Questlove of The Roots stepped from behind the drum set and into the interview chair on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to reveal how The Roots landed the house band gig.
While promoting his new book something to food about, Questlove went down memory lane with show host Jimmy Fallon to recall just how and when The Roots decided that leaving a solid, consistently-paying tour life for the show was a good idea.
He says that the band met Fallon through former Chappelle’s Show writer Neal Brennan. Brennan and Fallon were talking about ideas for a house band and The Roots name came up. But, it was only supposed to be for referral purposes, because in Brennan’s mind, there was no way The Roots were going to do it. But, Fallon was convinced that they were the band for the job and proceeded to get in their good graces. In a chance meeting on UCLA’s campus where The Roots were performing, everybody crossed paths.
“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. Everything that Tariq [Black Thought] 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? That’s when I knew.'”