Paul Shaffer, band leader for “The Late Show With David Letterman,” is organizing a pair of New York City benefit/tribute concerts for Mike Smith, the lead singer and keyboard player for the
Among the performers will be Peter & Gordon, which means the North American president of
Smith was in an accident at his home in Spain in 2003 and has been hospitalized ever since. He is paralyzed below the rib cage and has very limited use of his upper body.
The benefit shows will take place at
“Paul Shaffer and his manager, Eric Gardner, called me out of the blue and told me what happened to Mike Smith,” Asher told Pollstar. “He and Paul had become friendly. Paul was substituting for David Letterman as host one night and Mike came in and played keyboards for Paul. And Mike is indeed a great guy; I hadn’t seen him in quite some time, but I met him several times in the ’60s.”
Shaffer told Asher that he had
“I realized that under these circumstances, I couldn’t say no,” Asher said.
It’s been about 37 years since Asher has sang with Gordon Waller in a duo that was dubbed “the
The Fab Four later tapped Asher as head of A&R for their Apple Records label, where he signed and produced
Jumping ahead to 2005, Asher is the former senior VP of Sony Music and was busy in New York City meeting with promoter Ron Delsener and
“I have to relearn the lyrics,” Asher said. “Gordon knows them but I haven’t done the songs in 36, 37 years. … It’s gone from a casual, ‘That’s a good idea’ to ‘Oh, shit!'”
More information on the benefit is available at www.tciartists.com, and there is a 10-day eBay auction beginning July 31st featuring an autographed drumhead by
— Joe Reinartz