Quincy Jones has been hitting the press circuit lately in celebration of his upcoming 85th birthday and a CBS special hosted by Oprah Winfrey on the horizon–and it’s evident that the music legend ran out of fucks to give long ago.
Following his epic interview with GQ in January, Jones recently sat down with Vulture for an equally unfiltered, wide-ranging chat that touches on why the Beatles were the “worst musicians in the world,” dating Ivanka Trump, John F. Kennedy conspiracies, and more. As candid as Jones is, though, there are some topics that he won’t touch—namely the Clintons and Bill Cosby.
Here are the best parts of the Vulture‘s interview:
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% of the song. Wouldn’t do it.
Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka:
I used to hang out with him. He’s a crazy motherfucker. Limited mentally–a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him. I used to date Ivanka, you know.
Yes, sir. Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada said, “Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.” I said, “No problem. She’s a fine motherfucker.” She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.
Why so many people dislike Hillary Clinton:
It’s because there’s a side of her–when you keep secrets, they backfire.
Like what secrets?
This is something else I shouldn’t be talking about.
Who really killed President John F. Kennedy:
[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.
His first impression of rock music:
Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker.
His first impression of the Beatles:
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, 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.
#MeToo and all the women coming forward with sexual assault allegations against powerful Hollywood men:
But what about the alleged behavior of a friend of yours like Bill Cosby? Is it hard to square what he’s been accused of with the person you know?
It was all of them. Brett Ratner. [Harvey] Weinstein. Weinstein–he’s a jive motherfucker. Wouldn’t return my five calls. A bully.
What about Cosby, though?
What about it?
Were the allegations a surprise to you?
We can’t talk about this in public, man.
An Oprah presidency:
I don’t think she should run. She doesn’t have the chops for it. If you haven’t been governor of a state or the CEO of a company or a military general, you don’t know how to lead people.
She is the CEO of a company.
A symphony conductor knows more about how to lead than most businesspeople — more than Trump does. He doesn’t know shit. Someone who knows about real leadership wouldn’t have as many people against him as he does. He’s a fucking idiot.
The future of the music business:
There isn’t a music business anymore! If these people had paid attention to Shawn Fanning 20 years ago, we wouldn’t be in this mess. But the music business is still too full of these old-school bean counters. You can’t be like that. You can’t be one of these back-in-my-day people.
His friend 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.
He slept with them? How do you know that?
[Frowns.] Come on, man. He did not give a fuck!
Read Jones’s full interview with Vulture here.