Music producer Quincy Jones, who collaborated with Jackson on three of his best-selling albums, Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, said: “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at this young age, I just don’t have the words.”He did have some words during the recording of Thriller, according to this near-eyewitness account:
A friend of mine was in Los Angeles 79 thru 87. Michael Jackson had had a huge hit with Off The Wall, and was recording the follow up.
The sessions were arranged for a very late start, and, after a night on the town, my mate popped around to the studio to see the producer.
He got into the control room to find that everyone’s attention was fixed on the glass window. On the other side, Quincy Jones was kicking a pile of rags on the floor while shouting “Silent, you motherfucker! I said NO SQUEAKS!”
It turned out the pile of rags was a gibbering Michael Jackson. They were recording a new song called Billie Jean, and Michael had decided to fill every gap with his trademark whoops, clicks and squeaks. Quincy, however, had decided that the track would be pared down.
After several hours of trying to get the singer to do what he wanted, and having consumed large quantities of ragedust, Jones had finally snapped and attacked the poor freak. Needless to say, after the outburst, MJ sang the song how he was told to, and the rest is history.