Way back in 1981, Rolling Stone dissected the late singer’s persistent posthumous popularity in the story famously entitled, “Jim Morrison: He’s Hot, He’s Sexy, and He’s Dead.”
Of course, millions of words had already been spilled analyzing the Dead Elvis phenomenon, which was an ersatz religion for a while there.
The estates of Presley, James Dean and Marylin Monroe continue to rake in millions in licensing fees each year, decades after their departures from this earth.
However, not even an expert on this phenomenon has cracked the cosmic calculus that determines who becomes a (dead) cash cow, and who doesn’t.
(Brian Jones was cool, talented, young and handsome too, but there’s never been much of a market for t-shirts with his face on them.)