Quincy Jones says Michael Jackson didn't want to be black
In an interview with Details Magazine, music producer Quincy Jones makes some interesting statements about Michael Jackson.
He said he doesn’t think Michael wanted to be black. He talks about conversations he had with Michael about his plastic surgeries, and why he refuses to attend Jackson’s funeral.
Jones produced Jackson’s “Off The Wall” and “Thriller” albums. The interview is posted below.
Q: How have you been holding up since Michael Jackson’s death?
A: Oh, man. It’s surrealistic. I went to Shanghai for the movie festival over there—I took Halle Berry—and then went back to Luxembourg, and in three days I lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael. And Michael’s thing is still surrealistic to me. I can’t process it, man. I don’t know how to process it. It’s just unbelievable—him leaving before me. I can’t believe it.
Q: How did you learn that he had died?
A: “Well, everybody in the world called me. I got 500 e-mails. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. At first they said they’d taken him to the hospital, then they said he’d had a stroke or a heart attack—it just kept going back and forth and we didn’t know what was really happening. And at first I thought he was just kind of freaked out by the coming concerts, because I was in London when they announced the 50 concerts and they sold out in four hours. . . We’d see each other all the time, and I just can’t believe he’s not here.”
Q: Have you been crying?
A: Oh, man, it’s more than that. It’s way more than that. It hurts my soul, man. It’s just a lump down there.
Q: You were there to witness the strange evolution in Michael’s appearance. Did you ever step in and saying anything about it?
A: Oh, we talked about it all the time. But he’d come up with, “Man, I promise you I have this disease,” and so forth, and “I have a blister on my lungs,” and all that kind of b.s. It’s hard, because Michael’s a Virgo, man—he’s very set in his ways. You can’t talk him out of it. Chemical peels and all that stuff.
Q: Did you believe him about the disease?
A: “I don’t believe in any of that bullshit, no. No. Never. I’ve been around junkies and stuff all my life. I’ve heard every excuse. It’s like smokers—”I only smoke when I drink” and all that stuff. But it’s bullshit. You’re justifying something that’s destructive to your existence. It’s crazy. I mean, I came up with Ray Charles, man. You know, nobody gonna pull no wool over my eyes. He did heroin 20 years! Come on. And black coffee and gin for 40 years. But when he called me to come over to see him when he was in the hospital on his way out, man, he had emphysema, hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, and five malignant tumors. Please, man! I’ve been around this all my life. So it’s hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. But when somebody’s hell-bent on it, you can’t stop ‘em.”
Q: But it must’ve been so disturbing to see Michael’s face turn into what it turned into.
A: “It’s ridiculous, man! Chemical peels and all of it. And I don’t understand it. But he obviously didn’t want to be black.”
Q: Is that what it was?
A: Well, what do you think? You see his kids?
Q: Did you ever discuss it? Did you ever ask, “Michael, don’t you want to be a black man?”
A: No, no, no, please. That’s not the way you do it.
Q: But he was beautiful before?
A: Man, he was the most gorgeous guy.
Q: But he seemed to have some deep-seated issue with how he looked?
A: Well, that comes about a certain way. I’m not sure how it happens. I’m just a musician and a record producer. I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there’s a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin’ about what’s wrong, because everybody’s had a rough time, in one way or another.
Q: I’ve heard you say that you wanted Michael to sing “She’s Out of My Life,” the great pop ballad from Off the Wall, in part because you felt like he had to deal with reality.
A: “I just wanted to hear him deal with a romantic relationship with a human being rather than a rat. I’m saying that facetiously, but it’s true. I saw him at the Oscars very emotional about “Ben.” I wanted to hear him get in touch with a real human relationship. “She’s Out of My Life” was written by Tommy Bahler from a very bad ending to a marriage. So it was very real. I was saving it for Sinatra. But I gave it to Michael. And Michael cried during every take, and I left the tears in. “
A: “Oh, I remember that. Yeah, that was Muscles.”
A: “Muscles. That’s a big boa constrictor he had. Muscles used to wrap around my leg in a record session and crawl across the console. I was never comfortable with that. It was a choice between that and Bubbles—you know, the chimp.”
Q: Did you ever meet Bubbles?
A: “Are you kidding me? He bit a hole in my daughter’s hand! Rashida’s hand. Rashida Jones—did you see I Love You, Man? That’s my daughter. She was a little girl. And Bubbles bit her hand. Michael used to bring Muscles and Bubbles by the house all the time, you know.”
Q: What did you think of that? Wasn’t that a little weird?
A: “I don’t know, man. Everybody does his own thing. I’ve met every freak in the business. Everybody has their idiosyncrasies. I try not to judge it, you know. I know all women are junkies for little dogs and bags and purses. Ha ha ha ha!”
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