Questlove's Quest: To Find the Woman Who Bought Him a Turntable When He Was Five

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Questlove attends the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020.

Ahmir Thompson, founder of The Roots and drummer for the Tonight Show band, wants to find the kind stranger who bought him a turntable and several records at the tender age of five. Thompson — better known as Questlove — posted on social media that he was traveling with his parents, who made their living playing gigs, when he made friends with “Ellie” in 1976 in Portland, Maine.

“Being the irresistible cat that I was, I talked an older woman named Ellie into buying me a stereo and a record collection,” Questlove posted on Facebook and Instagram. Ellie wrote the youngster’s order on a napkin: “Bad Blood” by Neil Sedaka, “Dance With Me” by Rufus, and the Jackson 5.

“I knew talking to strangers was a no-no, but my instincts paid off,” he wrote. His parents were upset that he’d been chatting up a stranger when Ellie returned the next day bearing gifts. But he says his new friend told his parents “please don’t have him get in trouble on my behalf!! He’s so cute of course I wanted to start his record collection!!!”

"Whatever she pleaded saved my behind that night cause black parents don’t play w talking to strangers (wasn’t so lucky a year later when I asked a stranger to play “Brick House” on the jukebox at the local corner store)," he continued. "But on the off chance someone in Portland Maine knows of a kind woman who in 1976 randomly purchased a turntable & 3 records for this lil black kid w an afro the size of Texas named Ellie....I’d like to know."

Check out the post below.

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