• 11.20.13

See What Kurt, Janis, Jimi, And Other Deceased Rockers Might Look Like Today

Sachs Media Group gives us a glimpse at an alternate history in which the most famous deceased rock stars survive to possibly embarrass themselves later.

If you’re looking for ways to feel old, you could do worse than discovering that Nirvana’s final album, In Utero, was released 20 years ago this past summer. Kurt Cobain, the publicity-averse, troubled artist who fronted the band, famously committed suicide the following year, leaving all of us–but especially Family Guy–to wonder what might have been. While we’ll never know what songs he might have written, though, we can at least speculate on how he might have looked while writing them.


Sachs Media recently teamed up with photo manipulation house Phojoe for a project that provides a celestial portal into rock and roll heaven. It’s a collection of speculative mock-ups that imagine the most celebrated dead rock stars of all time as they might appear in our present day. Anyone who would prefer not to look upon a firmly grandpa-age Elvis Presley should stay far away, but everyone else: step right up.

The project goes beyond mere visual conjecture as well. Sachs also approached Dr. Reebee Garofalo, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and musician and writer Elijah Wald for their expert opinions on how the careers of these luminaries might have played out. As it turns out, Jimi Hendrix, for instance, might have continued his budding relationship with Miles Davis and stepped outside his the rock realm and into the most insane jazz-funk fusion album the world has never heard.

Have a look through more images in the slides above and read more about the potential lost legacies of these musicians here. Which artist do you think would have ultimately had the greatest career? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.