Bono In 'Rolling Stone': Steve Jobs Was 'The Bob Dylan Of Machines'
The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which hits newsstands on October 14, features several portraits of Steve Jobs, not least of which is the the cover story, a sweeping biography of the Apple CEO. A Q&A session with U2 frontman Bono delves into the rebellious, revolutionary spirit that guided Jobs and helped shape his unique approach to design and to business.
"The children of the Sixties are seriously changing the world," Bono told Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt. "Steve Jobs is right up there, he is, in many ways, the Bob Dylan of machines, he's the Elvis of the kind of hardware-software dialectic. He's a creature of quite progressive thinking, and his reverence for shape and sound and contour and creativity did not come from the boardroom."
Jobs, a well-documented lover of music, was passionate about Bob Dylan, The Beatles and other musicians prominent in 1960s counterculture. During a 2003 interview for 60 Minutes, Jobs famously compared Apple's management style to the dynamic shared among the four boys from Liverpool. "My model for business is The Beatles," he told 60 Minutes. "They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."
Bono went on to discuss with Rolling Stone how Jobs' "anarchic" attitude influenced Apple Inc and, more broadly, the consumer technology industry.
"The big lesson for capitalism is that Steve, deep down, did not believe the consumer was right," Bono explained. "Deep down, he believed that he was right. And that the consumer would respect a strong aesthetic point of view, even if it wasn't what they were asking for."
Jobs' and Bono's working relationship can be traced back to 2004, when U2's single "Vertigo," off the band's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" album, was tearing up international charts. At the same time, Apple was preparing to launch a European version of the iTunes digital music store.
In October of that year, the company and the band teamed up to launch a special edition iPod that featured a red and black design, as well as a "Digital Box Set" of U2's music; the iTunes store also offered the "Vertigo" single as a 99-cent download.
“We want our audience to have a more intimate online relationship with the band, and Apple can help us do that,” Bono said of the collaboration, according to an Apple press release. “With iPod and iTunes, Apple has created a crossroads of art, commerce and technology which feels good for both musicians and fans.”
In the same release, Steve Jobs spoke glowingly of U2, calling the group "one of the greatest bands in the world."
U2 and Apple even filmed a TV spot that promoted both the new device and the new album. Part commercial, part music video, the spot is shot in the style of Apple's iconic iPod silhouette ads, with faceless dancers rocking out in front of a neon backdrop as the band plays.
WATCH APPLE's U2 iPOD AD:
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5. A recently released coroner's report said that the cause of death was respiratory arrest caused by complications from a "metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor."
Visit Rolling Stone's website to read Bono's full Q&A, in which he discusses U2's collaboration with Apple, Steve Jobs' legacy and much more.
To see how fans around the world are honoring Jobs, check out the slideshow (below).