Must The Show Go On?
Did you see the Billboard Music Awards recently? Me neither, but there was a hologram-like 3-D projection of Michael Jackson performing. He's dead and gone now, so who has the right to bring him back? Should they?
Well, I can't answer that question right now. I assume his estate has to give final approval. I would hope so. This is a serious thing there! He's no longer of this earth. Where's the respect? Didn't he give us enough great performances?
If you missed the other night here it is...
I know people are saying "dude, chill out! Its just a cool thing". I hear you, I'm not trying to rain on parades here, but I kind of am. I'm no voodoo-ist or some hippie, but it just seems kinda foul to mess with people when they're gone isn't it?
Some years back, Natalie Cole recorded a version of here dad Nat King Cole's classic "Unfortgettable" with his vocal tracks attached making it a duet. Even though Nat's been gone for a long time he was re-born for a few minutes to be with his daughter for this sweet love song. This is a father and daughter thing and was lovely at the time, but did this instance open the door for more encores? I think so.
Remember at Coachella when Snoop rocked the stage with 2Pac? Pac has been gone for a long time now, but he made it to Coachella a little while ago. This was like a full size body version of Pac. Not a mini pic on a screen. It was a full sized Snoop kickin' it with a full sized image of 2Pac. 99% of the people at Coachella thought they were on something when they saw that. (75% of them prob were anyways)
These artists are gone and have no say. If they were here, they'd have a say. Not here... no say! It's their image, likeness and their music. So when you die you lose all rights? Its a free for all? I think when you're gone - there should be a respect rule set in place. Record labels or whoever can't have their run of whatever they want to do with your stuff. There should be a limit or specifics set in place. Its just gross and fake isn't it?
After 2Pac died how many records have been released? Don't bother counting. You'll be here all week. I think its pretty lame to slap some demos together and put them out as new material. When the artist isn't involved in their own music - that's as good as stealing to me. Their families or estate holders are responsible when they're gone to make the best decisions on their behalf. In many cases, I'm sure those people see good money and big opportunities to cash in on their deceased's name and reputation and so we have this stuff going on cheapening the legacy and perception of some of the artists we've lost.
Even the Beatles did it audio wise when their Anthology releases back in the 90's using some older, un-used John Lennon vocals. Hey, I am a HUGE Beatles fan, HUGE! I wold love more Beatles music sure. As is demos or left over tracks? Bring em on. This is different though. This is a bit awkward isn't it? Messing with John Lennon? I want more Lennon like any fan, but I don't want to feel awkward about it. I really love this tune too. Maybe the fact that the other 3 were involved softens the blow a bit, but it's still ghostly.
Same thing happened to Jeff Buckley after he passed away in 1997 while in Memphis making his second record. I'm a big fan of Jeff Buckley and was bummed we'd only have one record from him when I learned of his passing. Because his label were due releases thanks to a contract; they've put out various collections still to this day I believe including the album Jeff was working on but wasn't finished with, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. It wasn't finished! He wasn't done making his music! So... leave it be! Some of this band mates as well as Jeff's mother oversaw the project. That's a nice thing, BUT that doesn't make it right. They didn't know exactly what he wanted or didn't want done on that record. None of them did. Only he did. I heard even Chris Cornell was involved. What the crap was he doing there? Now you have him involved and his managers and lawyers. Oy vay! We all love Chris, but just cause he was a friend and a singer and a recording artist doesn't mean he knew what Jeff envisioned for this music?!
Although, this tune is way bad ass.
Notorious BIG, Johnny Cash... the list goes on and on. Where does the line get drawn? Where does good taste and respect kick in? Where does business stop for a minute and the respect for those who have passed kick in? Does it ever? It damn well should.
I find myself torn a little bit at times. I like some of this stuff above, but I don't think it's right to slap something together because they still owe you a record or two on your contract deal. So I tend to lean mostly towards, don't do it at all.
When someones lost, we all lose. That person is gone and that should put a stop on unfinished or yet to be released works. Live records or boxed sets are a bit easier to stomach. Losing an artist is awful. It shouldn't be a chance to capitalize on business. It only makes record labels look more like pimps than they already do. But hey, no one expects record labels to have heart. That's cause most don't. The good souls at labels that DO have hearts, well, they don't have enough strength to steer their companies away from the gain, of the loss of an artist. There's unfortunately not enough heart to defeat a team of entertainment lawyers and contacts thick as the Bible.
So, do you moonwalk with Michael's 3-D gram or do you just appreciate the videos we were given that you can find on DVD and on You Tube? There is no wow factor greater than hearing or seeing an artists live and in person. THAT'S the real thing!
Don't you want the real thing?