In a new Rolling Stone article about how entrepreneurs have begun trying to concoct new ways to profit from the legacy of rock stars from days past, including technologies like holograms, Christopher Dalston, a booking agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), revealed that he was once approached with the idea of “an AC/DC hologram of Bon Scott,” referring to the band’s singer who died in 1980. Although he didn’t say which hologram company approached him, Dalston added: “We asked ourselves, ‘Do we want to represent something with Bon Scott?’ And it just wasn’t right for us at that point. It’s a very personal thing to the groups. … You have to be careful what you do there. AC/DC is still a very current band with Brian Johnson singing.”
Ronnie James Dio‘s wife and manager Wendy Dio, who is affiliated with Eyellusion, the company that created a hologram of the late heavy metal singer, said in a 2017 interview that it was only a matter of time before other rock legends returned to life through holograms, the three-dimensional light projections that have opened new frontiers for the live music and other industries. “Absolutely,” she said. “I think the company that we’re working with is talking to a lot of different people. And I think it’s the way of the future. It’s like people were, ‘Ooooh…’ when the eight-track came out, ‘Ooooh, what’s this?’ And then cassette. ‘Oooh, what’s this?’ And digital, ‘What’s this? Oh, we don’t wanna do that. We only want analog. We don’t want digital.’ But you know what? It’s technology. And also, we’re losing our legends day by day; we’re losing the innovators of metal and hard rock music; we’re losing ’em every day. What are we gonna do? I don’t see a lot of bands coming up to take their place.”
The Dio hologram made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans. The hologram production uses audio of Ronnie‘s live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
After the “Dio Returns” tour’s initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie‘s hologram underwent some changes before the launch of the 2019 leg of the the trek, which took place in May and June of that year.
Two former DIO guitarists have publicly expressed their doubts about the Ronnie James Dio hologram. In December 2019, Tracy “G” Grijalva, who played for DIO from 1993 through 1999, said that the hologram “looks creepy” and resembles “a puppet.” Nine months earlier, Doug Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told XS Rock that “Ronnie would probably not” like the hologram. “He would probably be, like, ‘This is not what I signed up for.’ A hologram? It’s not really what he would want to be. I’m just guessing, you know, that it’s something that Wendy thought about and she decided that Ronnie would be fine with it. But I knew Ronnie well enough to know that he was very particular and he would prefer for them to let him just die and be in peace.”
Scott was invited to join AC/DC by Malcolm and Angus Young in 1974, and achieved international stardom before his death at the age of 33 from alcohol poisoning.
He sang on AC/DC‘s first six studio albums, including “High Voltage”, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, “Let There Be Rock” and “Highway To Hell”.
Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking at a club in London, just days after attending a session with Malcolm and Angus Young where they began working on music for what became the “Back In Black” album.
“Back In Black” was the first album AC/DC released after singer Brian Johnson replaced Scott, and it went on to become the third-biggest-selling LP of all time.