Skip to main content

Quincy Jones is one of the most acclaimed music producers in history. His collaborations with artists like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, and Lesley Gore made him a legend. Jones is admired by many critics, but he’s still willing to go against the critical consensus. Shockingly, he criticized the Beatles’ musicianship.

Jones had a number of criticisms for the Fab Four. He criticized the band as a whole and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in particular. He didn’t just dislike the Beatles, he thought they were the “worst musicians in the world.”

Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Quincy Jones calls out the Beatles

People don’t often associate the Beatles with Jones. The Fab Four were a rock/psychedelic band, whereas Jones primarily made R&B and traditional pop music. However, the Beatles and Jones got their start in music around the same time.

Jones says when the Beatles were together, he had some opportunities to see them working on music. He felt they weren’t talented. In fact, in 2018 he called them the “the worst musicians in the world” and “no-playing motherf*ckers.”

Jones shared some observations and anecdotes about members of the band to support his thesis. He called Paul “the worst bass player I ever heard.” If that weren’t enough, Jones said Ringo wasn’t even worth talking about.

What Quincy Jones said about Ringo Starr

“Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” by Ringo Starr

However, Jones shared some information about Ringo. He remembered what happened when he worked on Ringo’s debut album, Sentimental Journey. Sentimental Journey doesn’t have the best reputation among fans and Jones’ anecdote didn’t make things any better.

Jones remembered how Ringo spent three whole hours attempting to fix “a four-bar thing” on his cover of “Love Is a Many Splendoured Thing.” Jones told Ringo to take a half-hour break and eat some shepherd’s pie. Then, Jones had a musician named Ronnie Verrell come to finish the song. Jones said the reason why the finished song sounded good was because of Verrell’s input.

Jones remembered “Ringo comes back and says: ‘George [Martin], can you play it back for me one more time?’ So George did, and Ringo says: ‘That didn’t sound so bad.’ And I said: ‘Yeah, motherf*cker because it ain’t you.’ Great guy, though.”

Quincy Jones apologizes to Paul McCartney

Quincy Jones in Los Angeles, California | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

However, Jones walked back these statements. He said that after making these statements, his daughters staged an intervention. They apparently weren’t fans of what he said. Afterward, he apologized for what he said.

He said he’s proud of his daughters. He said “I have LEARNED MY LESSON. Let me tell you, I’m so grateful for my daughters because they aren’t scared to stand up to their daddy. I am an imperfect human & I’m not afraid to say it. And I’m sorry & I’m not afraid to say it.”

Paul said Jones called him after giving the infamous interview so he could apologize. Paul seemed to forgive Jones for what he said. “I love Quincy, even after this. He’s a crazy motherf*cker. But I respect him, he’s done a lot of very good things.”

Also see: Beatles: Why Bob Dylan Said ‘Yesterday’ & ‘Michelle’ Are ‘Cop-Outs’