Yeah, they definitely need a diplomat. The interviewers and the media, interviewing, are as insecure as Quincy is. They need to believe that it wasn't Michael who did all those great things. They want to believe it was somebody else. And they don't want to believe that Michael was polite. That would destroy them.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/ma...ones.html?_r=2
The Pop Diplomacy of Quincy Jones
Interview by ANDREW GOLDMAN
Published: September 21, 2012 Comment
You once wrote that Michael Jackson stopped working with you because he felt threatened by the credit you were getting for his music. Considering he was never able to repeat the success he had with “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad,” how much credit do you deserve?
Well, what do you think?
I don’t know. I wasn’t in the studio.
You heard the albums, didn’t you? That’s nothing to do with any one person. That’s the combination of the two of us. You’re looking at one of the most talented kids in the history of show business. Michael was very observant and detail-oriented. You put that together with my background of big-band arranging and composing, we had no limitations.
Did he really never personally tell you he was moving on?
He didn’t, no. It’s O.K., man. It’s not like I’m gonna roll over and die. He told his manager that I was losing it, that I didn’t understand the business because I didn’t understand in 1987 that rap was dead. Rap wasn’t dead. Rap hadn’t even started yet.
You arranged and conducted for both Sinatra and the Rat Pack. A lot of the Rat Pack banter is hard to listen to now. Sammy always seems to be the butt of their jokes, like their black mascot.
Sammy was playing along with it. He used to sign his telegrams to Frank as “Smoky.” That used to be a bad name, like “darky.” But Vegas was so racist. I had no idea, man. They would not allow Nat Cole and Lena Horne in the casino. Frank by himself changed that, for Basie, for Sammy. When I went there with Frank in ’64, we weren’t allowed, but Frank put a bodyguard on each one of us. I saw it.
Sammy got a lot of grief when he married the Swedish actress May Britt in 1960. All three of your wives have been white. Have you had any trouble?
Never. What you have to understand is that a lot of the jazz guys, that was part of their revolution. Nobody can tell me who I can socialize with. Charlie Parker’s wife Chan was white. All the cats was doing that, man. The richest white ladies in America, like Nica Rothschild, who lived at the Stanhope, took care of all the jazz guys, Arthur Taylor, Thelonious Monk, everybody. She had apartments where they could have jam sessions, she carried them around in her Rolls-Royce.
Do you have a girlfriend?
A lot of girlfriends.
During the “We Are the World” session, great singers like Smokey Robinson didn’t even get solo lines. How do you tell Bette Midler, “Kim Carnes gets a solo, but you don’t”?
It was not easy. If you’ve got 46 people and only 21 solos, you’re gonna have a problem. That’s [lexicon]Why[/lexicon] we did all the background lines before I told them who would sing solos. If they did the solos first, they’d all disappear.
Your daughter Kidada was engaged to Tupac Shakur when he was killed. How does a father react to a potential son-in-law with such a dangerous reputation?
I wasn’t happy at first. He’d attacked me for having all these white wives. And my daughter Rashida, who was at Harvard, wrote a letter to The Source taking him apart. I remember one night I was dropping Rashida at Jerry’s delicatessen, and Tupac was talking to Kidada because he was falling in love with her then. Like an idiot, I went over to him, put two arms on his shoulders and said, “Pac, we gotta sit down and talk, man.” If he had had a gun, I would’ve been done. But we talked. He apologized. We became very close after that. Once, I was having a date at the Hotel Bel-Air, and he came by and told the waiter that he would be back, he was going home to put on a tie.
A tie? You’re destroying his thug legacy.
Ask my daughter! She was there!
Do you know about that conspiracy theory that says you ordered the hit on Tupac?
I know. The people who say I wanted to have sex with him. Man, this is the biggest age of haters I have ever seen in my life. I’ve been called a blonde-lover, a pedophile, gay, everything. I don’t care, man. Imagine my daughter being engaged to Tupac and me trying to make love to him? And I’m not into no men, man. I’m a hard-core lesbian. Are you kidding? All my life, all my life.
INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.