Pete Wernick, aka Dr. Banjo, has posted a delightful piece on his web site about his recent television appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The performance on September 21 was a five banjo extravaganza, put together and championed by Steve Martin, including Martin and Wernick along with Earl Scruggs, Tony Ellis and Charles Wood.
Pete’s web article reads like a personal diary, and gives a glimpse not only into the nuts-and-bolts operation of a major television program like this from a featured performer’s perspective, but also into the insecurities and uncertainties that even seasoned pros experience going before a national audience of this size.
Now we’re watching the beginning of the show on the monitors in the small rooms in the backstage area. Steve indicated he was nervous, and it surprised me a bit, with his huge amount of successful stage work. I asked, wasn’t the standup comedy he’d done for so many years at least as stressful? No, he said, that came much more naturally to him. Bravo to Steve for building his picking skills to a high level and braving on to this challenging spot, despite music stage inexperience. He pulled it off, too! But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
Read the whole Wernick piece here.
You can see more info about the genesis of the group, Men With Banjos – Who Know How To Use Them in our earlier post.