WENDY DIO AND JEFF PEZZUTI DISCUSS RONNIE JAMES DIO’S HOLOGRAM
Sari Cohen of AXS spoke with Wendy Dio and Jeff Pezzuti, the CEO of Eyellusion, about Ronnie James Dio’s hologram.
AXS: Jeff, tell me about Eyellusion and what your mission is with the company?
Jeff Pezzuti: Eyellusion is the only hologram entertainment company solely focused on the live music market. We address full end-to-end hologram production needs, from streaming of live or pre-recorded shows to full digital re-creation of artists who have passed away. We’re working with an expanding roster of artists to help open up new revenue streams, expand touring capabilities and meeting fan demand. The Eyellusion team brings decades of global music industry and live touring experience, combining deep expertise with cutting-edge production and hologram display capabilities. Eyellusion’s mission is to ensure legacies and music giants of today get passed to the next generation. With the uncertainty of the current radio format, creating a new revenue stream for artists will allow more people to see their favorite artists, in any genre, in a live setting.
AXS: Tell me about your journey so far?
JP: Our debut production was the Ronnie James Dio hologram performing at Wacken 2016 with the Dio band, consisting of the guys he played with the last 17 years. We’re in production on a full Ronnie James Dio hologram tour that will play worldwide starting later this year. Beyond our work on the Ronnie James Dio hologram, we are in serious talks and contract negotiations with many other major artists and management and hope to have more to share on that front in the near future.
AXS: Can you tell me how you and Wendy came together and how your individual strengths make you such a great team?
JP: We’re huge Ronnie James Dio fans at Eyellusion. I reached out to Wendy to discuss our idea about putting Ronnie back onstage via hologram, in a way that would really honor his music. I flew to L.A. to meet with her at her office – she was on board almost right away – and the rest is history. Wendy and I complement each other well. Another key member of our team is Todd Singerman of Singerman Entertainment. He’s been a huge asset to the company.
AXS: Wendy, can you share with me what this whole experience has meant to you? What do you hope fans and future fans can take away from the hologram experience?
Wendy Dio: This is an amazing experience, for the fans who knew and loved Ronnie and for the ones that never got a chance to see him in a live concert. Ronnie is back on stage with the Dio Band, keeping his music and his memory alive.
AXS: What’s the latest news on the upcoming tour?
JP: The tour is currently being routed and we are hoping to make an announcement for an end of year kickoff in the coming months. This is not just about the U.S. It is truly a world tour. Ronnie’s fans are spread around the world and we intend to bring this exciting show to as many as we can. The show will not only feature Ronnie and his band but also live singers like Tim “Ripper” Owens [Judas Priest] and others to complete the overall show vision. The show will feature effects and stage design that Ronnie made famous in the ‘80s and will also incorporate new technology into what will be some pretty awesome special effects. It will be a fun experience for all ages, and a way to experience the incredible catalog [Rainbow/Black Sabbath/Dio] that Ronnie made famous. We will feature both the expected songs, as well as some crowd favorites that will be surprises.
Read more at AXS.
I think this hologram stuff is creepy way to keep the memory of person alive, and sad to read that other major artists may be on board with this spooky idea. This hologram stuff is no more than a creepy karaoke type gimmick, and nothing more than a way to make money. I love all of Dio’s work, and ironically a playlist of Dio’s work is shuffling on my ipod as I type this, but if I want to honor his memory or remember him, I’ll watch Dio on DVD or YouTube, not watch a hologrammed image.
Come on, Wendy, knock this stuff off. This does to not bring Ronnie back to the stage…but it does frighten children…and me.
Totally agree! How is this any different from having someone lip-syncing during a live performance? Noone is a bigger RJD fan than I am, but this is just a pure money grab! What’s next? Are we going to bring Jimi Hendrix back to life via hologram? I will never forget the times I got to see RJD live, with both Black Sabbath and Dio. But he is gone. Just let him rest in peace, and let his memory live in hearts and minds of his fans. We have his music, and that will never die.
I see how some think this is wrong but I’ve really thought a lot about it and have no issue with it. Yes at first it seems like a money grab and just wrong as the man is dead. But what exactly is so wrong about it?? People going would know they are seeing a hologram and it is a celebration of his life and music…if the real Dio we’re alive then he would be on stage obviously but he is not so this is really no different then going to a movie theater and watching a concert from a different time. In recent years U2, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd just to name a few have had theaters around the country playing their concerts when in fact some of the members are long dead…I know that that is a movie and this is a live show but frankly I don’t look at it as different and it is entertainment nonetheless. If Wendy Dio was against this and The rest of the band was doing it without her blessing then I would have a problem with that but I believe Ronnie James Dio would be OK with this as is his wife. If it comes my way to South Florida I will go to see this as I loved Ronnie James Dio on his own, and rainbow, and his days in Sabbath and Elf…
there are people who will see and embrace both sides of this special effect but for me , it is not him singing live so there is no anticipation of what he might do vocally or might say , it will be a flawless digital vocal performance so to me there is nothing alive or human in that – it’s CGI and there will be bugs and glitch’s which will be ridiculous – it is a money grab for sure, they wouldn’t put so much into it and not expect a huge return on their investment , maybe wendy really needs the extra money who knows why she got on board with this , for me I like GCI in blockbuster action movies not on a rock n roll stage –