The year was 1984. It was April at the Moscone Center in San Francisco where the Apple IIc was introduced to about 3,500 distributors. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to this extravaganza, and it was one of those life experiences I’ll never forget. (I swear I think I see myself in this picture of the crowd!)
Besides hearing Steve Jobs speak, another highlight of the event was when they showed the now famous, award winning, superbowl commercial titled “1984”. This commercial has been lauded as a classic, winning critical acclaim over time and is now considered a masterpiece in advertising. It is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time. You should have heard the crowd when they unveiled it! Thunderous!
This picture of Steve is from the San Francisco event, and he looks exactly how I remember him. He was dressed in a white shirt, jeans, suspenders and bow tie. Even though Apple wasn’t the giant then that it is today, trailing far behind IBM (remember them?) in sales, Steve Jobs was still an industry celebrity. Besides, I remember thinking he was pretty darn cute so, of course, I was anxious to meet “the man”!
After he spoke to the crowd, giving one of his keynote speeches he was known for, I met him in a small meeting room. I remember walking in to the room feeling awed by all the Apple IIc computers set up for demonstrations. In 1984 computers were not as common as they are today. Back then it was a rare event to find someone who had a personal computer in their home as they were mostly used in business. So, to see this many computers in one room was an event in and of itself.
There he was, bow tie and all, personally demonstrating the Apple IIc to a small group of on-lookers. OMG! Pretty amazing!
As if all this wasn’t enough, the event was topped off with an evening performance by Herbie Hancock. Remember his song “Rockit”? In 1984 Herbie Hancock won a Grammy for that song. It was also the year that Michael Jackson won 8 Grammies for his work on “Thriller” and “Beat It” . Watch the Grammy video to see him in the crowd with Brooke Shields.
Oh……the memories……Steve Jobs will be missed, but his legacy lives on in all our lives with the amazing products his genius brought us.
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