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We'll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-biz Saga

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  577 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Paul Shaffer—born and bred music junkie and longtime leader of David Letterman’s Late Show band—opens up in this candid, endearing, hilarious, and star-studded memoir.  From playing seedy strip joints in Toronto, to being the first musical director of Saturday Night Live and helping to form the Blues Brothers, to being onstage every night with David Letterman and playing w ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Dan Slabaugh
Feb 13, 2010 Dan Slabaugh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Dan by: nobody
As a guy who has been in the eye of pop culture hurricanes such as the beginning of Saturday Night Live, the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, and the David Letterman show, Paul has surprising few interesting tales to tell.

About the only story I found valuable was how he turned down the role of George Costanza in the Seinfeld television show.

It is well known that Paul was a heavy party guy in the past with an appetite for drugs. None of those stories made it into the book. All we could read was his Vega
Marylu Sanok
Apr 08, 2015 Marylu Sanok rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Stories of his life, not a complete autobiography but interesting none the less
Julie Laporte
Really disliked the structure of the book (what structure???), often the tone, and much of the content, but it's worth the two stars to hear some of the celeb stories (like when he cut Mel Gibson's leg on the Letterman show, or his long pre-SNL history with Gilda Radner), although it seemed about half of the stories were gossipy and/or were trying to project a biased image. It was very bizarre, because sometimes the words were there to say something nice about a celeb (like Jerry Lewis), but all ...more
Nov 24, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I've always been a huge fan of Paul Shaffer. I actually think he's funnier than David Letterman. When Dave announced the release of this book on his show, I couldn't wait to get a hold of it. This is a great celebrity biography by the coolest hipster around. His stories are even more fascinating than I could have guessed. To hear him read this on the audio book, with his hilarious impressions of the funny and the famous, is a true insider's delight.
Rob Trainor
This is the life story of Paul Shaffer, former musical director of the Late Show With David Letterman among other things. It spans from his childhood to 2010 (which is before David Letterman retired) and covers his lifetime of music.

I went into this book with hopes of getting the inside scoop about the Late Show and the work that goes into it. However, more than half the book was about Paul Shaffer's time before Late Night with David Letterman had even premiered. I have never been a big Saturday
Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Paul Shaffer has mined a wealth of backstage stories from his amazing career.

It's no secret that Canadians are some of the most talented showmen on the planet.

And who knew that a boy from Thunder Bay, ON. would help create the Blues Brothers and become David Letterman's band leader.

Shaffer's memoir mirrors his own personality - light, fresh and entertaining.

It's also refreshing to read a celebrity memoir that doesn't include rehab, incest, drug abuse or a rap sheet
Jun 06, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the world, you are about to witness the eighth." You know him for such hits as "It's Raining Men," "Bermuda," and the theme from "Will It Float," the Funky Jew himself...
Paul Shaffer has lead a charmed life and he is the first to admit it. From his childhood playing piano for his adoring parents and listening obsessively to pop records, to sitting in with some of rock music's greatest performers and leading The World's Most Dangerous
When I was a teenager I loved, loved, loved the David Letterman Show. I thought he was the funniest person on Earth and I thought Paul Shaffer was the weakest part of the show. Letterman surrounds himself with nerds but Shaffer seemed to be too much.
So, I start listening to the audio of Shaffer's book, read by the author, he has a very strong, nasal Canadian accent. He pronounces his S's like Cher, like the S sound contains a j or a z. One minute in and I was completely annoyed by him. Two minut
Beth Newman
Aug 29, 2013 Beth Newman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a ride!

Paul Shaffer has seen it all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book with Mr. Shaffer's myriad recollections of his life in (and prior to) showbiz. I'd actually forgotten just how prolific a performer he was prior to becoming David Letterman's sidekick: leading the first Saturday Night Live Band, numerous stage and television appearances (he even starred in a short-lived sitcom with Greg Evigan - who knew?!), and of course, his memorable turn as Artie Fufkin, the misguided promoter in 'This
Dec 31, 2012 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for any type of a deep dive might I recommend that of a fictional character in the various Transformers universes** because this book only skims the surface.

