John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Many of the most magical musical moments have been created by collaborative duos, but John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s contribution to pop culture is unmatched. The pair met in 1957 at a local church fete in Liverpool, England, where the 16-year-old Lennon was playing with his skiffle group The Quarrymen. They went on to publish around 180 jointly-credited songs, with The Beatles becoming the most successful pop act in history. The pair have attributed their success to a productive, good-natured rivalry, with McCartney saying they developed a habit of “answering” each other’s songs. “He’d write ‘Strawberry Fields’, I’d go away and write ‘Penny Lane’. It was very friendly competition.”
Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat
When they met in 1982, Andy Warhol was a legend of the art world, while Jean-Michel Basquiat was a talented up-and-comer trying to make a name for himself on the scene. But despite Warhol’s initial skepticism about this confident rookie, the pair formed an intense friendship which fed the creativity and careers of both men. Warhol, then in his 50s, was energized by Basquait’s youthful rebellion; while being associated with an art icon gave the 21-year-old, who was previously best known on New York’s underground graffiti scene, a more prominent platform to shine. The pair painted portraits of each other in what became a prolific partnership, often passing their work back and forth, each layering their distinctive style on top of their companion’s contribution, to create collaborations that united their unique visions.
Wilbur and Orville Wright
While the invention of the world’s first motor-operated aircraft was a triumph of science and engineering, Wilbur and Orville Wright were also creatives at heart. The brothers loved literature and music, with Wilbur playing the harmonica and Orville the mandolin. And it was their creative thinking, the ability to think outside the box and beyond perceived limitations, that led to the successful flight of Kitty Hawk in 1903. The siblings lived in the same house, worked together six days a week, and Wilbur said the pair even “thought together.” As a duo they flew to great heights they would not have achieved alone.
Steve Jobs and Lee Clow
Steve Jobs was the creative force behind Apple, one of the most influential companies of the digital age, while Lee Clow was the adman who communicated his genius with the masses. For over 30 years, the pair united to create iconic commercials, from the iPod silhouettes to the ‘Think Different’ slogan. Clow’s company even helped to write the manuals for the original Mac to ensure Jobs’ vision of beautiful simplicity was threaded throughout all the company’s materials. “When I went to work for Steve Jobs, he was only 23, a lot younger than I was,” Clow said. “But he motivated me to prove to myself that I could always do better; he expected more of me than I expected of myself.”
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Zelda Fitzgerald is remembered by some as the original Roaring Twenties wild child, but she was also an integral part of a partnership that created some of the century’s greatest literature. She has long been credited with providing the inspiration for her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most notable works, including his debut novel ‘This Side of Paradise’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’. But it is now also accepted that her influence was beyond what was known at the time, with F. Scott lifting excerpts from her diaries for his novels, which Zelda is now believed to have helped to edit and craft. Since her death in 1948, her talent and contribution to this partnership — as well as art, literature, and culture as a whole — has finally been recognized.