what those two would have really looked like now.
posted by Devils Slide at 3:08 PM on November 18, 2013


I'd like to be in the world that has that Janis Joplin. She looks eternally cool and sly.
posted by Ber at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Apparently Rock & Roll Heaven is located somewhere in the Uncanny Valley. Yikes.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm... Keith Moon became Lee Ranaldo.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:13 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not sure why Jim Morrison or Elvis Presley are included.

I saw Elvis yesterday, that's right he's still alive
he's working in a carpet store on highway 95
he said "sir, may I help you?"
I said "Elvis is that you?"
he said "don't you tell nobody,
or I swear I'll come kill you"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:18 PM on November 18, 2013


Keith Moon also bears a striking resemblance to Alan Rickman
posted by wabbittwax at 3:19 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Needs more Buddy Holly.

Came in here to say exactly that.
posted by immlass at 3:56 PM on November 18, 2013


John Lennon turned into Michael Cain. I'll have to look at his filmography again.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:27 PM on November 18, 2013


Kinda creepy how many of them died at 27.

The 27 Club.
posted by octothorpe at 4:44 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


jim morrison would have found religion and become a fundamentalist preacher

janis joplin would have finally gotten a band worthy of her talent

jimi hendrix - god, you know, he would have continued to change rock music in amazing ways

kurt cobain would have continued doing great music, but i think nirvana would have broken up

john lennon would have either embraced the avant-garde or become a relatively minor pop talent - but i think he might have been a significant political voice

mama cass would have done a disco record

elvis would have opened his own casino in vegas

bob marley would have probably continued on as he was - and why not?

the others don't interest me - i think the rot was setting in on the who, and keith moon wouldn't have made that much difference

and what about john bonham? - tim buckley? - judie sill? - all musicians who still had more to give us and couldn't
posted by pyramid termite at 4:53 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's weird how they assume that none of these people — many of them addicts — would have had an ignoble and mundane life after making music.
posted by klangklangston at 5:05 PM on November 18, 2013


and what about john bonham?

In 1983, Bonham discovered Erhard Seminars Training, and went on a retreat in Martinique. There, he locked himself in a cheap hotel room for six weeks, recording hundreds of hours of ambient synthesizer instrumentals. The resulting album, Smirking Hedgehog, was a commercial flop, but he would get a job writing music for Apple in the late 80s. Bonham was able to parlay this success into founding his own record label, also called Smirking Hedgehog. The label had a good eye for rising stars, quickly snatching up Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, and scores of other Seattle bands. Bonham then inexplicably sold the label to John Paul Jones, at the time producing the Butthole Surfers' Independent Worm Saloon. Bonham then retired to Martinique, living in an apartment over a dance hall, where he occasionally sits in with local bands.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:25 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Missing Joe Strummer.

(The list is missing Joe and I miss Joe every damn day.)
posted by pxe2000 at 6:07 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Wow, I can't believe it's been 11 years since Joe died. Even so, the difference between 50 and 60 isn't necessarily all that striking.)
posted by gingerest at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Needs more Richey Manic.
posted by jokeefe at 6:39 PM on November 18, 2013


I remember reading that Hendrix spent some time with the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago shortly before he died, which suggests to me that he'd be performing free jazz compositions and continuing to push the guitar as far as it could go. Hendrix is the one who I feel the loss of the most, in terms of what he could have contributed. So brilliant.
posted by jokeefe at 6:42 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jobriath would depart Earth in rocket-powered bell-bottom trousers in order to bring glam rock to other galaxies. He would have been the NGC 404 galaxy's Bowie.
posted by Redfield at 9:18 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]




Hmm... Keith Moon became Lee Ranaldo.


I thought Alan Rickman. I also agree that these look off and unrealistic, but still wanted to see Jeff Buckley.

"This food is terrible!" "I know, and such small portions!"
posted by sweetkid at 9:25 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


They make Cobain look all fleshy and wrinkly, but a lot of 40 something musicians have aged much more subtle. I just saw his Nirvana buddy Dave Grohl in Sound City; and he doesn't reveal such obvious signs of geezertude.

If Johnny Depp would've died 20 years ago I'm sure we'd have to see terrible forensic art versions of him with a combover and crowsfeet.
posted by dgaicun at 7:19 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


On a related note, if somebody does this for River Phoenix, I will learn how to make a DoS attack happen just to shut it down.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:26 AM on November 19, 2013


This is striking artwork. But it is for sure that Lennon would still have his glasses on.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 1:54 PM on November 19, 2013


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