No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Here's a picture of a person.
This guy is dead. He played guitar really well, he irrevocably changed the course of popular music from now 'til doomsday, he was a prolific lover and by all accounts a really sweet guy, and forty two years ago he took too many pills and drank too much wine and died. He's not on earth anymore and he's never going to be here again, because that's what it means to be dead. It means you're not alive anymore and you can't be alive anymore.
Here's a picture of another person.
This guy is dead. He sang in a way that inspired a lot of vocalists that came after him, he defined a lot of the poetic attributes that have come to be associated with psychedelia, he was sort of a strange fellow that never really seemed comfortable even as he reached the peak of his success, and forty one years ago something happened that nobody is quite sure of, and he died. He can't breathe anymore and he can't walk anymore and he certainly can't sing anymore. That's what happens when life leaves your body.
We, and by we I mean people, have a big problem with letting things go, and we also have a big problem with assigning dollar worth to intangibles. Technology has developed in such a way that the music industry has been able to create a new avenue of exploiting both of these flaws, by computer engineering a method of putting a gas tank in a corpse and throwing Christmas lights on top of it for purposes of a stage performance. You couldn't have asked Philip K. Dick himself to paint a bleaker, more cynical future of the entertainment industry.
A man approaches you and says that if you give him some money, he'll let you see your dead father again. If you talk to him he won't talk back to you, you can't touch him, but the thing that you're looking at will move like him and sound like him and if you're lucky, for a minute, you might feel like you're spending a moment with the man who raised you. You're not-he's dead and he can't come back-but this thing may lead you to imbibe a moment of connection because, on the surface, it's similar to something you're familiar with and something that means a lot to you.
A man approaches you and says that if you give him some money, he'll let you see your favorite performer. There will be no lungs in his form to sing from and if you throw something at him it will pass through the image that your eyes have trained you to register as a human body, but the thing you're looking at will move like him and sound like him and if you're lucky, for a minute, you might feel like you're in the presence of the artist who has most inspired you. You're not-he's dead and he can't come back-but this thing you're looking at may lead you to imbibe a moment of awe because, on the surface, it's similar to something you're familiar with and something that means a lot to you.
A thing, by any conceivable standard, is not a person. Jimi Hendrix can go on stage and play the guitar and preform for you. A hologram of Jimi Hendrix may be able to present a reasonably convincing facsimile of such but it is at best an afterglow of a person who has not been alive for almost half of a century and at worst a mockery of one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. And it is a mockery because buying a ticket to see a hologram of Jimi Hendrix is a signal that you care about what he represented more than what he was, that the idea of him is more important than who he was as a human being. And it makes you forget that he was a person at all, that the sounds heard on Are You Experienced? or Band of Gypsies did not spring fully-formed from a mystical sonic womb but were composed and created and preformed by men like you and me, with fingers and throats and minds to guide them. And that's exactly what they want; the companies can sell you the music but they can't sell you the man himself. Or at least, they didn't used to be able to.
This is happening. We didn't really know it was happening when they produced a synthetic Tupac Shakur and paraded him through the desert; some of us were able to fool ourselves into believing that it would be a vulgar one-time stunt with no hope for marketable longevity. But what we have told the record companies, in overwhelming numbers, is that a person's visage matters more than their material, as long as it is a man that we have some fond connection towards. We have said that the content of an action matters so much less than the representation of such. We have told them that we are fine with memories of things that never happened, and that nostalgia is as good or better than the experience that inspired it in the first place.
We have embraced the dreams, and forsaken the dreamers.