Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oxford American Redux

I just found out that Steve's article is a reprint -- this is an anthology.

Steve with a new essay in the Oxford American

Steve previously had an article in the Oxford American on how he learned banjo. I assume this is a new essay the article talks about.

MAGAZINES: Oxford music issue plans 2-CD set
Aug-21-2008 2:16:00 AM [Ellis Widner]

Music fans look forward to the arrival of the Oxford American’s annual music issue, due in no small part to the outstanding compact disc of tasty Southern musical treats and rarities that accompany it. “It is, by far, our best-selling issue of the year,” says Warwick Sabin, the magazine’s publisher, from his office at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The magazine has about 20,000 subscribers; Sabin says newsstand sales are usually around 10,000 per issue, but sales jump to 20,000 for the music issue. This year’s edition is due Nov. 17. Oxford American’s music issue won the National Magazine Award for single-topic issue in 1999 and 2004, and it has the respect of many in the music industry. The inclusion of a CD with the magazine was a groundbreaker, a move other publications have followed, such as Paste, Mojo and Q. So with the music issue’s 10th anniversary coming up, editor and founder Marc Smirnoff, who also plans and organizes the CDs, wanted to do something special - a two-CD set. Cable channel CMT is making it happen. “CMT has sponsored our CDs for the past few years,” Sabin says. “We wanted to give them the first opportunity to underwrite it exclusively. It was a very easy sell. They are giving us $50,000 to produce the project.” Sabin says there are other promotions planned for the music issue’s anniversary, including a concert in Nashville, Tenn. There also may be some television opportunities, he says. Music fans and readers, however, will probably share Sabin’s excitement about another project - an anthology of the magazine’s music articles titled The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing, to be published in hardcover Nov. 1 by the University of Arkansas Press. The 466-page book, priced at $34.95, boasts a foreword by musician and composer Van Dyke Parks. The collection gathers 55 essays; contributors include novelist Roy Blount Jr., Arkansas novelist Kevin Brockmeier, musician Rosanne Cash, producer Jerry Wexler, artist R. Crumb, writer Robert Palmer, actor and writer Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Marty Stuart. Back to CDs: Smirnoff is planning 40 to 50 songs on two theme discs - past masters and future masters. About one-third of the songs, he says, are officially locked in. The exact content, he says, is not finalized, and Smirnoff is pretty tight-lipped about approved and pending song choices. “The element of surprise is important to me,” he says. “We’re going after songs we totally love and believe in. We get what we need, usually by the hair of our teeth.” He did reveal this: The wonderful pianist and singer Nellie Lutcher from Lake Charles, La., will be back. And Smirnoff says he has targeted two Lucinda Williams tracks, but won’t name them. Smirnoff says the magazine doesn’t pay licensing fees. “We couldn’t afford to do this project if we had to pay royalties,” he says. “We’re a poor nonprofit. We donated 15 percent of the music issue to the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which helps support older and indigent musicians. A lot of great labels, songwriters and musicians are willing to give us these songs for free.” Smirnoff makes the final decisions, but he “craves input from others.” “I look for great music I haven’t heard before ... I talk to musicians, record-store clerks, authors, everybody I can. The search for great, weird music has led me to do more Web site surfing than comes naturally for me.” And, lest wary fans are concerned that CMT will influence the CDs’ content, rest easy, Sabin says. “They will have no role, we have made that clear,” Sabin says. Sabin also is clear on Oxford American’s future. “When I took over in April, the magazine was in dire straits because of embezzlement. I want to solidify finances and get us on an ambitious publication schedule. We want to prove to people we are back.” To that end, Sabin has gotten the magazine back on a quarterly publication schedule. “The magazine has always been an excellent one. My goal is to make it an efficient publishing operation. I want this magazine to thrive,” Sabin says.

Steve on Starbucks

Not being a coffee drinker, I am probably only finding out what you already know, but apparently Starbucks prints a series of quotes on their cups under the heading "The Way I See It."

Here's Steve's:

"If you've got a dollar and you spend twenty-nine cents on a loaf of bread, you've got seventy-one cents left. But if you've got seventeen grand and you spend twenty-nine cents on a loaf of bread, you've still got seventeen grand.
There's a math lesson for you." --Steve Martin
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

See Steve in a Bathing Suit

He's here.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Steve

Today is Steve's birthday. Happy Birthday, Steve, and many more.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Steve plays banjo for a disappointing pancake

As noted earlier, Lisa Loeb produced a new album with one track, "The Disappointing Pancake" where Steve plays banjo.

