Paul Schaffer is a fascinating guy. At once both nerdy and cool, like fellow countryman Geddy Lee, he has lived a musician’s dream, playing continually and successfully, backing up everyone who is anyone, and spending what seems like every waking moment immersed in music.
His autobiography, We’ll be here for the rest of our lives, is a fabulous romp through thirty or more years of his life, from his time as a young man growing up in Thunder Bay, where his lawyer father looked past his obvious talent on the family piano at Bar Mitzvahs and expected him to pursue a career in law, up to his current gig as musical director of David Letterman’s show.
The audiobook is even better than the book itself, because Paul himself narrates it. His tone of voice carries with it a certain tone of disbelief, as if he can’t actually believe all of this is happening to him.
He describes coming to Toronto for the first time, as a student at U of T, finding work as a piano player for a local strip club, before hooking up with the cast of Godspell that gave birth to the cast of Saturday Night Live, SCTV, and many other comedy legends.
He is one of these guys who was either born with a musical horseshoe strategically placed, or he is the living embodiment of Samuel Goldwyn’s famous quote, “the harder I work, the luckier I get,” since every job he got seemed to lead to another bigger, better one.
He was the musical director for SNL; he was in Spinal Tap; he was almost an original Blues Brother – Belushi dropped him in a jealous snit for his collaborations with Gilda Radner, he busked with Miles Davis and David Foster in Scrooged, and of course, he penned “It’s Raining Men.”
His biography is a great adventure story in rock music history, a definite good read. Another great Canadian delivering great entertainment.