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The Steve Jobs – J.S. Bach Connection

(Larry Murray, Berkshire On Stage) What do you suppose was on Steve Jobs’ iPod? What did he listen to….while it may be fun to speculate, it’s been out there for years: he liked all types of music. The person who revolutionized the way we consume music did, in actuality, consume a great deal of it himself. And not just as a passive listener, but like many of us, he was active, thinking about what he was hearing and making constant comparisons.

It is one reason he loved Bob Dylan recordings. Jobs was a child of the sixties, born in 1955, so he grew up when the Beatles and Bob Dylan were the toast of the international music scene. He was also exposed to classical music, and developed a passion for Bach.

In Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Steve Jobs, entitled simply “Steve Jobs,” readers learn that Jobs once obsessively collected concert bootlegs by Dylan from his early electric period of 1965 and 1966. Likewise, Jobs was stunned by the creative majesty of the Beatles. He approached the challenge of securing the Beatles for iTunes with the single-minded focus of Captain Ahab pursuing Moby-Dick. One of Jobs’ proudest professional moments was the day he finally locked up the Beatles to sell their music digitally on iTunes.

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