You can hear it here. Once the page is loaded, the song plays automatically.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Steve's Movie 'Traitor" is coming soon,,20195570,00.html?xid=rss-movies-20080812-Traitor

Entertainment Weekly
Traitor (2008)
Movie Preview

This thriller comes from the unlikeliest of sources: Steve Martin's brain. The comedian dreamt up the espionage tale, took an exec-producer credit, then stepped aside and let the experts take over. And it turns out that's not the only unusual thing about Traitor. ''I've never seen a movie where a Muslim is the hero,'' says Don Cheadle, playing a CIA operative who manages to infiltrate a band of terrorists — with unexpected consequences. ''He gets caught up and has his allegiances, his Muslim faith, tested. It hopefully will serve as a good jumping-off point to examine this issue.'' (August 29, 2008)

Banjo News on Steve

News: Dr. Banjo Joins Steve Martin in the Recording Studio!
BMNN wrote: on Aug. 03, 2008:
Pete Wernick, aka Dr. Banjo, informs us that he has recently been in the studio with friend and fellow banjo picker Steve Martin.

Pete says, "Steve's composed a slew of good banjo tunes, in a wide variety of styles both 3-finger and clawhammer, and finally decided it was time to do a record. He called me in as part of the production team, led by John McEuen, with Tony Trischka helping out as well. I got to play on a couple of tunes, including one I co-wrote with Steve."

Pete continues saying, "The musicians included Russ Barenberg, Matt Flinner, David Amram, and Brittany Haas, with the recording done at Bennett Studios in NJ, engineered by Tony Bennett's son Dae. No title or label or release date yet, but it will be a very interesting and tuneful record."

Pete also joined Hot Rize for their 30th Anniversary performances. Hot Rize performed in two shows celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band's formation: Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado on June 22 and the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, NY on July 19. (Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers were even invited to take the stage, too.).

Pete says, "It amazes and gratifies me that 30 years after we started, we still get a chance to make this music that's so special to me. The fans have treated us really well and we've tried to rise to the occasion. As for the Trailblazer stuff, I'm not sure how that has gone, as I always miss that part."

Pete also joined Peter Rowan, Mike Bub & Jody Stecher for July shows at the Big Horn Mountain Festival and the Founder's Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival. On August 2nd, Pete teamed up with old Country Cooking buddy Tony Trischka at the Podunk Festival in Hartford, CT as part of a "Banjo Spectacular" with other banjo notables including Alan Munde, Bill Keith, and Ron Block. Later, Pete & Joan will join up with Don Rigsby at the Johnny Keenan Festival in Longford, Ireland September 27-28. The travel season finishes in early October with one more Hot Rize anniversary show at the mega-fest Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Visit the calendar at for all the details!

A new Steve Interview in Scotland

This makes me wonder -- are Steve and Anne in Scotland for the Lonach Games? We'll have to keep checking.

Comedy star Steve Martin able to smile at last after finding marital bliss
Jul 26 2008 By Siobhan Synnot

STEVE MARTIN has been making people laugh for years - including his latest scene-stealing role in Baby Mama.

He's the insane boss of main character Kate and some say his performance is worth the ticket price alone.

But off screen, Steve projects a very different image.

The silver-haired comic is far from a wild and crazy guy - the kind of character heplayed in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and a host of other movies.

He's like your tax accountant, only a little more shy and a little more distant.

Pal and talk-show host David Letterman, defends his serious style.

"If you go to the home of a guy who shines shoes all day," says Letterman, "you're probably not going to get your shoes shined when you walk in." However, at 62, Steve may now have more to smile about, having found love again with a woman half his age, and buried demons that include his own stern and distant dad.

Steve always loved beautiful women but had his heart broken more than a few times. Romances with Linda Ronstadt and Bernadette Peters were replaced by a seven-year marriage to Brit Victoria Tennant, until she left him for another man in 1993.

For a while, he found peace with best friend and co-star Diane Keaton, followed by a rather public love affair with actress Anne Heche when she was 25. She left him for Ellen DeGeneres after coming out as a lesbian. As part of the recovery process, he wrote Bowfinger, which includes a character who seemed rather familiar: a young, social climbing blonde actress who breaks hearts the way some break nails.

Then, last year, Hollywood's most famous "lonely guy", married New York writer Anne Stringfield, 35, by throwing a party - then telling his stunned guests, including Tom Hanks and Diane Keaton, that it was in fact a wedding ceremony.

The star says he's not ruling out being a father himself, although it's a role he never considered until "I played a movie dad".

