Steve Jobs reinvented how we as artists market, sell and promote our music. And of course he altered the landscape of how people purchase, receive, store and enjoy their music through iTunes, iPods, iPhones and iPads.
I was in Mick Jagger's dressing room back in 2002, during the Forty Licks tour, when Jobs gave Mick a presentation about iTunes. While iTunes had launched the year before, it was still in its infancy — very new and still catching on. Jobs was so articulate and passionate about what he had developed — and clearly confident that this would completely change the music industry. As we all know now, he was right.
Remember that this was during the time when Napster and other sites were, in essence, pirating music through the Internet. Jobs had the foresight and integrity to create a way to make music available through the Internet and also give the artists a share of the proceeds. His presentation in that dressing room was remarkable, and I knew then that this was a visionary guy with a true mission.
Beyond the impact that Jobs and Apple have had on music, it's simply mind-boggling when you think of all the other products and applications the company has invented. The computers, the software systems that run them, the way the company keeps moving the bar higher is just amazing, not to mention the incredible connectivity and compatibility between all the devices — it's phenomenal.
Steve Jobs was the Michelangelo, the da Vinci, the Einstein of technology — all neatly rolled into one. Apple has lost a genius and an amazing human being, but the world is a better and more interesting place because of him.
Chuck Leavell is the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and the co-founder of the Mother Nature Network. He is also the author of several books including his most recent, "Growing a Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable."
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