The guru behind Apple, the world’s first trillion dollar company, was undoubtedly a visionary and a genius…but Steve Jobs was also a miserable father, this according to a new book penned by his first child Lisa Brennan Jobs.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, 40, was the product of Steve Jobs’ relationship with Chrisann Brennan, and for a long while he denied being her dad. Her book "Small Fry" is excerpted in the new Vanity Fair, and one of the recurring indignities in Lisa’s life was her father’s cold denials that he named the first Apple Macintosh computer, known as the Lisa, after her.
It took Bono, a close friend of Jobs, to finally shake the truth out during a lunch they all had at Bono’s French estate when Lisa was 27. It was her first time meeting the Irish rock star. And Bono happened to bring up the first Lisa Macintosh in conversation.
As Lisa recalls in her book, “Off the coast of the South of France my father said we were going to make a stop in the Alpes-Maritimes to meet a friend for lunch. He wouldn’t say who the friend was. We took a boat to the dock, where a van picked us up and drove us to a lunch at a villa in Èze.
“It turned out to be Bono’s villa. He met us out front wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and the same sunglasses I’d seen him wearing in pictures and on album covers. He gave us an exuberant tour of his house, as if he couldn’t quite believe it was his. The windows faced the Mediterranean, and the rooms were cluttered with children’s things. In an empty, light-filled octagonal room, he said, Gandhi had once slept.
“We had lunch on a large covered balcony overlooking the sea. Bono asked my father about the beginning of Apple. Did the team feel alive? Did they sense it was something big and they were going to change the world? My father said it did feel that way as they were making the Macintosh, and Bono said it was that way for him and the band, too, and wasn’t it incredible that people in such disparate fields could have the same experience?
“Then Bono asked, ‘So, was the Lisa computer named after her?’”
Lisa remembered a pause “I braced myself -- prepared for his answer,” she wrote.
“My father hesitated, looked down at his plate for a long moment, and then back at Bono. ‘Yeah, it was,’ he said. ‘I thought so,’ Bono said.”
Lisa thanked the U2 frontman for finally getting to the truth, even though he hadn’t known about Jobs’ repeated denials.
“’That’s the first time he’s said yes,’” I told Bono. ‘Thank you for asking.’ As if famous people needed other famous people around to release their secrets,’ she wrote.