alex skolnickTESTAMENT/ex-SAVATAGE guitarist and leader of ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO, Alex Skolnick, has posted the following message on his official web site:

“With the passing of Steve Jobs, we’ve lost one of the great ones.

“Like many, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on Apple products and admit occasionally grumbling about the prices, the upgrades and the compatibility of Apple products. But stop for one moment and consider the amount of human productivity, the advances in business, entertainment and communications, the enjoyment of these processes and the resulting higher quality of life (for both creator and consumer alike) that has been a direct result of Steve Jobs’ visions. When you put it in perspective, there is no comparison to the amount of personal dollars spent. So while there are going to be tributes from technological and cultural commentators far more qualified than myself, the least I can do is put in my proverbial two cents.

“In my own case, this human productivity has included capturing music on digital software designed for the Macintosh computer. Often the songs of which were fleshed out on a MacBook pro laptop and in many cases the initial ideas were captured via the iPhone Voice Memo. Eventually these songs would be heard by many listeners via iTunes on computers, iPods and more recently something that I didn’t quite understand when it first came out: the iPad, as reflected in a blog post: ‘Confessions Of A Reluctant iPad Owner.’

“There was one thing I hadn’t realized yet when I wrote that post: when you listen to music on the iPad — the cover art takes over the whole screen (unless you choose the option of opening up another iPad window while listening). Whether Jobs himself thought of this, or someone else at Apple (no doubt enabled and inspired by Jobs), it a recapturing something so precious: the appreciation of album cover art, a joy which got lost as the primary medium for music switched from vinyl records to CD’s and more recently, MP3s. Clearly Steve Jobs was a true fan and connoisseur of music and art as well as computer nerd.

“To me, that little touch with the album cover art, a minor detail compared to the iPad’s other features, captures the essence of what made Steve Jobs so special. Part of his genius was his ability to take very complex technology and make it palatable, even enjoyable, to non-technically minded people. Another good reflection of this can be seen in the way he introduced the iPad Nano onstage in 2005: rather than describing the intricacies of microcircuits and MP3 technology, he simply had a video camera do a close up of the coin pocket on his blue jeans and, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, he introduced a tiny iPod, the likes of which had been previously unimaginable (as was the concept of the iPod itself about five years earlier). Although he had numerous unique qualities — leadership skills, a keen business sense and a vigilant work ethic not the least of them — it was Jobs’ sense of presentation, whether himself onstage delivering a keynote address, or in the sleek appearance of Apple’s products and retail stores, which set him apart from other technological innovators.

“I can think of very few people in this world that I’ve never even met, yet have had such a profound influence on my own life and so many others. He has helped defined the era in which we live; a shining light in the turbulent darkness. Indeed, as America has undergone so much embarrassment from leaders and citizens alike (from Dick Cheney to Casey Anthony, from the mortgage meltdown to chronic obesity), Steve Jobs has represented the potential of America and given us something we’re to share with the rest of the world. Steve Jobs is one of the few people for whom his passing causes the world to seem a little bit emptier.

“As a remembrance, take a look at this Apple ad from 1997, in which Steve Jobs could unarguably be placed among these iconic figures: THINK DIFFERENT.

“And here is his compelling speech to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University: Steve Job’s Stanford Speech. This last line here is one I wish I’d heard when I was much, much younger: ‘Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.’

“Here’s one more great quote from the great Steve Jobs. He will be sorely missed:

‘Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.'”