** Deepdive is the name of a Mini-Con. He is an original mold for the Cybertron line and turns into a submarine and is part of the Giant Planet Mini-Con team. The Giant Planet Mini-Con team is an original Hasbro creation, and did not appear in the Japanese version of the series, Galaxy Force. As the television series was p
Nov 28, 2009 Candace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in modern pop, rock, jazz, SNL, David Letterman show, celebrities
This book was co-witten by David Ritz. It's an as-told-to volume if ever there was one. The autobiography is not strictly chronological, and sometimes tangents lead to other tangents. There are a number of more and less interesting anecdotes involving celebrities and music industry insiders. There are no penetrating insights or profound revelations. It's just the easy-going story about an easy-going piano-player who is lucky enough to turn his passions and predilections into a career.

I found it
Mar 06, 2014 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems to be my turn to read books that are too large by half. Paul Schaeffers retelling of his own showbiz career is interesting from the time of his youth until the time of his peaking with Letterman. That is a good story, well told, with some choice anecdotes in the mix. But he runs out of gas when you gets to the end of this narrative. From then on, it is a recitation of some of his showbiz stories, which get to be boring. I didn't know Schaeffer very well, very rarely watch late night T ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was familiar with Paul's career, but this book turned out to be full of surprises. I knew Paul was Jewish, but not that he was observant, and Orthodox. I knew he rubbed shoulders with celebs because of his gig on the Late Show, but I had no idea how far his celebrity encounters strayed outside the boundaries of Late Night/Late Show, and even SNL. He was swinging with the hip crowd even as a child, thanks to his too-hip-for-Thunder-Bay parents. If you're at all interested in anecdotes ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely enjoyable book from someone that has worked with almost every great entertainer. In fact, it was terrific to be reminded just how well revered Paul is by musicians and comedians alike. It was great to read about Paul's contributions to Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and so many other amazing events and appearances. It would have been nice to see him spend some more time on his history with David Letterman as the stories fro ...more
Oct 16, 2009 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've always liked Paul Shaffer. He's kooky, swingin', and fun to watch. But he's not a writer. His music career is truly amazing. He has met and worked with nearly everyone who is anyone in "the biz", but this book really fell flat.

