Young Music Icons Gone Too Soon – How Would They Look Today?

Nikola Budanovic
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Rock ‘n’ roll music has been plagued by the premature deaths of some of its most important protagonists. From Elvis Presley to Amy Winehouse, many of the music industry’s biggest stars succumbed to the pressure of fame, wealth and popularity.

These musicians who departed at the height of their career grew a cult around them which spawned numerous fans long after they died.

But have you ever wondered what might have been if they were still among the living?

How would their music transform over time? How would they age and how would they look?

Just think of the possibilities of Bob Marley collaborating with the Fugees, or Kanye West, or perhaps Hendrix pursuing a more experimental sound, and following through with his lesser known plans of working with the avant-garde jazz legend, Miles Davis?

Bobby Darin. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Dennis Wilson. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Jim Morrison. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Jimi Hendrix. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Karen Carpenter. Photo by Sachs Media Group

The answers to some of these questions, along with imagined portraits of how the early-departed music stars might look if they were alive today can be found in a peculiar little selection of pictures named “Rock’n’Roll Heaven.”

The project was devised and executed by the Florida-based Sachs Media Group in co-operation with Phojoe photo restoration and manipulation company, featuring rock stars who burned out, instead of fading away, presented as people well in their sixties and seventies.

‘Mama’ Cass Elliot. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Bob Marley. Photo by Sachs Media Group

The Rock’n’Roll Heaven gallery of images is accompanied by a short introduction for each of the featured musicians, along with a comment by two popular music scholars, Dr. Reebee Garofalo of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Elijah Wald, a regular contributor for the Boston Globe, who is also an established musician.

Janis Joplin. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Kurt Cobain. Photo by Sachs Media Group

Re-imagining rock ‘n’ roll icons whose lives were violently interrupted, the pictures offer a nostalgic, yet eerie insight into what might’ve been, giving us a glimpse of an alternative reality.

This reality includes a number of potential theories, like the one in which Kurt Cobain avoids suicide and returns to a more underground sound reminiscent of Nirvana’s early recording while becoming the patron saint of emerging cutting-edge artists.

John Lennon. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Keith Moon. Photo by Sachs Media Group


Elvis Presley. Photo by Sachs Media Group

Along with a number of other predictions, it also features estimates that writers like John Lennon and Jim Morrison would most likely continue to be revered in the musical world, becoming more keen on experimenting, while producing literary, theatre and film work as well.

Read another story from us: The Oldest Generation of People to Ever be Photographed

As for the looks, it is quite hard to imagine how some of the most famous artists of their time would deal with age. After all, most of them were sex symbols in their own right, and the “live fast, die young” motto which was bestowed on them only added to their allure.