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

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  707 ratings  ·  98 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
Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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Feb 13, 2010 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
I listened to the audio version of this book. I really enjoyed Paul Shaffer's memoir! I especially loved that Paul, himself, is "the reader". This was one of those audiobooks that I hated to put down. As the bandleader and music genius behind the David Letterman show, he was my generation's Doc Severinsen (from The Johnny Carson Show). A little bling and a lot of style and talent.
It was interesting to follow Mr Shaffer's life from his humble beginnings, hearing about how he developed the love o
Tom Schulte
Dec 05, 2014 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.
Marylu Sanok
Apr 08, 2015 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
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I always liked Paul Shaffer. At least until I read We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives. He seems a bit hung up on how great he is, which makes sense since he’s the only child of two doting parents. In fact, my favorite part of the book was about his early life, how his parents loved entertaining and music, and pretty much spoiled him rotten. The few tales about Late Night with David Letterman, particularly those offstage, sparked interest, as Dave seems a most generous and innovative employe ...more
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
Oct 16, 2009 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
Nov 24, 2009 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. ...more
John Kube
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-tv
As fan of the Letterman show since the early NBC days, I've been a fan of Paul for a long time. Also, as a fellow Canadian, it's even easier to be a fan. I loved Paul's storytelling. Such a nice guy. Friend to everybody, especially anybody involved in music. Really enjoyed this book. ...more
Justin Lahey
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Shaffer’s “We’ll Be Here for the Rest of our Lives” is an excellent memoir by one of Canada’s most uniquely talented cats! And it might be one of the best book titles. It’s a very funny and revealing look at the highs and lows of trying to make it in an industry that isn’t known for its patience, kindness and understanding.

The saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” has never been truer in the case of Paul Shaffer. If you don’t know Shaffer’s story but think you have him pegged, guess
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with many celebrity memoirs this one is probably best enjoyed in audiobook form so you can hear it from the man himself. Funny enough Shaffer does a lot of pretty good celebrity impressions, with the notable exception of his David Letterman which is not even close.

I was kind of hoping for more details about the inner workings of the CBS Orchestra and World's Most Dangerous Band, but I guess this book was targeted at a wider audience. He even seemed to go light on his years with Letterman, ma
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book hoping to read how a small town boy from Thunder Bay ended up an important part of the television music scene and hear all about the amazing stories he was sure to have.
I did find out that not only did Paul Shaffer want to be the best musician he could be, but he also wanted to be the most famous.
His parent's need to be popular and surround themselves with popular and famous people rubbed off on young Paul. As a result this book comes off as a huge boast about all these th
Lindsey Stevens
A book that is definitely better to listen to as an audiobook then it would be to read a physical copy. Whole story telling he does impersonations of the people he is portraying (does a pretty convincing David Letterman) the book talks a lot about his time on SNL as well as being with Dave on both major networks. Some parts seem a little more like bragging of knowing or spending such and such time with celebrities, but overall an interesting read.
Mark Wasiel
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quickly devoured the audio book. Nice to hear Paul and hear him do voices of people. Must read for music and Letterman fans. I really learned a lot. There's a lot of music mentioned so I've made a playlist of a lot of the songs mentioned from chapter 5 on. Found some stuff I didn't know about. Hope you do too. ...more
Oznosis Coznos
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great read....very entertaining
Dave Keller
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

A deeply entertaining, charming memoir by a cultural icon, "We'll Be Here" is worthy read for fans of television and music.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read-books
Paul rocks!
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 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 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
Dec 31, 2012 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
Beth Newman
Aug 29, 2013 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
Nov 28, 2009 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
Dec 31, 2009 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
Mar 06, 2014 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
Jul 10, 2016 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 11, 2009 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
May 08, 2010 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' showbiz s ...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. ...more
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