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Herbie Hancock says he still owns his Apple II Plus: “I always knew computers were going to be important in music”

Herbie Hancock
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

As he prepares to take to the Pyramid Stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival, jazz legend Herbie Hancock has been discussing everything from playing with Miles Davis to his love of technology and plans for the future.

Speaking to The Guardian (opens in new tab), the 82-year-old revealed that he still owns his first computer - purchased way back in 1979 - and that he always saw its creative potential.

“It was an Apple II Plus, and it had 48k of RAM, and you had to store the programs on a cassette,” he says. “But I knew computers were going to be important in music, and I encouraged every musician I met to learn how they worked.”

Hancock also revealed that Miles Davis - with whom he played between 1963 and 1968 - “loved being challenged, being stimulated, being thrown a curveball,” and encouraged him to play electronic instruments on stage.

Discussing his future, Hancock says that he has no plans to retire just yet, and wants to be “open enough to attract an audience of any age”. His next album will be produced by Terrace Martin and feature appearances from Thundercat, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar.

Herbie Hancock plays the Pyramid Stage on Sunday 26 June at 2pm BST.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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