In a recent conversation with Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1, the legendary Keith Richards delved into the intriguing possibility of The Rolling Stones becoming the focus of a digital avatar extravaganza, much like the groundbreaking ABBA-style transformation that has mesmerized audiences since May 2022.
At the ripe age of 79, the iconic guitarist voiced his thoughts, saying, “Well, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. I’m pretty sure that it is bound to happen. Do I want it? Now, that’s another thing. But I don’t know if I want to hang around that long enough, man. But at the same time, it won’t be up to me, will it?”
The virtual spectacle that ABBA unveiled last year, referred to as “ABBAtars,” has seen the four members of the Swedish pop phenomenon — Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — transcended into the digital realm. This stunning digital performance unfolds within the confines of the custom-built ABBA Arena, nestled in London’s Queen Elizabeth Park. The staggering magnitude of this creation required over a billion hours of processing time and beckoned the ABBA quartet to dedicate five hours daily in front of 160 motion-capture units throughout a month.
From Blabbermouth, Notably, this isn’t the first time a Rolling Stone has touched upon the idea of music and technology convergence. Mick Jagger, the 80-year-old rock icon, previously mentioned the notion of a “posthumous tour” in a recent discussion with The Wall Street Journal. He remarked, “You can have a posthumous business now, can’t you? You can have a posthumous tour. The technology has really moved on since the ABBA thing, which I was supposed to go to, but I missed it.”
In a separate conversation back in July 2022, Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1 questioned Mick Jagger about how The Rolling Stones plan to ensure their enduring legacy over the next half-century and beyond. Jagger’s response was characteristically insightful, “That would be stupid to me to give you a one-line answer because I haven’t really honestly thought about it.”
He went on to acknowledge the impact of ABBA’s technological breakthrough, explaining, “The ABBA thing gives you this kind of technology breakthrough, which, I haven’t actually seen it yet. I was supposed to go and see it, but there was a train strike. So I didn’t get to go. I wasn’t going on the train, but … the traffic was horrible, so I can’t really answer that.”
Intriguingly, Jagger recognized the role of technology in shaping the future of music, stating, “Obviously technology is going to give you some of the answers to this, and who knows what technology lies in store down the road? We’re already in an AI world of doing this stuff, and you can do a lot of musical stuff with not very complicated computerization, as well.”
As The Rolling Stones continue to redefine the boundaries of music and technology, the prospect of them embracing a digital future akin to ABBA’s “ABBAtars” remains a tantalizing question, leaving fans and enthusiasts pondering the possibilities and the intriguing intersection of music and technology. Keith Richards’ tantalizing hints and Mick Jagger’s forward-thinking attitude underscore the potential for more groundbreaking developments in the ever-evolving landscape of music.