With his recent interview with Vulture, Quincy Jones is back on the headlines. Not someone to mince his words or hide his thoughts under a veil of diplomacy, his interview was, like the man, explosive.
Almost 85, the man seeks approval from no one. “I’ve got nothing to be scared of, man.” he says. The legendary record producer, particularly known for having worked alongside Michael Jackson, called The Beatles the “worst musicians” in the world. He even made his opinion on rock music very clear, “Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker.” However he clearly likes and believes that The Brothers Johnson, James Ingram and Tevin Campbell deserved more acclaim than they got.
On being asked something about MJ that not everyone knew, he said, “I hate to get into this publicly, but Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer’s] State of Independence and Billie Jean. The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come.” Talking about MJ further, he said, “I used to kill him about the plastic surgery, man. He’d always justify it and say it was because of some disease he had. Bullshit.” In this age of mellowed down opinions to suit the senses of the highly judgement society, Jones’ truths are even more appreciated.
While delving into a discussion on music, he took a moment to describe the greatest moment of his life, “It was the first time they celebrated Dr. King’s birthday in Washington, D.C., and Stevie Wonder was in charge and asked me to be the musical director. After the performance, we went to a reception, and three ladies came over: The older lady had Sinatra at the Sands, I arranged that; her daughter had my album The Dude; and then that lady’s daughter had Thriller. Three generations of women said those were their favorite records. That touched me so much.”
Jones, showing the sassy side of him, on being asked what was something he wished he didn’t know, replied “Who killed Kennedy.” In his opinion, it was a Chicago mobster Sam Giancana. “The connection was there between Sinatra and the Mafia and Kennedy. Joe Kennedy — he was a bad man — he came to Frank to have him talk to Giancana about getting votes.”
Jones has a long history of humanitarian work and campaigns, supporting Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and famously orchestrating the 1985 charity sing-along “We Are The World”. Talking about the ultrarich and the elite, he says, “The rich aren’t doing enough. They don’t fucking care. I came from the street, and I care about these kids who don’t have enough because I feel I’m one of ’em. These other people don’t know what it feels like to be poor, so they don’t care.” He further adds, “We’re the worst we’ve ever been, but that’s why we’re seeing people try and fix it. Feminism: Women are saying they’re not going to take it anymore. Racism: People are fighting it. God is pushing the bad in our face to make people fight back.”
While talking about Donald Trump, Jones also revealed that he dated Ivanka Trump. “She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.” He even went on to call Trump “limited mentally”, a “megalomaniac” and “narcissistic”.
Over the years there have been many star interviews which made the world buzz, not for the right reasons most of the time. Some of the major ones you can go checkout are :
Drew Barrymore, The Late Show with David Letterman, 1995
John Rocker, Sports Illustrated, 1999
Quentin Tarantino, Channel 4, 2013
John Mayer, Playboy, 2010
Charlie Sheen, ABC, 2011
Chris Evans, GQ, 2011
Richey Edwards of Maniac Street Preachers, NME, 1991
Dov Charney, Jane, 2004
Marianne Faithfull, the Observer, 2001
George Michael, the Guardian, 2005 and 2009