Steve Jobs – A Man Who Changed The Face Of Music
As I’m sure most of you are now aware, Steve Jobs, visionary genius and CEO of Apple Corporation, died yesterday after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Although news of this sad event is spread across the internet today, some of you might wonder why we have decided to write about it on Project Rhythm Seed. After all, we are a music site. We don’t really write about the tech world, or about general news stories.
But Steve Jobs is different. Through his affiliation with Apple and the creation of iTunes and iPods, Steve changed the face of music. He changed the way we store it, send it and listen to it. He changed the way it is marketed and sold. Some might say that is a bad thing. It certainly still has most of the music industry on its knees, wondering what is next. There are more than a few who feel that the opportunity for profit, in writing and recording music, has been removed and Apple, along with Steve Jobs, has screwed everyone.
But these points of view always exist, no matter what the issue. There is always a left and a right. I was at a concert a little while ago and overheard an old musician friend of mine telling my son that Kurt Cobain and grunge singlehandedly destroyed modern music and that nothing good has been released post-Nirvana. Now I know this is utter bullshit, but it still is this guy’s point of view and he’s welcome to it.
I believe that Apple has changed the musical landscape for the better. We – meaning writers, musicians, record companies and music marketers – might still be struggling with the changes, but the music fans, listeners and supporters have benefitted enormously from this new technology. Our family has been spending more time on the road recently, taking long multi-state drives. I am still amazed at how quickly and easily we can access music with our iPod plugged into the car stereo. Recently we were on the road for two full days and never heard the same song twice. Our iPod shuffled across forty years worth of music and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to keep going, even though we had arrived at our destination. From a historical standpoint, it has opened the roots of modern music up to many young people. I was on Bob Dylan’s website yesterday and read a piece written by Mike Walsh. Here is an excerpt…
“…five years ago I met this kid at work. About 25 years my junior and with 80 gigs of re-mastered 60’s classics by The Who, Beatles, Kinks, Stones, Hendrix, and Dylan on his iPod. We worked together and made quite a pair: a young kid who listened to nothing but 60’s rock heroes and a middle-aged guy still looking for the latest underground thing. It didn’t compute. It was The Odd Couple Revisited. I grudgingly agreed to listen to his 60s music, and behold — I became enraptured with Dylan, especially early Dylan.”
I don’t think this situation would’ve ever happened had it not been for iPods and iTunes. Ultimately, this is a positive step for all of us, even though the sting of change is still felt. Steve Jobs was a true visionary. He was somehow able to visualize objects and processes that would become hugely important to us, long before we had a clue that we even needed or wanted them. Nowadays I can’t imagine recording without my Mac G5, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without my iTunes library. Actually, I can imagine that. The floorboards would be creaking and sagging under the weight of shelves holding the 5,000 albums that now reside effortlessly and weightlessly on my hard drive.
Steve Jobs’ vision and creativity spanned across multi-genres and business types. Let’s not forget his integral involvement in Pixar. This was profound creativity. Here is what Disney’s Chief Executive, Bob Iger, had to say:
“Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined.”
That really sums up the state of things. Who knows what revolutionary things Steve Jobs would have shared with us in the future, had he been allowed to stay with us here on Earth. But we are so pleased and thankful to have his legacy and hard work with us still. I like to think that the Buddhists have it right, because if they do, Steve will return to this world to share his wisdom and creativity with a new generation. Until that time, rest in peace Steve Jobs. You will be sorely missed.