Questlove and John Varvatos Pick the Ultimate Vinyl Playlist

The Roots drummer and the designer geek out at Electric Lady Studios.

Few members of the fashion industry have a stronger appreciation for rock ‘n roll than John Varvatos, who turned the old CBGB space into a flagship store full of old records, instruments, and vintage stereo equipment, and has featured the likes of Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Slash, Chris Cornell, Green Day, and the Roots in his ad campaigns. He even hosts his one radio show on Sirius. And Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson? Well Questlove is just about the most knowledgable dude in all of music, a walking encyclopedia who — when he’s not leading the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon or producing albums for D’Angelo and Elvis Costello — is poring through record store shelves and DJ’ing around New York City. In other words, the seemingly odd couple were perfect ambassadors to introduce the MT5 Precision Turntable from McIntosh, the legendary stereo brand.

Flanking the MT5 at Electric Lady Studios (you know, the one founded by Jimi Hendrix), as guests helped themselves to Johnny Walker Blue, the pair played the tracks that were most influential throughout their lives, starting with “What’s Going On,” the one song both picked. After that, Quest and Varvatos went back and forth, covering the hip-hop, metal, blues, jazz, funk, and grunge songs they hold near and dear. Check out the playlist below. And you’ll just have to take our word for it that the sound quality at Electric Lady was significantly superior to what you’re hearing here, but that’s to be expected when you’re listening to a turntable that runs $6,500.

Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On”

The Police, “King of Pain”

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

The Beastie Boys, “Shake Your Rump”

Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

Prince, “Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)”

Willie Dixon, “Spoonful”

Stevie Wonder, “Superwoman”

Dave Brubeck, “Take Five”

Bill Withers, “Ain’t No Sunshine”

Gary Clark Jr., “When My Train Pulls In”

Check out How Music Can Help You Get It On orRobin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Is Finally Out.