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Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson speaks onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Questlove Remembers Driving in a "Near Blizzard" to Play on Amy Winehouse's "Valerie"

Questlove Remembers Driving in a "Near Blizzard" to Play on Amy Winehouse's "Valerie"

If you follow Questlove, you're probably familiar with the cool, amazing, sometimes crazy stories the Roots drummer regularly shares about his exploits in the music business. Followers of music prodigy, six-year-old Miles Bonham got a personal story from Quest when he posted about the time he drove for four hours in a near-blizzard to play on an Amy Winehouse record.

He recalls being so in love with Winehouse's signature record "Back to Black" he begged producer Mark Ronson to get on whatever was available.

"I begged Mark Ronson to lemme just breathe the same air, I’ll grab coffee, hand clap, drum for free," Questlove wrote. "So he rang me up and despite the fact that it was a deadly snowstorm I drove 30mph for 4 hours in my Scion Car on the Jersey Turnpike in a near blizzard..."

But then, things took a kind of comical turn.

"... only for Ronson to pull a mic out …. and hand me a tambourine," Questlove wrote. "I was like “wait, where are the drums?!” Ronson was like, “you said handclaps, we already got drums” (omg did I just drive and risk my life for handclapping on a 4 min song?)——damn skippy, i stacked the bejesus outta them handclaps."

After the dramatic escapade, Quest has vowed to share the story whenever possible, as he did on the IG post, where the six-year-old incredibly recreates Winehouse's "Valerie" (originally by English rock group The Zutons) by playing all the instruments himself.

"Drove another 2.5 in the slush to get home," Quest continued. "I vowed “anytime I hear this song imma let everyone know the pain I went through to friggin do them handclaps."

Of course, Back to Black garnered critical acclaim, including an Album of Year nomination at the 2008 Grammys. As for Quest, the hard work the drummer/music historian has put in over the years was recognized earlier this year when he won an Oscar for his acclaimed documentary, Summer of Soul.


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