Without Bob Dylan, Apple might not exist

Apple co-founders bonded over the singer, according to new biography of Steve Jobs

Bob Dylan
Credit: REUTERS/Lee Celano

As a young man Steve Jobs obsessively collected bootleg reel-to-reel tapes of Bob Dylan recordings and live concerts. Later he met -- and was delighted by -- his musical hero.

These and other anecdotes are included in Walter Isaacson's new biography of Jobs, who died Oct. 5 at his Silicon Valley home after a long struggle with cancer.

Rolling Stone magazine collects the rock-star details coloring the Steve Jobs story in a recent article.

For starters, it can be argued that without Dylan, there would be no Apple.

From RS:

Jobs and [Apple co-founder] Steve Wozniak initially bonded over their mutual obsession with Bob Dylan. "The two of us would go tramping through San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs and collect them," said Wozniak. "We'd buy brochures of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them. Dylan's words struck chords of creative thinking."

If she's good enough for Dylan...

In 1982, Jobs was introduced to Joan Baez by her sister Mimi Farina. He was 27 and she was 41. ... Some of his friends believed that one thing that drew Jobs to Baez was the fact that she used to date Bob Dylan. "Steve loved that connection to Dylan," said Jobs'

college friend Elizabeth Holmes."

After years of worshiping from afar, Jobs finally met Dylan in October 2004 as the singer was performing in the Palo Alto, Calif., area.

"We sat on the patio outside his room and talked for two hours," said Jobs. "I was really nervous, because he was one of my heroes. And I was also afraid that he wouldn't be really smart anymore, that he'd be a caricature of himself, like happens to a lot of people. But I was delighted. He was as sharp as a tack. He was everything I'd hoped."

And, finally, a spat with U2 frontman Bono:

Jobs refused to print (APPLE) Red on the U2 iPod because he didn't want Apple in parentheses. "But Steve, that's how we show unity for our cause," said Bono. The argument got heated – to the "F-you stage" – until they compromised on (Product) Red.

The book also reports that Jobs harbored concerns that singer John Mayer was "out of control."

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