In a recent Q&A with The Guardian, legendary music producer Quincy Jones spoke about a variety of topics, some from his historic music career and some from history in general. Most interesting, Jones talked about working with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
The producer, who worked with Jackson on his seminal Thriller album, said that he kept it real and told the singer he was being too weird the first time he met Jackson. "Only when we first met, when he was 12," Jones said. He then went on to talk about what it was like during the sessions for Thriller and Off The Wall. "It was as loose as you can get!" Jones said. "We'd be joking and having fun. Are you kidding? You gotta know how to party [laughs]. If you get uptight, the music's going to sound like nothin'. I used to say, 'Always leave a little room for God to walk in the room.'"
Although he thinks marijuana should be legalized, Jones said that there were never drugs involved in the recording process because that's not how he likes to get things done. Jones has worked with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. "Nervous? Not even close, man!" Jones said about working with Sinatra. "I was living in France, studying with Nadia Boulanger [tutor to Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland]. And I come in one day, they say, 'Grace Kelly called, Mr. Sinatra wants you to bring your house band' - I had the best house band in the world. So we played with Frank, and he said five words to me: 'Good job, kid. Koo-koo.' I never saw anything like him on a stage. He was like a magician, from another planet. He had it down. The most magical thing I've ever seen in my life. Frank was bipolar, and one of the greatest friends I'll ever have. I have his ring on, with his family crest, from Sicily. I've never taken it off."
The producer will appear at London's Royal College of Music for An Evening with Quincy Jones on Sunday, Sept. 28.