The obsessive vinyl collecting of Questlove has never been a secret of any sort, but it’s also never been fully unveiled to the world. Apart from one grainy video and a few social media shares, there’s been little in the way of visual evidence of the massive record stash that The Roots drummer has kept tucked away in Philadelphia. Fortunately for Roots fans, vinyl fiends and music-lovers everywhere, Dust & Grooves–a blog, dedicated to record collectors, that we’ve held in high regard for some time now–finally cracked the code to Questlove’s hectic schedule and found time to photograph him amongst the towering shelves of his main collection. Anchored by the stunning images shot by Dust & Grooves’s founder, Eilon Paz, the new feature digs deep into how the drummer and prolific DJ got started collecting records, where he stashes his best sides and the psychedelic music that still strikes fear into his heart.
In order to capture Questlove at ease amongst his collection, Paz and interviewer/veteran DJ Jamison Harvey, had to drop their 4th of July plans and take off on a moment’s notice down the highway from New York City to Philadelphia, where their subject had only an hour to give them before jetting off to his next summer gig. The two made good use of their time–even the small excerpt that’s now online is an engrossing look into Questo’s relationship with the music he owns. For example, when asked about an important record that stands out amongst his library, Questlove responded:
“And as a sort of congratulatory, last-day-of-school present, we did a $300 record-shopping binge. One of the records they bought me was Average White Band’s Person to Person. This singlehandedly changed my life. This is the record that I applied the 10,000 hours of practice to. This was basically a record I practiced to in the basement from the age of 6 until 21. I still practice to this record as a 43-year-old. If I had a top 10 record list, this would probably be my No. 1 record.”
Earlier this spring Paz told Okayplayer that Questlove was his “holy grail,” the one long-sought-after collector that he hoped to someday add to his photo reel. And so now Paz’s success is set to be a gain for all of us–the interview and photo essay we see online is but a taste of what’s to come when the second edition of Paz’s massive, gorgeous photo book Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting drops later this month. Along with dozens of other collectors including Gilles Peterson, The Gaslamp Killer, Sheila Burgel and Stones Throw Records’s Egon, the 436-page book will include a brand new feature on Questlove set to dazzling photos. It’s sure to be an ear-opening trip through what he calls “My sound dungeon, my haven, this is my escape pod.” Check the video and links below for more information on how to get your hands on the finished product.