Did Quincy Jones have a good relationship with Michael Jackson before his death? It seems debatable judging from his interview with Men.Style.com. The legendary music producer, who has been close with Jackson for several decades, sounds eerily unemotional about the icon’s death. During the brief Q&A, Jones says everything from, “He obviously didn’t want to be black,” to “I won’t be going to his funeral.” Is this brutal honesty or brazen disregard? Judge for yourself after reading these excerpts.
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: 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.
Q: At root, what do you think killed Michael Jackson?
A: I don’t know, man. I’m a musician. I’m not a psychiatrist. I would think that the pressure of the concerts and the debt and everything else . . . look, I’ve been in the hands of Nobel doctors for the last five years, in Stockholm, at the Karolinska hospital, which you can’t even pay to get in. I’ve learned so much about the human mind and the body, and the doctors talk all the time about how you become your thoughts. It’s true. With one thought it starts, you know, and if you sit there and just stay hung up on one negative thought, you will become that thought. I know that Lisa Marie Presley said that she always thought he was going to die like Elvis. You sit and think about that stuff, it’ll happen to you. If you start thinking about darkness instead of light, or fear instead of love, you’ll get in trouble. I really believe that.
Q: You’ve said that you don’t attend funerals anymore because you’ve lost so many friends. Do you plan to attend Michael Jackson’s funeral?
A: No, not at all, not at all. Because it’s going to be, like, 9 million people there, and it’s not what I want to see.