During John Mayer’s performance at Madison Square Garden in New York on 21st February, Questlove came in at the last minute to play the drums. Mayer’s plans for the second of his two gigs at the arena venue were thrown into disarray earlier this week when his touring drummer, Steve Ferrone, tested positive for coronavirus. However, Mayer was able to get some aid from The Roots drummer Questlove, who joined the singer/songwriter and his band for the second half of Monday’s show.
Mayer reminisced about a “special” gig and gave his best wishes to Ferrone and fellow musician Carlos Ricketts on Instagram afterward “in hopes they traipse through COVID and return to the stage quickly”.
“My boundless appreciation goes out to the legendary Questlove, who stepped in on an hour’s notice to help end the show on such a powerful and definitive note,” Mayer added.
“The brilliant musicians in this band stepped up in ways that I will never forget, and will bond us forever.”
Questlove elaborated on his experience filling in on drums at the last minute on Monday in the comments section of Mayer’s post.
“Normally if I cram more than three songs (like say a Roots Jam session is a 30+ song affair) I gotta stay in isolation — not because of song difficulty or simplicity — I just need to absorb the song so much it becomes second nature and then once that happens the magic can being and you can relax a lil,” he explained.
“Thanks for inviting me. Last night was also a great lesson in me shedding skin and getting over anxiety (2017 Ahmir woulda made an excuse to not come cause fear was my homeboy & until 2 years ago when @summerofsoulmovie came along I would never leave my comfort zone and do something so reckless like what I did last night) so lesson learned people: EMBRACE CHAOS! There is magic there!”
Questlove later shared an image of his preparation notes for the Mayer gig and said that while “truth be told I coulda played the whole show”, he was still “anxious, amped, timorous, excited, scared & hyped” for the performance.
“Gotta say once onstage it was gravy,” he added. “I haven’t played with this combo since the @rootspicnic in NYC 2013 w D’Angelo [and] we haven’t lost a step. It was hella fun tonight!”
Mayer will continue his North American tour from 23rd February in Washington, D.C., after contracting coronavirus last month.