Questlove Explains How Fallon Convinced the Roots to Be His House Band - Rolling Stone
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Questlove Recalls How Jimmy Fallon Won Over the Roots

Roots drummer moves from kit to guest chair on ‘Tonight Show’

On The Tonight Show Monday, Questlove recalled how Jimmy Fallon convinced the Roots to be his house band. 

Comedy writer and Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan initially suggested the Roots to Fallon, but the comedian was skeptical. Even Questlove admitted that at that point in their careers, the Roots had achieved self-sufficiency and were wary about going in a new direction.

The group entertained Fallon at a Roots gig at UCLA. “I was backstage doing an interview and then when I walked out my dressing room, you [Fallon] had somehow managed to convince those guys over there to get in an Eight is Enough human pyramid,” Questlove said. “Everything that Tariq [“Black Thought” Trotter] wears is like $9,000, so the fact that Tariq was on the bottom row of this human pyramid on UCLA grass… I said to my manager, ‘We’re not getting rid of this guy are we?'”

Questlove spoke about his new book Something to Food About — which features interviews with chefs about their creative process — while the clip opens with Fallon forcing the drummer to relive the moment he did an inadvertent spit-take on Late Night.


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