Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Is Quincy Jones Double-Dipping with the L.A. Times and Newsweek?



For all I know, Quincy Jones was upfront with both the L.A. Times and Newsweek in giving them the same first-person piece on his relationship with Michael Jackson. And perhaps they both knew that they'd be running virtually identical first-person accounts (Newsweek's being more heavily edited-down, due to space).

If they didn't, well, I suppose that would explain why the same piece (just differently edited) appeared in both publications. Here's a taste of Jones' piece in the L.A. Times, which ran it first:

For some reason I have had the honor of meeting young performers when they reach the age of 12. There was Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell and, of course, Michael Jackson. I was fully aware of Michael and impressed by the achievements that he'd reached with the Jackson Five, but it never crossed my mind that we would eventually work together. But as is always the case, divinity interceded into the process.

In 1978, Sidney Lumet pulled me kicking and screaming into doing the music for "The Wiz," and in hindsight I'm so glad he did. As the scarecrow, Michael dove into the filming of "The Wiz" with everything that he had, not only learning his lines but those of everyone in the cast. Prior to filming, Michael and I were working at my home and he asked if I could help find him a producer to work with him on his first solo album from Epic.

At rehearsals with the cast, during the part where the scarecrow is pulling proverbs from his stuffing, Michael kept saying "So-Crates" instead of "Socrates." After about the third time, I pulled him aside and told him the correct pronunciation. He looked at me with these big wide eyes and said, "Really?" and it was at that moment that I said, "Michael, I'd like to produce your album."


And here's how it ran in Newsweek:

For some strange reason, I have a history of meeting young performers when they reach age 12. There was Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell, and, of course, Michael Jackson. In 1978 Sidney Lumet pulled me kicking and screaming into doing the music for The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael as the Scarecrow. Michael dived into the filming, learning not only his lines but everyone else's. There was only one problem: there's a scene where the Scarecrow starts pulling proverbs from his stuffing and talking about Socrates. Michael kept saying "So-crates." It was really interesting to watch; either because of his age or his fame, no one wanted to correct him. After about the third time, I pulled Michael aside and told him the correct pronunciation. He looked at me with the big, wide eyes of a child opening a present under the Christmas tree and said, "Really?" It was at that moment that I said, "Michael, I'd like to produce your solo album."

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