At 84-years-old, Quincy Jones is giving the world plenty to talk about. The music mogul’s tales behind the biggest names in music got even bigger Wednesday (Feb. 7) when he sat with Vulture‘s David Marchese to lay out his feelings about his late friends (Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor) his thoughts on The Beatles (they’re trash) and shining light on underrated artists like Tevin Campbell.
It’s unclear why Jones has picked now to dropped some of the biggest bombs and gems of his career, but we’re glad he did. Jones is currently promoting the release of a Netflix documentary in his name and of course his 85th birthday. Of course, it’s been blanketed by the many gems he’s dropped the past few days.
His comments range anywhere from knowing about the assassination of JFK to Michael Jackson’s numerous plastic surgeries. He also gives insightful takes on pop’s questionable future, racism in the entertainment industry and how jazz isn’t appreciated today. “It’s just loops, beats, rhymes and hooks,” he said. “What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no f**king songs. The song is the power; the singer is the messenger. The greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song. I learned that 50 years ago, and it’s the single greatest lesson I ever learned as a producer. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.”
Check out the six biggest revelations that we pulled from Quincy Jones’ Vulture interview below.
1. He Confronted Michael Jackson About 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. He had a problem with his looks because his father told him he was ugly and abused him. What do you expect?”
2. According To Jones, The Beatles Were “The Worst Musicians In The World”
“They were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing motherf**ers. 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. Ringo comes back and says, “George, can you play it back for me one more time?” So George did, and Ringo says, “That didn’t sound so bad.” And I said, “Yeah, motherf**ker because it ain’t you.” Great guy, though.”
3. His First Impression Of Rock N’ Roll Wasn’t That Great
“Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherf**er.”
4. Jones Bagged Ivanka Trump Back In The Day
“I used to date Ivanka, you know… Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada, said, ‘Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.’ I said, ‘She’s a fine motherf**er.’ She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.”
5. He Implies Marvin Gaye And Richard Pryor Had Sex With Marlon Brando
“Brando used to go cha-cha dancing with us. He could dance his ass off. 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.”
6. He Knows Who Assassinated President John F. Kennedy
David Marchese: “What’s something you wish you didn’t know?”
Quincy Jones: “Who killed Kennedy.”
DM: “Who did it?”
QJ: [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.”
DM: “I’ve heard this theory before, that the mob helped win Illinois for Kennedy in 1960.”
QJ: “We shouldn’t talk about this publicly.”