If there’s one reason you need to add Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson’s new book, ‘Mo Meta Blues’, to your summer reading list, it’s probably to read about the time that he went roller-skating with Prince. And no, this is not a Dave Chappelle skit. It’s the real thing. The longtime Roots drummer recounted the adventure in an excerpt over at Slate’s culture blog:
I got a text from Prince’s assistant. That’s how things go in the Prince universe: You get a pre‑message saying that a phone message is coming later. But this time, the message said something different. It said that there was going to be a roller‑skating party that night, for Valentine’s Day, and that I should bring some cool people.
I was puzzled. What did Prince mean by “cool,” exactly? I wasn’t sure if he was trusting me with the word or with the concept. I texted back: “Cool?” It turned out they meant the people who were already with me: Mos, Talib, Jill, Erykah, Common. I started to line people up in my mind and called them to give them the news. I thought they would do backflips: a party with Prince? To my amazement, most of them weren’t up for it. Jill came backstage and told me that she was tired. Talib said that he needed to be in bed before midnight. I ran into Alan Leeds, who led me to Raphael’s dressing room, where Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy were sitting and talking. I went to my same pitch: “Hey, guys, want to go roller‑skating with Prince?”
“Right,” Alan said. “I’ll be in the grave before I’m in skates.”
“Right,” Chris said. “Like I’m skating with these knees.”
“Right,” Raphael said. “I’m too old for that shit.”
I was confused and a little depressed. How good were these people’s lives that they could pass on Prince’s roller‑skating party? Only one man was brave enough—visionary enough—to see what lay before us, and that was Eddie Murphy. “This is historical,” he said. “For starters, I need to see if Prince can roller‑skate. I’m a comedian, and honestly, what’s funnier than that?”
Read the rest over at Slate’s Brow Beat culture blog. ‘Mo Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove’ hits stores today.