May 20, 2015 brought to an end the long run of David Letterman’s career as host of Late Night and the Late Show, spanning 23 years. During the entire ride, Paul Shaffer was there as Letterman’s right-hand man, his musical director, and band leader.

What’s Shaffer been up to since his departure from the Late Show in May? The longtime CBS-FM fan (Shaffer’s words, not ours) broke it down rather simply for Scott Shannon in the Morning.

“It’s a touch quieter,” Shaffer says with a laugh. “I am still running around just as much as ever. I don’t get paid anymore, but aside from that I’m still getting to play a lot of piano.”

At this point in his career, money should be no worry for Shaffer. Now he gets to focus on the little things that bring him joy, things that he wasn’t able to do during his time as the Late Show’s band leader for 23 years.

“One thing that is interesting… [I can] start a song and then actually get to finish the song.”

Shaffer will be playing plenty of songs from start to finish tonight when he performs along with a star-studded lineup for NYC Stands For The Troops, a benefit concert held on Veterans Day to show support for veterans, troops currently serving, and their families.

“It’s such a worthy cause. One of the great things about this country is that we have come around again to giving the troops and the boys and girls who have been overseas fighting for our freedom, we are treating them the way they should be treated when they come back,” says Shaffer. “The kind of damage that gets done over there is physical, it’s also mental. Both things are important, treating them both. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this presentation tonight.”

The lineup for NYC Stands For The Troops, which takes place in The Concert Hall at New York Society for Ethical Culture at 7PM, includes The Manhattan Transfer, Little Anthony, Jonatha Brooke, Bettye LaVette, Vincent Pastore, Michael Bacon, Lea Delaria, and a special guest appearance by Judy Collins.

Listen to Scott Shannon’s full interview with Paul Shaffer below.


Tickets for the benefit concert are currently sold out, but you can find more information about about Stand For The Troops and how you can help over at

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