Steve Jobs and U2 ate quiche and drank green tea as they thrashed out a deal that marked the end of the band’s refusal to do commercials

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Steve Jobs poses with members of U2 at a celebration of the release of a new Apple iPod family of products on October 26, 2004 in San Jose, California.
Steve Jobs and U2 celebrated the release of new Apple iPods together in October 2004.

  • In 2004, U2 told Steve Jobs that the band’s single “Vertigo” would be a “perfect fit” for Apple’s ads. 
  • Bono made the comments in his new memoir. The Guardian has published an extract of the book.
  • U2 thrashed out the deal at Jobs’ home in Palo Alto, California, per the memoir.

In October 2004, U2 made a trip to Steve Jobs’ home to tell the then-Apple CEO that their upcoming single “Vertigo” would be a “perfect fit” for an Apple commercial.

Over quiche and green tea, they negotiated the rock band’s now-famous appearance in a 2004 iPod advert, according to Bono’s new memoir. The Guardian has published an extract of the book.   

U2 had never previously licensed its music for use in a commercial. According to frontman Bono, this was “a decision of principle with a price tag that was rising.”

Bono recalled the band’s trip to Steve Jobs’ “low-key Tudor-style” home. “We had a hunch that we thought might benefit both Apple and U2,” he said.

By the end of 2004, more than 10 million iPods had been sold. Until this point, Apple had used music from lesser-known bands, such as Jet, in its commercials. Bono recalls in his memoir that the Edge, U2’s lead guitarist, told Jobs: “Maybe it’s time to shift the emphasis to artists as well as fans. Don’t you think we’d look quite good in relief?”

Bono recalled: “Steve explained that he was flattered, but didn’t have the kind of budget that a band like ours would expect.” He told Jobs: “We don’t want cash. We just want to be in the iPod commercial.”

U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, initially asked Jobs for Apple stock, but Jobs refused. Even though they lost the stock argument, the band managed to negotiate a deal with the Apple CEO.

As part of the deal, Apple produced a special-edition U2-branded iPod and offered the band’s single “Vertigo” exclusively through iTunes. 

In 2014, U2’s album “Songs of Innocence” was famously released for free to iTunes users, a controversial experiment, Bono said, which “may not have worked.” 

Insider reached out to Apple for further comment but did not immediately hear back.

Read the original article on Business Insider