Anne, who looks startlingly like Sex And The City's Kristin Davis, is credited with making her husband open up to the possibilities of life and love - and that has meant confronting his past.

Only now has he admitted his comedy was driven by dark forces.

In particular, his difficult and, on one occasion, violent relationship with his father casts a long shadow over Steve both as a performer and as a man.

Steve was doing magic and comedy from an early age, and found work after school by cycling to nearby Disneyland and setting up shows so he could perform.

However, Steve's father, Glenn, a failed actor, gave Steve no encouragement, and made it clear he didn't care for his son's stand-up, even when thousands crammed into stadium-sized venues to see the crazy guy in the white suit in the Seventies.

He remained unimpressed even after Steve's screen success in The Jerk, saying to Steve's friends: "He's no Charlie Chaplin." "He didn't speak much, only to criticise or be stern," admits Steve, who says he was devastated by his dad's dismissiveness but understands his father's own upbringing contributed to his harsh behaviour.

"We were from Texas, which was very much the Old West - staunch, stern.

"But I never thought of my childhood as difficult or hard until later. I had great friends. I had laughs - but not at home."

Their relationship nosedived before Steve was a teenager. One night, when he was nine, a seemingly innocent reply to a question resulted in his father beating him with a belt. The thrashing "never seemed to end," according to Steve.

"I curled my arms around my body as he stood overme and delivered the blows." So severe was the beating, he had to wear long trousers to school the next day to hide the marks.

AFTER that, he resolved "with icy determination that only the most formal relationship would exist between my father and me".

Yet, later, GlennMartin softened and started to admit to his son he was proud of his work, especially his writing. He also admitted he had been wrong to publicly criticise his son.

Father and son were reconciled when Glenn died aged 83.

"You did everything I wanted to do," a dying Glenn told his son, and Steve responded, "I did it for you."

Over the years, he thinks he's learned a lot about the problems of keeping love going. He says: "You hope for the perfect one, but you have to forgive and make allowances for people and your partner."

He's had to deal with disappointments like the break-up of his first marriage - he and Victoria still don't speak.

He also recalls one love affair where he later tracked down the woman and talked about the breakdown of their romance.

"I asked her why she slept with me, and she said, 'So I can tell my friends'." It's a punchline he doesn't find funny.

Steve Martin is an organised, disciplined man. He keeps his collection of expensive modern art meticulously catalogued in his laptop computer. He remembers friends' birthdays and answers emails and phonecalls promptly.

In past interviews, he's been polite and patient but he is not the loveable, slightly goofy guy of The Man With Two Brains, Parenthood or Cheaper By The Dozen.

"There's a difference between having a darker side and being crazy," says Steve, who is preparing for his second Pink Panther film, almost 50 years after Peter Sellers first brought the bumbling French policeman to the big screen.

"Peter Sellers was slightly, at least from what I've read, tortured. We all have our dark side, and I'msort of in the middle," says the actor, who embraced self-help books and therapy to ensure sanity.

There was a time in the mid-Seventies when he drank too much. Now he keep demons at bay, and avoids meat and booze. When he was first approached, Steve turned down the chance to remake Inspector Clouseau, a job also offered to Mike Myers and Kevin Spacey. Gradually, he came around to the idea.

"Look at the number of times they've remade King Kong. And A Star is Born. All these stories keep coming back and I've justified it by saying, well, it's like a play.

Nobody says, 'Ooooh, I can't do Hamlet because Richard Burton did it.' Inspector Clouseau is the Hamlet for comedians."

Even though he's hosted the Academy Awards, he doesn't mind never taking one home but reckons people underestimate how tough it is to do good funny work, and playing it straight can be easier.

"I had a friend who's a comedian. He had done a drama and got all these honours for it, and he said, 'Steve, if I got praised for dramatic acting, it's because I did a scene without blinking, and, when on a close-up, I was thinking about dinner.'"

Recent work like Baby Mama, Shop Girl and Bringing Down The House show his movies are popular, but he's now a dad rather than the restless, wacky wild-and-crazy guy. And that's fine by Steve.

"Time has helped me achieve peace with celebrity," he quips. "At first, I was not famous enough, then I was too famous and now I am famous just right."

Nowadays, a regular day for Mr and Mrs Steve Martin at their Beverly Hills home might include a long walk or yoga in the morning, lunch at a restaurant, a bit of writing for Steve and then dinner. Sometimes, he'll jam on the banjo.

"Sometimes, I get together with friends. I play with Billy Connolly. There are a few of us. I don't work very hard," he says.

"I'd like to be working a little bit more, actually."

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