Between 2020 and 2022, best-selling author Walter Isaacson shadowed Elon Musk as research for his soon-to-be-released biography of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. Isaacson has penned books about some of the greatest inventors in history, from Leonardo Davinci to Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs. His new project, Elon Musk, is set to arrive in bookstores on September 12. Last week, Isaacson began promoting the biography by posting snippets of his work, including excerpts and previously unseen photos of Musk on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
His latest revelation explores the origins of Musk’s romantic relationship with Canadian singer Grimes, which the author described as a “chaotic new subplot” in the tech billionaire’s otherwise workaholic life.
Musk and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, made their public debut as a couple at the Met Gala in 2018. But it was never clear how they met each other and began dating until Grimes laid it out for Isaacson in an interview. She first met Musk in an elevator when Musk was with his former girlfriend Amber Heard. Musk and Heard broke up in early 2018, and he grew close with Grimes over their common interest in eclectic sci-fi ideas like Roko’s Basilisk, a thought experiment that posits uncontrolled artificial general intelligence would torture any human who had not helped it gain power.
“These are the types of things that she and Musk worry about,” Isaacson wrote in a tweet yesterday (August 7). “When Musk wanted to tweet a pun about it, he Google-searched to find an image, and he discovered that Grimes had made it an element of her 2015 music video ‘Flesh without Blood.’ She and Musk got into a Twitter exchange that led, in the modern way, to direct messaging and texting.”
After getting to know each other better on Twitter, Musk invited Grimes to fly to Fremont, Calif. to visit the Tesla factory there: “his idea of a good date,” Isaacson wrote.
“We just walked the floor all night, and I watched him try to fix things,” Grimes told the author.
The next day, Musk drove Grimes to a restaurant for dinner. On their way, Musk closed his eyes, engaged Autopilot, Tesla’s driver-assist system, and let the car drive itself. “I was like, oh shit, this guy is fucking crazy,” Grimes told Isaacson of the experience.
At the restaurant, Musk carved their initials, “EM+CB,” on the wall.
In yesterday’s tweet, Isaacson posted a photo of the former couple and their son, X Æ A-Xii (pronounced “X Ash A Twelve”), at SpaceX’s Starbase test site on April 20, ahead of Starship’s first orbital launch attempt.
Musk and Grimes have two known children together. The SpaceX CEO told Page Six in 2021 he and Grimes had separated but were on great terms.
"Every now and then, often at the most complex of times, the Creators of Our Simulation—those rascals who conjure up what we are led to believe is reality—drop in a sparky new element, one that creates chaotic new… pic.twitter.com/knXFrmjVEq
— Walter Isaacson (@WalterIsaacson) August 7, 2023
Over the weekend, Isaacson tweeted a photo of the interior of Elon Musk’s $50,000 house in Boca Chica, Texas, near SpaceX’s development facility and said that the upcoming book will explain why Musk chose to downsize from multiple mansions to a two-bedroom rental. Earlier last week, Isaacson tweeted the book also includes interviews with Musk’s brother, Kimbal, his father, Errol, his mother, Maye Musk, and his two former wives, Justine Musk and Talulah Riley.
Elon Musk’s father instilled his drive but also his demons, beginning at an early age. In my book, Elon and his brother Kimbal tell vivid and psychologically brutal tales and the scars they left, and their father Errol spends hours giving his own side forcefully.
Elon and… https://t.co/pecoREd1kd pic.twitter.com/c6aeqxCmZk
— Walter Isaacson (@WalterIsaacson) July 31, 2023