Whether they were No. 1 songs for Michael Jackson or murders by the mob, hits have helped define Quincy Jones' life.
His father was a master carpenter who couldn't find work during the Depression, so he did jobs for black mobsters who ran the South Side of Chicago.
''All I ever saw was tommy guns and stogies and two-way windows and piles of money in backrooms and dead bodies all over the street and [a black policeman named] Two-Gun Pete shooting teenagers in front of Walgreens and gangs on every street,'' Jones said in a recent interview.
The Grammy-winning artist talks about these stories in his new book, The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions: Photos, Letters, Memories & More from Qs Personal Collection.
Jones recalled when he and his friends broke into an armory because they'd heard there was meringue pie and ice cream inside. After they ate the ice cream and had a pie fight, Jones broke into a supervisor's room and found a piano.
'I went over and touched that piano, and that piano told me, `This is what you're going to be doing the rest of your life.' ''
Jones went on to produce music with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. He produced Jackson's Thriller, one of the bestselling albums of all time.
Jones said he's sad that Jackson, who is reportedly suffering from a rare lung disorder, hasn't released any new music recently, but ``hopefully he'll figure it out, and he's probably coming to grips with a lot of things in himself.''
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