After hearing a lot about the GQ feature on Quincy Jones for a few months, I finally got around to reading it, and it’s worth it! Here are my favorite pop-culture insights offered by the no-holds-barred, 84-year-old record producer.
1. He wears a ring that old buddy Frank Sinatra wore on his finger for 40 years.
2. About Sinatra, many of whose records he helped arrange, he says, “He was bipolar, you know. He had no gray. He either loved you with all of his heart or else he'd roll over your ass in a Mack truck in reverse. He was tough, man. I saw all of it. You know, I'd see him try to fight—he couldn't fight worth a shit. He'd get drunk, and Jilly, his right-hand guy, stone gangster, would get behind him and break the guy's ribs.“
3. “Frank was always trying to hook me up with Marilyn Monroe, but Marilyn Monroe had a chest that looked like pears, man."
4. He says Taylor Swift can’t write songs.
5. He says Truman Capote was a racist, even if he later profusely apologized to Jones about what sounded like some racist preconceptions.
6. About Ray Charles, he says he “went 30 years with heroin, and then the police told him he couldn't get his license to play clubs unless he stops. And he did, and then he started on black coffee and Dutch Bols gin for 25 years. Ray, all of his veins were dried up and black,
and he's shooting himself in the testicles.”
7. He talks about a night Michael Jackson and Prince both made short cameos at a James Brown concert and Jackson blew The Purple One out of the water.
8. He hung out with Joseph Goebbels’ girlfriend and she told him all about how Hitler and most fo the Nazis were huge cokeheads.
9. He was with Jay Sebring a few hours before he was murdered at Sharon Tate’s house by Charles Manson’s gang, and Jones was even supposed to have been there but forgot to go.