Legendary producer Quincy Jones has had a hand in creating some of the most iconic music of all time, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The 84-year-old, 28-time Grammy winner and Seattle native also has a blunt opinion about some of the biggest names in the business, as is evident in a new interview with Vulture’s David Marchese.
“All I’ve ever done is tell the truth,” Jones says at the beginning of the piece, published Wednesday morning.
And Jones goes on to share his version of just that about everyone from the King of Pop to President Trump to the Clintons, Beatles, U2, Oprah, Bruno Mars, Marlon Brando and many more.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen even gets a flattering shoutout from Jones during a portion of the discussion centered around Jimi Hendrix, another Seattle native. After calling rock music “nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues” and trashing the Beatles as “the worst musicians in the world,” Jones told Vulture that Hendrix was too chicken to play with the musicians on his 1970 jazz album “Gula Matari.”
Were there any rock musicians you thought were good?
I used to like Clapton’s band. What were they called?
Yeah, they could play. But you know who sings and plays just like Hendrix?
Stop it. The Microsoft guy?
Yeah, man. I went on a trip on his yacht, and he had David Crosby, Joe Walsh, Sean Lennon — all those crazy motherf***ers. Then on the last two days, Stevie Wonder came on with his band and made Paul come up and play with him — he’s good, man.
Allen’s love of music and ability to jam is certainly well documented. His creation of the Experience Music Project (now MoPOP) in Seattle is a testament to his appreciation for Hendrix and rock ‘n’ roll.
Last year, Allen’s inaugural Upstream Music Fest and Summit kicked off with Jones as a keynote speaker.
In a discussion centered around making hits over an extended period and adjusting to the modern business of music, Jones called Paul Allen “the best.” He said the billionaire “looks like a tech nerd, but he can play” guitar.
“Anything Paul asks me to do I’m going to do. We hang out all the time.”