In an interview with Rolling Stone’s Smoking Section, ?uestlove revealed that the Roots have to write 200 songs for their work on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, since NBC won’t pay for licensed music any more.
"We have to write 200 new songs, which will probably last about a year," he says. "We’ve written about 55 so far."
?uest also revealed that the band is not retiring from touring, since their contract with NBC gives them 10 weeks off to tour every year, and they anticipate that Fallon will begin taping the show on a Monday through Thursday schedule, giving them the weekends to tour.
"We didn’t tell anybody we were retiring! I never want to pull some Eagles/Kiss shit where it’s like, ‘Okay, this is the last time you’ll see us.’ "They’ll allow us ten weeks of touring time every year. We’ll start with five shows each week night, but I’m certain that Jimmy will want to do it Letterman-style, taping two shows one night so we can get Fridays off. That’s an extra 52 days so I’m sure we’ll fill those up with shows."
As far as how long the band will be on the show, that’s up to NBC. But they are signed on for five years.
"I think if Jimmy turns on the charm like he did on Saturday Night Live, I’m almost certain that this show will work. Anything can happen. Knock on wood that this isn’t the Chevy Chase Show or the Magic Hour.
At least we know ?uestlove is a glass half-full kind of guy. [RS]