On The Mob’s Political Influence:
What’s something you wish you didn’t know?
Who killed Kennedy.
Who did it?
[Chicago mobster Sam] GiancanaChicago gangster Sam Giancana is a well-known name among Kennedy conspiracists, both for his alleged help in delivering Illinois votes for Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election and the 1963 assassination of the president. The latter theory largely stems from Giancana’s murder in 1975, not long before he was supposed to testify before a Senate committee investigating collusion between the mob and the CIA.. The connection was there between Sinatra and the Mafia and Kennedy. Joe Kennedy — he was a bad man — he came to Frank to have him talk to Giancana about getting votes.
On Classism and Growing Up Poor:
How much did your upbringing — the difficulties with your mother and growing up in real povertyAs recounted in his 2002 autobiography, Q, Jones’s youth in Chicago and Seattle was one of almost unimaginable physical and emotional trauma. In addition to facing poverty, he was stabbed in the hand by a gang member as a child, and frequently witnessed his mother’s extreme and frightening mental instability. — affect how you perceive success?
Of course it affected it. I appreciate the shit I have because I know what it’s like to have nothing.
What about having a fractured family? How did that change you?
Same as with money, man. I appreciate what I got.
How often do you think about your mother?
All the time. She died in a mental home. Brilliant lady, but she never got the help she needed. Her dementia praecox could’ve been cured with vitamin B, but she couldn’t get it because she was black.
When you think about her now, what comes to mind?
That I wish I could’ve been closer to her. What happened to her — for kids, that’s a bitch.
You hang out in these elite social circles and doing good has always been important to you, but are you seeing as much concern for the poor as you’d like from the ultrarich?
No. The rich aren’t doing enough. They don’t fucking care. I came from the street, and I care about these kids who don’t have enough because I feel I’m one of ’em. These other people don’t know what it feels like to be poor, so they don’t care.
On Donald Trump and Racism:
If you could snap your fingers and fix one problem in the country, what would it be?
Racism. I’ve been watching it a long time — the ’30s to now. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go. The South has always been fucked up, but you know where you stand. The racism in the North is disguised. You never know where you stand. That’s why what’s happening now is good, because people are saying they are racists who didn’t used to say it. Now we know.
What’s stirred everything up? Is it all about Trumpism?
It’s Trump and uneducated rednecks. Trump is just telling them what they want to hear. I used to hang out with him. He’s a crazy motherfucker. Limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him. I used to date Ivanka, you know.
Yes, sir. Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter KidadaA former model and current designer, Kidada is the daughter of Jones and his ex-wife Peggy Lipton. Jones’s other daughter with Lipton is the actress Rashida Jones. Jones has five other children, with four other women., said, “Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.” I said, “No problem. She’s a fine motherfucker.” She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.
[…] A symphony conductor knows more about how to lead than most businesspeople — more than Trump does. He doesn’t know shit. Someone who knows about real leadership wouldn’t have as many people against him as he does. He’s a fucking idiot.
Is Hollywood as bad with race as the rest of the country? I know that when you started scoring films, you’d hear producers say things like they didn’t want a “bluesy” score, which was clearly code-speak. Are you still encountering that kind of racism?
It’s still fucked up. 1964, when I was in Vegas, there were places I wasn’t supposed to go because I was black, but Frank [Sinatra] fixed that for me. It takes individual efforts like that to change things. It takes white people to say to other white people, “Do you really want to live as a racist? Is that really what you believe?” But every place is different. When I go to Dublin, Bono makes me stay at his castle because Ireland is so racist. Bono’s my brother, man. He named his son after me.
Are we in a better place as a country than we were when you started doing humanitarian work 50 years ago?
No. We’re the worst we’ve ever been, but that’s why we’re seeing people try and fix it. Feminism: Women are saying they’re not going to take it anymore. Racism: People are fighting it. God is pushing the bad in our face to make people fight back.
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