Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Paul Shaffer on New Album, Working with Bill Murray and Letterman's Wild Beard

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Paul Shaffer on New Album, Working with Bill Murray and Letterman's Wild Beard

Article excerpt

Paul Shaffer on new album, Letterman's beard

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TORONTO - After more than 30 years as bandleader for NBC's "Late Night With David Letterman" and CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman," Paul Shaffer found it difficult to settle into retirement.

Not so difficult that he decided to grow an outrageously shaggy beard like his former boss, of course, but he was certainly restless.

"It's formidable, the beard," Shaffer chuckles in a recent phone interview from New York.

"It's no secret that Dave has a side of him that some might call perverse and the more people around him, family members, you can only imagine what they must be thinking about that beard. The more they would hate it, the more he would love it."

The Toronto-born, Thunder Bay, Ont.-raised musician still maintains close ties with the old "Late Night" crew, and says it didn't take much to reunite his powerhouse entourage, The World's Most Dangerous Band, to record an album.

Their eponymous release features guest appearances by Shaffer's pal Bill Murray, along with Valerie Simpson, Dion, Darius Rucker and Shaggy. A North American tour begins April 1 in New York with stops including Niagara Falls, Ont., on April 20 and Ottawa on May 3.

Shaffer spoke with The Canadian Press by phone from New York to discuss hitting the road again.

CP: I get the sense you're not one who can retire easily.

PS: It just did get very depressing and I realized I need to keep playing the piano, you know. When I got this call from the legendary Seymour Stein, the great record man, record executive, who said, 'Would you like to get back in the music business and make a record?' I just jumped at the chance. And getting the old band back together from Letterman was fun because we really played so well together. We were like a guerilla war team, a special ops of rock-and-roll for all those years. …

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