By his count, Iovine has pulled this off four times over the past couple of decades by (1) introducing the world to Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and Chronic-era Dr. Dre, (2) shepherding the careers of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, (3) giving Eminem his start, and (4) creating Beats, the hardware company that turned headphones into a fashion accessory and today accounts for 34 percent of US stereo headphone sales.
Dov Charney was feeling pretty good when he entered the conference room high up inside the Skadden Arps offices in Times Square. He was going to tell his board of directors — perched at eye level with the rooftops of Manhattan’s forest of midtown skyscrapers — that for the first time in years American Apparel's troubles were behind it.
The thing is, when you actually think about it, it's not funny. Given what's at stake, it's more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we're all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we'll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end.
Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland, Ore., was running a zoning hearing last December when he missed a call on his cell from David Plouffe, the campaign mastermind behind Barack Obama’s ascent. Although Hales had never met him, Plouffe left a voice mail that had an air of charming familiarity, reminiscing about the 2008 rally when 75,000 Obama supporters thronged Portland’s waterfront. “Sure love your city,” Plouffe gushed. “I’m now working for Uber and would love to talk.”
The cooks at Coi, Daniel Patterson’s tiny, two-Michelin-star restaurant in San Francisco, are used to producing dishes of supreme delicacy and surpassing refinement. Morels stuffed with ricotta and fava greens. Wild king salmon wrapped in yuba with charred cabbage and dried-scallop ginger sauce. The kind of food, in short, that has earned Coi a reputation as the best restaurant in one of America’s finest food cities and a perennial spot on San Pellegrino’s list of the top 100 restaurants in the world.
At 9:30 a.m. on a sunny weekday, the phones at Candelia, a purveyor of sleek office furniture in Lille, France, rang steadily with orders from customers across the country and from Switzerland and Germany. A photocopier clacked rhythmically while more than a dozen workers processed sales, dealt with suppliers and arranged for desks and chairs to be shipped.
There was a drug deal going down that night in rural Michigan. It was September 4, 1990, just after sunset in the town of Owosso, population 16,360. There, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit, the Shiawassee River meanders past a hamlet of low-rent, brick apartment buildings. Inside one of them, a dealer with a brown moustache handed a bag of marijuana to Debbie Williams. He told her firmly it was $20 for the quarter ounce, nothing less. “It’s a good thing you don’t want any more,” said Williams, “because that’s all I got.”