- U2 manager Paul McGuinness asked Steve Jobs for Apple shares for the band’s iPod ad.
- Steve Jobs turned down the request, but U2 then struck a deal to appear in the now-famous ad.
- “Apple was on a journey to infinity and beyond; we were just lucky to hitchhike,” Bono said.
U2 manager Paul McGuinness asked Steve Jobs for Apple shares instead of cash for the band’s appearance in a 2004 iPod commercial, frontman Bono has said.
In an excerpt from his new memoir published in the Guardian, Bono said the band asked to be featured in the ad despite never having cleared their music for advertising before because Apple had “a history of groundbreaking ads “.
“We don’t want money,” the musician told Steve Jobs. “We just want to be in iPod commercials.”
When Steve Jobs said he ‘didn’t have the kind of budget’ for U2, McGuinness, who was the band’s manager from 1978 to 2013, suggested ‘even a token amount’ of Apple stock in exchange for the band appearing in the ad.
Steve Jobs called the Apple stock swap a “dealbreaker” and declined the offer.
Bono added that despite the band appearing in the ad, McGuinness still regretted losing the argument with the Apple founder.
The band struck a deal with the tech giant which included the release of a limited edition red and black iPod with U2 branding.
As part of the partnership, Apple created the U2-branded iPod in 2004 and offered the band’s single “Vertigo” – which featured in the board – exclusively through its iTunes store. Apple has also created the first-ever digital box set containing all of U2’s albums.
Bono said thousands of people bought the special edition iPod because it “wasn’t white” like previous Apple products.
Bono added that the band’s deal and publicity with Apple allowed the band to tap into a younger audience and they took advantage of the “Apple wave”.
“Apple was on a journey to infinity and beyond; we were just lucky to hitchhike,” Bono said.
Insider contacted Apple for further comment on Bono’s comments, but did not immediately respond.