There's an article from Spin magazine about U2 and their new album. It's a pretty good read, I'd check it out if I were you. But one of the interesting things they talk about is their work with Apple which sounds like it's going to extend past just a U2 branded iPod and into something similiar to Pearl Jam's bootleg series of live concerts. Already you can buy the U2 show from Brookyln on the iTunes music store. When Bono says, "And next year, you will be able to go to a U2 show and download the concert onto your iPod.", does he mean that all of U2's shows will be availble for purchase on iTunes?
How awesome would that be? It would essentially kill the need for driving to Seattle to search through record stores for illegal bootleg CDs made in China or Italy to see if you can get a copy of the show you were at. It would be some kind of fantastic.
"The company that best exemplifies the marriage of technology and pop culture is Apple," says Bono as he paces the floor. "They understand music. They like music. They like the art object. The iPod is probably the greatest pop object since the electric guitar. We -- as a band -- feel strongly about the iPod. We -- as a band -- talked about the idea for an iPod years ago. We -- as a band -- are fans of Apple."
We are in a room with a telephone. Bono points to the telephone.
"We have, just now, ten minutes ago, made a partnership with Apple, right on that very phone," he continues. "We want to work with them. The Edge wants to work with their scientists. We want to play with their design team. We want to be in their commercial. We will do a commercial with Apple for our album, and no money will change hands, which is important, because we have been offered boatloads of money from many other people. But we will make an Apple commercial that's as good as any video. And next year, you will be able to go to a U2 show and download the concert onto your iPod. We're going to make a digital box set, where you can get every U2 album and every U2 B-side and every U2 lyric, all at once. We want to do this because we like their company. It's art, commerce, and technology colliding." It strikes me that Bono is talking about Apple as passionately as he talks about human rights. He is nothing if not charismatic; if he worked in advertising, we would probably say he has a strong "force of personality." But it also feels a bit odd to hear the leader of a rock band talking about how awesome it's going to be to make a commercial for a computer company.