Monday, October 24, 2011

Steve Jobs and Sun Records Studio

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

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The new biography "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson includes more details of his stay in Memphis including a visit to Sun Studio that resulted in an employee being hired by Apple.

The book came out Monday and was the subject of a piece on CBS "60 Minutes" Sunday. Isaacson had 40 interviews with Jobs after the Apple cofounder was diagnosed with cancer. In both the book and "60 Minutes" segment, Issacson discusses the life-saving liver transplant that Jobs received in Memphis in 2009. Some of the story, including details of the house where Jobs lived in Midtown, was previously reported in The Memphis Flyer and in an interview with Dr. James Eason, who did the liver transplant, conducted by reporter Marilyn Sadler for Memphis magazine this summer.

New details in the book:

As Eason and officials at Methodist Hospital have maintained all along, Isaacson says that Jobs did not "jump the line" to get a transplant. He did, however, register in both California and Tennessee to improve his chances. The donor was a car-accident victim in his mid-20s. As the Flyer reported, Apple attorney George Riley, a former Memphian, made the connection and helped Jobs settle into the house he bought on Morningside Place.

Jobs was cared for at Methodist by two nurses from Mississippi. They were not awed by him and Jobs liked that.

Jobs and his wife and others made a secret visit to Sun Studio, where Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash and others recorded. Jobs was so emaciated that the staff did not recognize him, but the tour guide did such a good job that Jobs offered him to hire him.

Jobs' wife took responsibility for getting him a liver transplant and monitored his position in the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease system (MELD). While the book insists that Jobs did not buy his way to the top of the list, the "60 Minutes" segment has Isaacson recounting how Jobs drove a Mercedes sports car with no license plate and "felt like the normal rules just didn't apply to him."

On the liver transplant, at least, this authorized biography may not be the last word.

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