Ten of the Wildest Things Quincy Jones Said During His Crazy NY Mag Interview
Quincy Jones just gave the interview of the year
Quincy Jones has no filter.
In a conversation with writer David Marchese, the person who conducted the epic interview with Erykah Badu, Jones holds nothing back as he touches on a number of topics, from President John F. Kennedy to The Beatles to President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump.
You should definitely read the whole thing. But if you don’t have time, here are ten highlights from the interview.
1. On Michael Jackson, and how he used to steal song ideas:
I hate to get into this publicly, but Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs. [Donna Summer] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come.
2. On Michael Jackson and his plastic surgery:
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.
How much were his problems wrapped up with fame?
You mean with the way he looked? He had a problem with his looks because his father told him he was ugly and abused him. What do you expect?
3. On who killed President John F Kennedy:
[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.
4. Jones’ opinion on rock and roll:
“Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker.”
5. On The Beatles being trash:
That they were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing motherfuckers. Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don’t even talk about it. I remember once we were in the studio with George Martin, and Ringo had taken three hours for a four-bar thing he was trying to fix on a song. He couldn’t get it. We said, “Mate, why don’t you get some lager and lime, some shepherd’s pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.” So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up.
6. Marlon Brando and his many affairs:
He was the most charming motherfucker you ever met. He’d fuck anything. Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.
7. On who he thinks is doing good music right now:
Bruno Mars. Chance the Rapper. Kendrick Lamar. I like where Kendrick’s mind is. He’s grounded. Chance, too. And the Ed Sheeran record is great. Sam Smith — he’s so open about being gay. I love it. Mark Ronson is someone who knows how to produce.
8. On rap just being four-bar loops:
That’s true about rap, that it’s the same phrase over and over and over again. The ear has to have the melody groomed for it; you have to keep the ear candy going because the mind turns off when the music doesn’t change. Music is strange that way. You’ve got to keep the ear busy.
9. On Dating Ivanka Trump back in the day:
Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada said, ‘Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.’ I said, ‘No problem. She’s a fine motherfucker.’ She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.
10. On his friend Bill Cosby and his many rape accusations:
We can’t talk about this in public, man.
That’s not even half of the interview. We promise. Head to Vulture and read the entire thing. There are great quotes on the Clintons, U2, the making of “We Are the World” and more.