The Atari experience helped shape Jobs’s approach
to business and design. He appreciated the
user-friendliness of Atari’s insert-quarter-avoid-Klingons
games. “That simplicity rubbed off on him and made him
a very focused product person,” said Ron Wayne. .
Jobs also absorbed some of Bushnell’s take-no-prisoners attitude.
“Nolan wouldn’t take no for an answer,”
“I would rather let it pass,” he said when I pressed the point.
“It’s not something I want to judge Steve by.”
He confirmed his memory with Nolan
Bushnell and Al Alcorn. “I remember
talking about the bonus money to Woz,
and he was upset,” Bushnell said. “I said yes,
there was a bonus for each chip they saved,
and he just shook his head and
then clucked his tongue.”
In addition to their interest in computers,
they shared a passion for music.
“It was an incredible time for music,”
Jobs recalled. “It was like living at a time when
Beethoven and Mozart were alive. Really. People
will look back on it that way. And Woz and I were
deeply into it.” In particular, Wozniak turned Jobs
on to the glories of Bob Dylan.
“We tracked down this guy in Santa Cruz who put
out this newsletter on Dylan,” Jobs said. “Dylan
taped all of his concerts, and some of the people
around him were not scrupulous, because soon
there were tapes all around. Bootlegs of everything.
And this guy had them all.”
Hunting down Dylan tapes soon became a joint
venture. “The two of us would go tramping through
San Jose and Berkeley and ask about Dylan bootlegs
and collect them,” said Wozniak. “We’d buy brochures
of Dylan lyrics and stay up late interpreting them.
Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking.”
Added Jobs, “I had more than a hundred hours,
including every concert on the ’65 and ’66 tour,”
the one where Dylan went electric. Both of them
bought high-end TEAC reel-to-reel tape decks.
“I would use mine at a low speed to record many
concerts on one tape,” said Wozniak.
Jobs matched his obsession:
“Instead of big speakers I bought a pair
of awesome headphones and would just
lie in my bed and listen to that stuff for hours.”
Jobs had formed a club at Homestead High to
put on music-and-light shows and also play
pranks. (They once glued a gold-painted toilet
seat onto a flower planter.) It was called the
Buck Fry Club, a play on the name of the principal.
Even though they had already graduated, Wozniak
and his friend Allen Baum joined forces with Jobs,
at the end of his junior year, to produce a farewell
gesture for the departing seniors. Showing off the
Homestead campus four decades later, Jobs paused
at the scene of the escapade and pointed. “See that
balcony? That’s where we did the banner prank that
sealed our friendship.” On a big bedsheet Baum had
tie-dyed with the school’s green and white colors,
they painted a huge hand flipping the middle-finger
salute. Baum’s nice Jewish mother helped them draw
it and showed them how to do the shading and
shadows to make it look more real.
“I know what that is,” she snickered. They devised a
system of ropes and pulleys so that it could be