meanwhile Quincy Jones in today’s paper explains how the King of Pop was channeling Bill and Ted well before it was cool to do so:
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.”
It was that wonderment that I saw in his eyes that locked me in. I knew that we could go into completely unexplored territory, a place that as a jazz musician gave me goose bumps.
Q’s remembrance is insightful, touching, and classy. And very sweet.