‘Paul Shaffer Plus One’ – Music talk and jam sessions
Anyone who loves hearing musicians wax on about their craft and stories from the wars will want to check out a unique talk show premiering this week on AXS TV.
On “Paul Shaffer Plus One,” premiering Sunday, Sept. 15, the keyboardist and former bandleader on David Letterman’s two late-night shows welcomes in mostly musicians from the classic rock world to discuss their craft, their music and how certain songs and albums came to be, as well as to engage in impromptu jam sessions. His guests in Season 1 include Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, singer/guitarist Sammy Hagar, blues guitarist Buddy Guy, singer Smokey Robinson and actor/comedian Martin Short.
The half hour series is a shorter version of Shaffer’s hourlong show of the same title on Sirius XM Radio, which allows him to use his encyclopedic knowledge of music to ask the questions that fans want to know the answers to.
“I’ve got this weird memory for details of pop music, somehow,” Shaffer explains. “And some little things have always fascinated me and I’ve always wanted to ask, ‘Boy, if I could ever get with the guy who wrote “Life in the Fast Lane,” I would want to ask that because I can’t figure this out.’ And here all of a sudden I’ve got that chance. So I try to make it as much in layman’s language as I can.”
Speaking of that 1976 Eagles song from their iconic “Hotel California” album, Shaffer’s first guest on Sunday is Walsh, who tells the host that its signature guitar riff came from humble beginnings.
“It was a warm-up riff,” Shaffer says. “Pretty good, yeah. Pretty good. Well, I’ve learned such stuff really that it’s been phenomenal, it’s like a dream come true because I’ve been in that position not only with Joe Walsh but with all these different guests that I’ve had.”
“More as I look back on it … I’m starting to realize how much fun this has been,” he continues. “Sometimes in the thick of it, you’re just trying so hard to do something decent that you can lose track of, ‘My God, did I really have Billy Gibbons and was playing the blues with him just now?’ It’s kind of unbelievable sometimes.”