He changes from first person to third and back again repeatedly, changes tenses mid-paragraph, and the narrative jumps around so much it's like watching a dog chasing cars. The slightest little memory jog makes him abandon a story midway and leap years before or after
May 08, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved listening to this book audio-style, because hearing Paul's voice tell the stories gave it extra hipness!! While I loved getting the 'insider bits' (particularly his bittersweet perception of Dylan, and an explanation of what really went down between the Gilda camp and Belushi camp over "Blues Brothers"), I too agree that we're getting a watered-down version of the events of his life. While there's no shortage of rock n' roll, what happened to all the sex & drugs? A real 'swingin' showb ...more
Oct 11, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His smarmy shtick and lounge lizard vibe might make it easy to dismiss Paul Shaffer, but if you know anything about music, you know he's one of the most talented players in the business -- and with a list of achievements that includes time in the "SNL" trenches, work with the Blues Brothers, nearly three decades with David Letterman, and countless recording sessions, he's got a stack of stories taller than you. "Rest of Our Lives" plays it light and breezy, recounting the highs and lows of an un ...more
Anthony Taylor
A fun read but I always got the impression Shaffer was holding back on the details of his interesting and diverse career to date. Sure he has either worked with, or knows a lot of major stars, over the last few decades but he doesn't really give you anything that you haven't heard somewhere before. I think he has got a second and more impressive memoir to come because he sure knows how to tell an entertaining story he just needs to spill the beans on the next time out.
Feb 14, 2010 Keri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book ended up being nothing what I expected! He talked more about his life in the earlier stages than anything. I was expecting small stories about his life on Letterman and stories on the stars he has had encounters with. This was not at all what it was. It was more stories of how he got started and the women he slept with. I would say this book was bad, but it for sure wasn't my taste.
Feb 06, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this given that I find Shaffer to be irritating and obnoxious. Ty Templeton raved about it, I found it on for a dollar and was hooked from page one. It is basically about living the ultimate dream, wanting to be yourself and growing up to be just that.
The book would have gotten 5 stars but he completely glosses over his drug use which was a pretty big part of his life in the 70's and 80's.
Jun 25, 2014 j_ay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I would imagine Mister Shaffer has a *ton* more music-related anecdotes or behind the scenes Letterman tales, but he clearly enjoys talking more about his "prayers being answered" (yawn, not too mention bullshit) and how he loves being s Jew.
Could have, should have been a much better, far less annoying, book.
Feb 26, 2010 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read! I really enjoyed this book a lot. It's like having a fabulous conversation late into the evening with a celebrity who turns out to be even more interesting and down-to-earth than you imagined. And I loved that he presented both incredible highlights, sad times, and less-than-proud moments.
Jim V
Dec 08, 2012 Jim V rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I'm a fan of Paul's as he is a professional musician and plays off Letterman well in a comic vein. This book was a big disappointment. Paul makes repeated negative comments about the Catholic faith. Although some are justified, all as an undercurrent paint a picture for the reader of Paul as demeaning to Catholics. A real turn OFF!
Steven Spector
Sep 04, 2013 Steven Spector rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If people are expecting him to bring his Letterman personna to this book, they're in for a disappointment. That's hype. It's the hype that he has brilliantly created. First and foremost, he's a musician. Secondly, he sounds like a nice guy who genuinely cares about others. For me, that's plenty. No need to dish dirt on anything or anyone. And he doesn't.
Tom Schulte
Dec 05, 2014 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audio book narrated by Shaffer himself was a real joy to read. He does all the voices like Dylan and Letterman, and it is great. Also, he comes across a true fan, a music enthusiast and in awe of his idols. This translates into a delightfully giddy series of recollections about The Blues Brothers, Phil Spector, Eric Clapton, Harry Shearer/Spinal Tap, and more.
Oct 11, 2009 Nina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Shaffer is a born storyteller. It certainly helps that he's lived a fascinating life and has worked with so many cultural icons. His book is an extended verbal jam, and his stories dance across the page like his keyboard riffs. The writing style is joyous, which makes the book a delight to read.
Apr 14, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-it
Admittedly I'm prejudiced. I love Paul Shaffer & Dave. Paul's life is to die for. A musical prodigy growing up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, he details his rise in the music business. He has met & played with the best in the business. Plus, he plays in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This book is for rock music lovers. Highly entertaining.
Nov 13, 2014 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun summer read, with lots of name-dropping and Shaffer's hepcat showbiz lingo. I'm a big fan of Letterman, so it was nice to hear that he's a genuinely decent guy to his friends, and very generous.

Shaffer's memories of John Belushi and Gilda Radner are especially poignant. His love and affection for Radner is obvious and touching.

A quick, fun read.
Gary Anderson
Oct 22, 2009 Gary Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Equal parts schmaltz and rock-and-roll (just like Paul), this quick read has satisfying celbrity dish on many of the entertainment industry's most compelling figures. My favorites involve Jerry Lewis, Britney Spears, Eddie Fisher, Sammy Davis, Chevy Chase, Bob Dylan, and David Letterman.

Maybe this book is a guilty please, but it is a pleasure.
Aug 21, 2011 Batmensch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a musician and a big fan of Saturday Night Live, I can't resist a book like this. Classic stories about early band experiences, performing in the Toronto performance of Godspell with several members of Second City, the early Saturday Night Live, and the David Letterman shows make this a very fun book. Could have been a lot longer for my money, but I liked it a lot.
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