Oh, to be Quincy Jones: ‘Love drips from his fingertips’

music, Variety

quincy-jones-charity-story-variety-homepageSeriously, I don’t know how he does it: Quincy Jones is about to turn 80, and he’s still a very active producer who makes plenty of time for philanthropic endeavors.

What’s his secret? One long-time associate, who runs his music consortium, told me “love drips from his fingertips,” while another head of a charity talked about how he sprinkles Quincy dust everywhere. Whenever they need him, the heads of these organizations told me, he is there.

Here’s my Variety story about it.

Sadly, it looks to be my last in Daily Variety, which is ceasing publication later this month. But the good news is that new owner Jay Penske has overhauled the pub’s website and promises to do the same for weekly Variety, which I worked on as writer-editor for seven years and have freelanced since.

Don’t Be That Guy: Who Concert


roger-quadropheniaThis week, I was fortunate enough to see the Who perform “Quadrophenia” at the Staples Center. I fell in love with the album in high school, when my friend Leslie and I saw the movie inspired by it with her older sister.

But I hadn’t listened to the album in decades, and wasn’t sure how it would hold up. Especially with Pete and Roger approaching 70.

That wasn’t a problem: They were really good, hitting most of the notes and rocking harder than I ever could hope to at that age. I thrilled to the music just like I did all those years ago.

One irritation: the guy two rows ahead of us kept standing when everyone else around him was seated. Trust me, you don’t want to be that guy.

thatguyHe sat down for a while, and then, just as the rock opera was reaching its emotional crescendo with “Love, Reign O’er Me,” popped up again. He finally parked it after a lady within reach asked him to do so. And we once again got a clear shot of the stage and the woman exuberantly signing for the hearing impaired in front of him.

As a short woman, I dread getting stuck behind the vertically endowed. I beg you: Do not be that guy.

Here are some unobstructed views of Roger strutting the stage while he belts out the album’s signature song: this video and this one.