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For a company that likes to say music is part of its DNA, Apple has been in a bit of a rut of late when it comes to live guests performing at its circus-like press events.
A year ago, after Apple introduced its new iPhones and unwrapped the Apple Watch, the Irish band U2 performed. For those of you who have never heard of U2, they were a band popular in the 1980s and 90s.
The band performed a couple of songs from its new album, “Songs of Innocence.” Then, following an awkwardly staged jokey exchange with Apple chief executive Tim Cook, it was revealed that the new U2 album would be given free to all users of iTunes.
For those of you who have heard of iTunes, it was a popular piece of software created by Apple last decade that revolutionized the way people listened to music. Until streaming came along.
Anyway, the new U2 album went on to set a new world record for the number of people who complained about receiving something that was free. The outcry over having a U2 album shoved down the digital throats of users prompted an apology of sorts from lead singer Bono.
Fast forward to this past summer, and the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The company introduced Apple Music, its long-awaited streaming service. And everyone was betting that the performer at the end would be KANYEKANYEKANYE!
Instead, it was some dude named Weeknd. Or The Weeknd. Actually, I have no idea who either of those people are and I’m not sure what I just typed. But the fact that instead of a superstar the masses got some dude with a typo in his name was a giant letdown, as evidenced on Twitter.
So, now Apple has another shot at it. And they’re holding the latest event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, which seats more than 6,000 people. Who will they get?
Over at Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt is betting it will be Taylor Swift. Though she plays a concert in Houston in the evening, it’s possible she can make it back in time from California. It’s also possible Swift has cloned herself for just such circumstances as these, because she is Taylor Swift and she is amazeballs!
It would be a nice bit of reconciliation to show there’s no hard feelings after Swift single-handedly guilted Apple into paying royalties during the free trial period of Apple Music. And because Swift is like totally the most powerful human on the planet, might as well kiss up to her now before it’s too late and she runs the whole solar system and no longer has time for puny humans.
Elmer-DeWitt also speculates her appearance might be a little present for Apple employees. Though I’d hate to be the guy who decides who gets to go and who has to stay back in Cupertino. That would be almost as hard as trying to figure out which Apple employees will get to work in the new Apple spaceship campus, and which ones will still be stuck in a rent-an-office behind the local Dairy Queen.
Otherwise, Apple would do well to snag any one of several performers from the upcoming Apple Music Festival in London: Florence + The Machine. One Direction. Mumford & Sons. Though the best choice of this group might be Pharrell Williams. Everyone likes Pharrell Williams.
This seems to be the one aspect of today’s event that hasn’t leaked. So it seems we’ll actually have to wait until the end to find out who the musical guest is.
Call it a hunch. But my money is on Foghat.
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