Skip navigation

Seven months after Jones insulted the Beatles musicianship, McCartney finally claps back

The musician-on-musician public tiff, sometimes referred to as a rap beef, has become something of an art form in recent years. Drake and Pusha T, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B: these are epic battles in which artists use social media and the worlds greatest producers to release devastating diss tracks about each other, often responding to the latest slur within hours.

For older artists, it can be hard to muster that kind of animosity. But Quincy Jones and Paul McCartney, with 161 years and 45 Grammys between them, are giving it a go albeit without quite as much malice as their hip-hop counterparts.

It began in February, when Quincy Jones gave a wildly unguarded interview with New York magazine in which as well as claiming that Marlon Brando had sex with Richard Pryor, that he knew the true identity of who killed JFK and that he had dated Ivanka Trump Jones cast aspersions about the Beatles musicianship.

Jones said: They were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing motherfuckers. Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Dont even talk about it.

I remember once we were in the studio with George Martin, and Ringo had taken three hours for a four-bar thing he was trying to fix on a song. He couldnt get it. We said, Mate, why dont you get some lager and lime, some shepherds pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.

So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up. Ringo comes back and says, George, can you play it back for me one more time? So George did, and Ringo says, That didnt sound so bad. And I said, Yeah, motherfucker, because it aint you. Great guy, though.

The interview was well received many cheered Joness honesty but Jones felt bad about what was said, and later apologised, saying it had been a case of word vomit and that bad-mouthing is inexcusable.

Now, seven months later, McCartney has responded, not via a YouTube diss video, but via another lengthy profile with a legacy media title, this time GQ magazine. In the piece, McCartney recounts the apology call from Quincy.

So he rang me, and Im at home on my own. And Id finished work, so I had a drink, and now Im grooving at home, Im cooking, Ive got a little bit of wine going, Im in a good mood, and I dont give a shit. So I get a phone call: Is this Mr McCartney? Yes. Quincy would like to speak with you. Because hes always worked through security guys.

I said, Hey, Quince! Paul, how you doing, man? Im doing great how are you, you motherfucker! Im just jiving with him. Paul, I didnt really say that thing I dont know what happened, man. I never said that. You know I love you guys!

I said, If you had said that, you know what I would have said? Fuck you, Quincy Jones! And he laughed. I said, You know I would say to that: Fuck you, Quincy Jones, you fucking crazy motherfucker! So actually we just had a laugh. And he was like, Oh, Paul, you know I love you so much. Yeah, I know you do, Quince.

McCartneys rejoinder is not exactly a knockout blow, and it seems the two men have buriedwhat was already quite a blunt hatchet. Still, McCartney was at pains to point out that hes actually quite good at the bass guitar.

I dont think Im the worst bass player hes ever heard, he said. Or maybe hes never heard bad bass players.

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *