Quincy Jones says Michael Jackson had ‘no idea what we were doing’ making ‘Thriller’ video

The producer also recalls how he 'freaked out' when he heard of the late singer's death

Quincy Jones has given a new interview about his work with Michael Jackson and his relationship with the late singer.

Speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University‚Äôs School of Film & TV in LA last week (April 8), the producer, composer and musician said he listened to over 800 songs before choosing the ones that would make it onto Jackson’s seminal ‘Thriller’ album and recalled the making of the video.

“Michael had no idea what we were doing there, man, with ‘Thriller’,” he said, reports The Hollywood Reporter. “You know, with Vincent Price there and Edgar Allan Poe narration, and stuff like that. There’s crazy stuff on there. And people didn’t get it until, I’d say, eight months later.”

Jones also spoke about finding out Jackson had died, soon after hearing actress Farrah Fawcett and comedian Ed McMahon had also passed away. He said: “I freaked out. You know, I couldn’t believe it. No, it was heavy. Really heavy. Because, boy, the relationship with a producer and an artist is really special. And there’s no room for BS at all. It’s got to be pure. It’s got to be love and respect and amazing mutual respect for each other because that’s what makes a good record. When they trust each other, and you tell them to jump without a net, boy, you better know what you’re talking about.”

He also spoke about meeting Jackson when the singer was 12-years-old, remembering: “I met him when he was 12 at Simon Davis’s house, but that was just cause he was on the Ed Sullivan show. But I really met, knew him, and got to know him when we did The Wiz. I used to call Michael ‘Smelly,’ because he wouldn’t say ‘funky.’ He’d say ‘smelly jelly.’ And so they’d say, ‘Who’s in the studio? I said, ‘Smelly, Worms, and Mouse.’