Quincy Jones Spills All the Industry Tea! Here’s 6 Takeaways from the Vulture Interview

Posted February 8, 2018 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Wendy Williams, watch out! Quincy Jones’s tea pot is boiling hot…and we all are living for it

All these tea-spouting online gossip factories are now scrambling to find a better story this week. That’s because the Q himself just dispersed life-giving gossip, enough to make TMZ look illegitimate. No stranger to journalism (heck, he co-founded Vibe magazine), Quincy Jones just broke some breaking news that we’d all would’ve never imagined.

In a lengthy interview with Vulture’s David Marchese, compiled from two separate sessions of comfortable chit-chat, Quincy Jones is asked about his life, his published memoir, new projects in the pipeline, his outstanding career in music and film and the works. And that is where Jones gets a little wild and loose. He’s so comfortable in dialogue that he dispenses all the juice. At times, he holds back on the details, especially on events concerning John F. Kennedy’s assassination and on the Clintons (“This is something else I shouldn’t be talking about”).

He also is tight-lipped on his old friend, Bill Cosby. “We can’t talk about this in public, man,” he tells Marchese.

But it seems like everything else is open game for Q. And now that we’ve piqued your interest, let’s just dive into the big revelations hatched from the mouth of the legendary producer/songwriter/musician and hitmaker.

Marlon Brando couldn’t say no to a fuck

marlonbrando-richardpryorIt’s not exactly secret that Marlon Brando, the late celebrated actor, was a promiscuous SOB. And his bisexuality is also on record. But Q just dug up the grave and exposed any leftover meat on the sinewy bones.

“He’d fuck anything. Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.”

Catching the journalist off guard, Jones had to spell things out for him.

“He did not give a fuck!”

Later Wednesday afternoon, Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer, confirmed the deets to TMZ.

“It was the ’70s! Drugs were still good, especially Quaaludes. If you did enough cocaine, you’d fuck a radiator and send it flowers in the morning.”

She says that Richard, a comedian, wouldn’t be mad at Quincy’s bombshell drop if he was alive today, stating that he was actually quite open about his bisexuality with close friends and that he documented it extensively in his diaries. Jennifer Pryor plans to publish stories from Pryor’s intimate pen later this year.

The Beatles were overrated as hell.

Goodness, the Fab Five seems un-fabulous to Quincy. At least when compared with top-tier musicians. According to Q, they were “the worst musicians in the world.”

Say what?

“Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don’t even talk about it.”

Michael Jackson stole a lot of music.

Well, not in the way of robbing a bank, but more like hearing a beat and groove and tinkering it on his own music. Yes, everyone has a knack of doing this. But who would’ve though the King of Pop did this notoriously? According to Q’s tea, “Billie Jean” came from a Donna Summer song and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was partially penned by longtime session piano player, Greg Phillinganes. “Michael should’ve given him ten percent of the song,” Jones said.

He dated Ivanka Trump

What ‘chu say? Quincy’s been around. And yes, he’s been on a few dinner dates with Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, 36, who happens to be forty-eight years older than her. He was introduced to her twelve years ago by Tommy Hilfiger, who at the time was working with Q’s daughter Kidada. “She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.”

Something tells me Q smashed it.

Biggest career mistake? That Q: Soul Bossa Nostra album

quincyjones00He ain’t never lied. That album was full of the shits. The 2010 disc, full of music’s all-stars, was a huge blunder (check our review). A few decent performances were captured (Mary J. Blige’s “Betcha…” for starters), but it was mostly barbaric to the ear. And Q knows it…and finally admits it.

“I was not in favor of doing it,” he said. “But the rappers wanted to record something as a tribute to me, where they’d do versions of songs that I’d done over my career. I said to them, ‘Look, you got to make the music better than we did on the originals.’ That didn’t happen.”

Say goodbye to the music industry that was

Q isn’t the first veteran to write a pessimistic view of today’s music industry, but what he says has major weight. And with over 50 years in the game, 27 Grammy wins and working with mostly anyone great in the music biz, Jones doesn’t slow down in putting nails in the industry’s coffin.

“There isn’t a music business anymore,” he says. When confronted if there’s innovation in today’s pop music, Jones is adamant in his response. “Hello no! It’s just loops, beats, rhymes and hooks. What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no fucking songs,” he adds.

But all isn’t lost. Some of today’s mainstream artists actually impress the big guy. Bruno Mars, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar make the short list. And he likes Ed Sheeran’s last album, and digs Sam Smith and Mark Ronson.

And there are even more juicy details spilled in the interview. Stuff on Cyndi Lauper. His views on religion and death. And the chances of Oprah being president.

So if you thought Q was delusional, was on the cusp of slipping into borderline dementia or seeping into the realm of old folks’ crazy, just because he’s approaching 85 in March, think again.

Read the full interview here.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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