Quincy Jones is a youthful 85 years old, and in his 85th year he's given some incredibly entertaining interviews about his life, which apparently includes having 22 different girlfriends around the world. (Yes, 22 different girlfriends. Wow). His latest sit-down was for Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast in honor of Netflix's release of Quincy, a documentary about his life by his daughter Rashida Jones and Australian jazz musician and filmmaker Al Hicks (who also appear on the podcast).
Even when he's not trying to be outspoken or provocative, Quincy still drops amazing tidbits left and right. Some highlights of this extended chat:
Malcolm X sold drugs to his band
"He was called Detroit Red back then," he explained of the figure everyone knew from the corner.
He was a child prodigy
"I was writing, composing, and orchestrating at age 13," he shared.
He played trumpet for Billie Holliday at 14
Quincy worked with the legendary singer as part of the Bumps Blackwell band in 1948.
He has synaesthesia
"I see music before I hear it," he described of his rare ability to visualize songs as having colors.
Michael Jackson could have played anyone in The Wiz
"Once he was in that costume, he knew everyone's steps, dialogue, and everything."
Charles Manson wanted a record deal
The infamous serial killer and cult leader approached Quincy's friend, the son of actress Doris Day and a producer for the Beach Boys, for a record deal. Quincy relayed that the subsequent rejection was what led Manson to tell his followers to "kill the pigs on the hill," which led to the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her friends in 1969. "It was scary," he remembered. "We were all just looking at each other."
E.T. got a makeover before coming out
"He looked too much like a brother," Quincy recalled of his friend Steven Spielberg's alien character, who he said was then given blue eyes.
Retirement isn't in his vocabulary
"Retired — you take the re off and you're tired," he scoffed. "I'm not tired yet."
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