- 26 Oct 04
In what could prove to be one of the year's biggest marketing coups, Apple Computer Inc. have inked a deal with U2 which sees the band putting their name to a customised iPod. [pics courtesy of Apple]
The new 20GB iPod U2 Special is expected to be available in mid-November for a suggested retail price of $349.
Announcing the details last night at a press conference in San Jose, Bono said: "We want our audience to have a more intimate online relationship with the band, and Apple can help us do that. With iPod and iTunes, Apple has created a crossroads of art, commerce and technology which feels good for both musicians and fans."
Those sentiments were echoed by The Edge, the first iPod owner in the band who enthused that, "iPod and iTunes look like the future to me and it's good for everybody involved in music."
Holding up to 5,000 songs, the U2 iPod comes in black with a red 'click wheel' and the band members' signatures engraved on the body.
"U2 are one of the greatest bands in the world," comments Apple CEO Steve Jobs, "and we're floored to be working with them. We just want to make some innovative products together and we hope U2 fans will love having their very own special edition iPod."
Currently top of the iTunes download chart with 'Vertigo', U2 are scoring another first by making available a 400-track-plus digital box-set which will include all of their albums, singles, B-sides and 25 rare and unreleased tracks.
According to a spokesman, "Fans will be able to purchase and download The Complete U2 with just one click on the iTunes Music Store in the US and Europe beginning in late November for just $149."
Not everybody's thrilled by the news with the editor of the U2 interference.com website, Carrie Alison, maintaining that: "Some (fans) will rankle at the band aligning themselves with a major corporation such as Apple, while also aligning themselves with Aids charity work."
Meanwhile, last week saw Bono reunited with a briefcase he'd had stolen at a Portland, Oregon club show in March 1981.
The theft was of particular significance because it contained the draft lyrics to their classic October album. Bono ended up re-writing them in the studio, but has been quoted on several occasions as saying that some of the nuances were lost in the process.
Although it's taken 23 years for them to get back to their author, the lyrics were discovered in 1983 by a woman who was clearing-out the attic of a rental home she'd moved into in nearby Tacoma.
"I'd started a family," explains Cindy Harris, "and thought it would be impossible to ever get hold of them and let them know that I have these items."
That was that until last year when a friend of hers passed details of the find on to U2's Principle Management company. After a couple of abortive attempts, Harris finally got to give Bono his booty when he stopped off in Portland to address the World Affairs Council of Oregon.
Finally, Glastonbury head honcho Michael Eavis has confirmed that U2 have "reluctantly declined" an invitation to headline the festival in 2005.
"But," he adds, "their manager said they will do it at some point in the future."