Exclusive: In a strange twist of fate, iTunes and the iPod were heroes to the music biz this weekend.
I told you that a woman who said she was a “mom” paid $250,00 on Friday night for a Bruce Springsteen guitar at the MusiCares dinner. Well, now I can tell you who Tracy Powell is: she’s the sister of Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple Computers genius Steve Jobs. It turns out that Laurene was at the MusiCares dinner on Friday with Tracy, and–according to people at their table–she egged her sister on to bid the big money.
Tracy Powell, in a wild auction that no one will forget, won a Fender guitar signed by Bruce, Elton John, Sting, Neil Young and a bunch of rock stars. They all signed it right there in the ballroom, as Bruce brought it around along with a Sharpie. Bidding went crazy as Springsteen and producer David Foster waded through the tables looking for bidders. Springsteen eventually added a one hour guitar lesson, seats and backstage passes to one of his shows with a personal tour, and his mom’s lasagna.
Powell, a hot number in a glittery mini skirt, was seated in the back half of the room. No one knew Mrs. Jobs was with her, or they were the winners of the bid. When Powell finally won the wild auction, beating a bid for $200,000 from across the room, she jumped up, shimmied toward Bruce in a glittery black mini skirt, and gave him a peck on the cheek.
Springsteen, maybe a little chauvinistically, was surprised when he realized the bigger of such big money was a female. He said to Foster as they made their way to Powell: “It’s a woman!”
Well, this woman is the sister-in-law of the most legendary tech guy in history. A source tells me that Tracy has recently moved her family out to Palo Alto, California from Maryland to be close to the recently widowed Laurene. The sisters were born in the Garden State, which is why Tracy told Bruce she was a Jersey girl–exactly what she told me when I spoke to her minutes after the auction.
I don’t think anyone at MusiCares knows any of this, at least they sure didn’t when we left the Convention Center. My source says Laurene probably paid for the guitar etc, but it was for a great cause and she certainly got her money’s worth. Someone from MusiCares raced over to Powell when she won the bid and said, “Thank you so much. You’ve just saved a lot of lives. You have no idea how far this money will go.”