Quincy Jones Talked His Relationship With Michael Jackson And The Origins Of ‘Thriller’ In A New Interview
79-time Grammy nominee Quincy Jones, recently took part in an ongoing interview series called Hollywood Masters. The legendary producer sat down and discussed everything from the birth of hip hop to producing The Color Purple and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
One of the highlights was the time Jones spent discussing his relationship with Michael Jackson and according to THR, he had a special nickname for the singer:
Speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & TV on April 8, Jones recalled meeting Jackson as a 12-year-old and then getting to know him on the 1978 movie The Wiz. Later, “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.’ ”
Michael Jackson wouldn’t say the word “funky”? Imagine if Vincent Price had that problem. “The smell of 40,000 years” just wouldn’t have had the same effect.
Jones also talked about the moment he heard about Jackson’s death and the effect it had on him:
“I freaked out,” he said. “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. And there’s no room for BS at all. It’s got to be pure. 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.”