From Paul Shaffer, lifelong music junkie, hipster, and longtime leader of David Letterman's band, comes a candid, endearing, hilarious, and star-studded memoir of a life in-and love of-show business.
How does a kid go from a remote Canadian town at the tip of Lake Superior to the bright lights of Broadway and a gig leading the band on Letterman? This book is Paul Shaffer's answer to that question. From playing seedy strip joints in Toronto, to his first legitimate job out of college-which found him working with future stars (and friends) Gilda Radner, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy-to being first musical director of the nascent Saturday Night Live and helping to form the Blues Brothers, to being onstage every night with Dave and playing with the greatest musicians of our time, Shaffer has lived the ultimate showbiz life.
Now, in this hilarious, entertaining, and candid memoir-in which he dishes on everyone from John Belushi and Jerry Lewis to Mel Gibson and Britney Spears-Paul gives us the full behind-the-scenes story of his life, from banging out pop tunes on the piano at the age of twelve to leading the band every night at the Sullivan Theater.
Shaffer tells the story of growing up a nice Jewish boy from Thunder Bay, Ontario, who rose to become late-night television's quirkiest sidekick. Before signing on with David Letterman in 1982, Shaffer had a career as the modern-day equivalent of a wandering minstrel. He opened for the Troggs and the Guess Who in Thunder Bay, played free jazz in Toronto, and was an original Blues Brother on Saturday Night Live. Vegas and Hollywood were also on the itinerary. Over the years, Shaffer has had friendships and run-ins with celebrities from Sammy Davis Jr. and John Belushi to Bob Dylan and Cher. While Shaffer shares that most predictable quality of celebrity memoirists--compulsive name-dropping--he tells the story, with co-writer Ritz, with insight and humor. Shaffer is fascinated by the art of popular entertainment and traces his influences back to his hip parents who introduced him to late-night Vegas and sophisticated jazz. He also mounts defenses of often-mocked performers such as Jerry Lewis and Don Ho and includes a chapter on his friendship with Phil Spector. Wisely, Shaffer gives little space to Letterman, which helps to establish him as a figure in his own right. One final note: the co-composer of It's Raining Men is decidedly heterosexual. (Oct.)
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Boring
Posted November 04, 2009 by William , LAInteresting if you are a music buff from the sixties and seventies and your very proud of your Jewish-ness...
Badly written and fractured bio, one long suck up to everyone Paul ever worked for, he was clearly an unpopular kid who worked away on his musical abilities in order to gain popularity, and girls... I love to watch Paul and his kitch doings on Letterman but his life has been one long second fiddle with his well polished head up someones backside most of the time.
October 04, 2009
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