Skip to main content

Quincy Jones Talks Smack About Michael Jackson and the Beatles

by VVN Music

They say when you get older, you get cranky.

Quincy Jones is 84.

In a wide ranging interview with Vulture, Jones breached the subjects of working with Michael Jackson and his opinions of the Beatles.

He felt that Jackson stole a lot of his music and didn't give credit (or money) where it was due:

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.

Greedy, man. Greedy. “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” — Greg Phillinganes wrote the c section. Michael should’ve given him 10 percent of the song. Wouldn’t do it.

Jones also talked about all of Jackson's 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."

Then there's the Beatles and, especially, Ringo Starr.  He was not impressed with their musicianship and, when asked of his first impressions:

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 [working on Ringo's solo debut, Sentimental Journey] 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, motherfucker because it ain’t you.” Great guy, though.

Jones talks about a variety of other subjects, including a big revelation about Donald and Ivanka Trump, at Vulture.


Anonymous said…
Hilarious. Well known that Michael took credit for others' grooves, melodies, etc. Surprising to see Quincy calling it out.

Ringo was probably very rusty on drums, with no live performances for years before the time Quincy talks about. But Paul the worst bassist he ever heard? Ridiculous. Just about every rock bassist will tell you that McCartney was the best, most original bassist in rock, for his creativity and melodiousness. But perhaps Quincy wanted to hear jazz and funk style bass, which Paul absolutely is not. To each his own.