He was hailed as a genius in his youth but appeared to be falling away from the zeitgeist in the late 1980s. Some outsiders describe his supporters as cult-like but the fans don't care because their obsession with their hero knows no bounds. You either get him or you don't and a lot of people will tell you he's full of it.
That's right, he is Bob Dylan. Or Steve Jobs.
Jobs keeps his private life private but two things we know: he loves Bob and he loves the Beatles. Even his fiercest critics will grant that this makes him A Man Of Taste.
The rumour doing the rounds that Apple will release a Yellow Submarine Ipod only goes to show that we all have lapses of taste but when you've done a deal with U2, shame left town a long time ago.
So let's not carp. Let's just get on with The INQUIRER guide to Steve Jobs and Bob Dylan links.
10. Bootlegs Dylan is possibly the most bootlegged artist in the world but he remains a virulent opponent of stealth recording. However, in a 2003 Rolling Stone interview with Jobs, the Big Apple admitted listening to Dylan boots.
"Steve Wozniak turned me on to him. I was probably ... oh ... maybe 13, 14. We ended up meeting this guy who had every bootleg tape in the world. He was a guy that actually put out a newsletter on Bob Dylan. He was really into it -- his whole life was about Bob Dylan. But he had the best bootlegs -- even better stuff than you can get today that's been released. He had amazing stuff. And so we had our room full of tapes of Bob Dylan that we copied."
Pressed on this seeming contradiction in public attitude and private activity, Jobs said: "The truth is, it's really hard to talk to people about not stealing music when there's no legal alternative. The advent of a legal alternative is new -- it's six months old. Maybe there's been a generation of kids lost "
9. Digital music Jobs made a fortune from it but Dylan recently spoke out against digital music, or at least post-vinyl recording techniques. "There's no stature to it. I remember when that Napster guy came up across, it was like, 'Everybody's gettin' music for free.' I was like, 'Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway.'" Ironically, Dylan DJs Theme Time Radio Hour now available on Napster.
8. The Ipod On his radio programme, Dylan says: "They even got a GodPod an Ipod with scripture so you can listen to it anywhere you go."
7. Adverts Dylan appears on a recent Itunes ad singing Someday Baby. His image is also used in the Think Different campaign of 1997.
6. Naming In 1994, Apple was on the end of a lawyer's letter on behalf of Bob after it used Dylan' as the name for a programming language. The kerfuffle was soon sorted out.
5. Film Apple underwrote the award-winning Martin Scorsese Dylan rock-doc No Direction Home.
4. Exclusive deals The Collection, an all-you-can-eat collection of Dylan, is available exclusively on Itunes. Apple also developed a tie-in with Ticketmaster on pre-sale concert tickets.
"Bob Dylan is one of the most respected poets and musicians of our time, and he is a personal hero of mine," said Jobs in a press release. "Being able to offer his new album and the exclusive box set of his works on Itunes is a real thrill for us."
3. Live on stage Jobs has used Dylan clips in speeches and even quoted lines from The Times They Are A-Changin' to introduce the 1984 Apple shareholders meeting.
2. Joan Baez The Icon biography of Jobs suggests that a young Jobs dated Baez, the folk singer who was Dylan's shadow in the 1960s.
1. Summing it up "I tend to think of things as Beatles or Bob Dylan songs." - Steve Jobs, 2007 interview. µ
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