Questlove’s “Strange Craving To Ride SEPTA”
Questlove has a free-flowing interview in the newest edition of Esquire magazine that contains some interesting nuggets. (He remembers the day of the MOVE bombing in West Philly as the same day his parents made him throw out a Led Zeppelin album for fear of devil-influenced “backmasking” lyrics. You could see how both would be traumatic.) He also told how a trip to a storage unit turned into a four-hour tour of the city via SEPTA:
QL: I was looking for baby photos. I found them. I was gonna go back, but then I just had this strange craving to ride SEPTA.
SR: That is a strange craving.
QL: So I took my car, drove to 69th Street. I rode the El the complete way around. Then I rode it again and got off at 40th Street, and then took the trolley. I just wanted to revisit parts of my childhood because I hadn’t seen it in such a long time. So I rode the El, the trolley, and the subway in a four-hour period. I was done by 11 o’clock. And then I went back to New York.
SR: You were satisfied? In terms of the craving.
QL: The trains are pristine now. Not like the trains of Japan or anything. I kinda wanted the urine-infested, death-defying SEPTA.
SR: That’s the aroma I associate with SEPTA.
QL: It was too clean.
SR: We’re a long way from Philly right now. Do you ever think about how incredible it is that you’re now working with a range of musicians from D’Angelo to Elvis Costello?
QL: I mean, Prince was on the [Fallon] show Friday. But I always feel like self-congratu-lation is the jinx. That’s why I had to do that SEPTA pilgrimage. Part of me really enjoyed that four-hour trek of taking the subway, taking the El, tak-ing the trolley, going to the Wawa where I bought Michelle Morgan a hoagie. But I’ll admit that when I got off at 22nd Street and got back to my car, I was happy to come home to my comfortable high-rise. This was a long time coming.