Quincy Jones got real in a recent interview about his longtime friend Michael Jackson. The producer openly shared his memories of Jackson, along with just how he reacted to Jackson’s death in 2009.
Quincy Jones “freaked out” when he learned of Michael Jackson’s death in June, 2009: http://t.co/DvstMtgpAK
— billboard (@billboard) April 14, 2015
Jones was invited to speak with the students at Loyola Marymount University’s School and Film school last week. So what exactly was his special nickname for Michael Jackson, the king of pop?
“Smelly.” That’s right, the Grammy nominated producer used to call Jackson “Smelly.” But why?
As seen on Billboard, Quincy explained, “I used to call Michael ‘Smelly,’ because he wouldn’t say ‘funky.’ He’d say ‘smelly jelly.’ They’d say, ‘Who’s in the studio?’ I said, ‘Smelly, Worms and Mouse.’ “
Quincy, who met Jackson as a 12-year-old on the set of The Wiz, also shared how Jackson’s unexpected death hit him.
Quincy said, “I freaked out.”
Jackson’s producer and friend then added, “You know, I couldn’t believe it. No, it was heavy. Really heavy. Because, boy, the relationship with a producer and an artist is really special…It’s got to be love and respect and amazing mutual respect for each other because that’s what makes a good record. When they trust each other, and you tell them to jump without a net, boy, you better know what you’re talking about.”
His relationship was very special with Jackson. As seen on the Hollywood Reporter, the iconic music producer and composer admitted that “he listened to 800 songs before choosing the ones for Thriller.”
When speaking of one of Jackson’s greatest albums ever, Jones added, “Michael had no idea what we were doing there, man, with Thriller. You know, with Vincent Price there and Edgar Allan Poe narration, and stuff like that. There’s crazy stuff on there. And people didn’t get it until, I’d say, eight months later.”
Jones collaborated with Jackson on more albums than that and was always one to push the king of pop to the next level.
When working on Thriller, the producer said, “everybody kept saying Michael can’t be any bigger. I said you want to bet?”
While Jackson was larger than life when he was alive, Quincy isn’t necessarily a fan of the posthumous album, XScape, that was released by Jackson’s people after his 2009 death.
When Billboard spoke with Jones, he was quick to point out what he thought about the posthumous album.
“They’re trying to make money. And I understand it. Everybody’s after money, the estate, the lawyers. It’s about money.”
And for Jones, it’s just not about the money. The award winning producer made it clear that his love was for the music and for his dear friend, Michael Jackson.