Quincy Jones Reveals Ray Charles Got Him Hooked On Heroin For “Five Months”


Quincy Jones’ Netflix documentary reveals a lot about the music mogul and his come up to becoming one of the most influential music makers. The film documents his close relationships with Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, and Ray Charles, but it never revealed the addictions he and Ray shared together.

Quincy recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporters podcast that at 15-years-old Ray Charles got him hooked on heroin for five months.

“After we finished at the Washington Social Club and a couple of other ones, we’d all go down to Jackson Street to the Elks Club. That’s where all the bebop jam sessions were. Nobody got paid. We didn’t give a damn,” he said. “When they finished playing they’d go over in the corner and they had it on their thumb. I just snuck in the line and got me a little hit.”

Quincy was involved in a band that would travel all over and when the crew was in New York, they would buy their poison from a Harlem dealer named Detroit Red, A.K.A. Malcolm X. His habit was over after he fell down a flight of stairs one night and was put on bed rest, forcing withdrawal and clarity on his addiction. “The mistakes are what help you grow and learn,” he explained. “[If I hadn’t fallen.] I would have been in New York, where I was hanging out with Charlie Parker. I would have been a junkie forever. Bird was always high. Thank god we did it and got it over with.”

Listen here.


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