Steve Martin - Rare Bird Alert
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  • Rare Bird Alert
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:40) [6.1 MB]
  • Yellow-Backed Fly
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:21) [7.68 MB]
  • Best Love
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (04:22) [9.98 MB]
  • Northern Island
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:40) [6.1 MB]
  • Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:36) [8.23 MB]
  • Jubilation Day
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:12) [7.34 MB]
  • More Bad Weather On The Way
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:32) [8.09 MB]
  • You
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:46) [8.63 MB]
  • The Great Remember (For Nancy)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:11) [7.28 MB]
  • Women Like To Slow Dance
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:13) [5.09 MB]
  • Hide Behind A Rock
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:07) [4.83 MB]
  • Atheists Don't Have No Songs
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:51) [8.82 MB]
  • King Tut
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:06) [7.11 MB]
DAddario tru-strobe pedal tuner
Biography
Steve Martin
Rare Bird Alert
Rounder 11661-0660-2

1. Rare Bird Alert 2:39
2. Yellow-Backed Fly 3:21
3. Best Love 4:21
4. Northern Island 2:39
5. Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back 3:35
6. Jubilation Day 3:12
7. More Bad Weather On The Way 3:31
8. You 3:46
9. The Great Remember (for Nancy) 3:10
10. Women Like To Slow Dance 2:13
11. Hide Behind A Rock 2:06
12. Atheists Don’t Have No Songs 3:51
13. King Tut 3:06

1. Rare Bird Alert
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

2. Yellow-Backed Fly
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

3. Best Love
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

4. Northern Island
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

5. Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)
John Frazier - 53080 Publishing Co (ASCAP)
Woody Platt - French Broad Music (ASCAP)
Graham Sharp - Enchanted Barn Publishing (ASCAP)
Charles R. Humphrey III - Lucks Dumpy Toad Publishing (ASCAP)
Nicky Sanders - Fun and Play Music (ASCAP)

6. Jubilation Day
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

7. More Bad Weather on the Way
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

8. You
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

9. The Great Remember (for Nancy)
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

10. Women Like to Slow Dance
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)
Charles R. Humphrey III - Lucks Dumpy Toad Publishing (ASCAP)
Phillip Barker - Picket Rick Music (BMI)
11. Hide Behind a Rock
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)

12. Atheists Don’t Have No Songs
Steve Martin – LA Films Music (ASCAP)
Woody Platt - French Broad Music (ASCAP)
Graham Sharp - Enchanted Barn Publishing (ASCAP)

13. King Tut
Steve Martin – Colorado Music (ASCAP), c/o Winston Music Publishers
LA Films Music (ASCAP)

It has been a big year for me in bluegrass.
After the release of my first album, The Crow, when I thought I’d never be able to write another song, a dozen or so more, much to my astonishment, unpredictably emerged. I have a vague understanding of movie writing, novel writing, and essay writing, but I still don’t know where a new song comes from. It just comes, I guess, from the area mapped on a 19th century phrenology head that’s labeled “music.”

I also had great fortune in teaming up with the Steep Canyon Rangers, whom I met several years ago in Brevard, North Carolina where my wife, Anne, and her family have long vacationed. They were a “local” band who were already well-established – though I didn’t know this at the time – and just about to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s emerging artists of the year award (2006). Anne, having known them for years, invited them over for dinner and beers on the porch. They arrived and we got out our instruments, jammed a few old tunes along with a few of my own, and I could tell they were all-pro. I didn’t realize then that one day I would be sharing a musical life, as well as a bus, with these creative young men. Serendipity had made a better match than any bluegrass computer dating service.

When it came time to tour for my record, my remarkable agent, Marc Geiger, asked if I knew any bluegrass bands who could tour with me. I remembered the Rangers, and that some time after our front porch jam I had once played the song “The Crow” with them at Joe’s Pub in New York, which was the best it had ever sounded live. I called Woody Platt of the Rangers with the inquiry. The band said “yes” and suddenly, After a thirty years’ absence, I enjoyed once again something I had once grown to loathe: The Road.

Touring can be disheartening, but the last time I did it I was alone doing stand-up; this time I had company and music. Also, sleeping at the Four Seasons instead of the Motel Six isn’t bad either. I enjoyed developing a stage show, and incorporating the diverse personas of the Steep Canyon Rangers. I play the arrogant, Hollywood entertainer – oh wait, I actually am an arrogant, Hollywood entertainer – and they play the nice, homespun but sophisticated North Carolina boys who tolerate me. Which they are. Although, I don’t really think they tolerate me. We get along just great, despite our age differences: I am in my mid-sixties, and they are in their late seventies.

Traveling around America in bluegrass mode, I’ve met many remarkable musicians and have been thrilled, humbled, charged up, and encouraged. I discovered that there is a new level of musicianship in bluegrass (and its mutated forms), far beyond the folk music standard that existed when I started playing in the sixties. When I hear some of these players strut their stuff, a voice in the back of my head starts saying: You’re lucky you can act.

Nicky Sanders is the Rangers’ astounding fiddler, and when he steals the show onstage, I have to work extra hard to steal it back from him. It’s hard to believe that only one guitar – one big guitar – is on this record, played by the equally towering Woody Platt (the most perfect bluegrass name since Bill Monroe), and he is also our melodious lead singer, delivering the tunes with full bluegrass force. It’s Charles Humphrey who sounds the bass so timefully (and it’s he, incidentally, who gets one of the biggest laughs in our stage show, but you’ll just have to buy a ticket to find out what it is).

Mike Guggino plays the mandolin in a style contrary to almost every other mandolinist on the bluegrass scene, and it took me a while to figure out what he’s doing. Rather than play hot licks, he plays cool ones, melodic lines that develop the song rather than taking us into an irrelevant ether. Graham Sharp plays five-string banjo, and usually takes the second banjo break on this record, or plays three-finger when I’m playing clawhammer (that’s a style of banjo playing, not a shop tool). He is always inventive and masterful, and I put him up there with the best of banjo players. He deserves special mention because he found a way to work around me with elegance and taste, and I know I will sometimes get credit from casual listeners for his great breaks.

Tony Trischka, the producer of this album, was a fine arts major in college, but to our great benefit, he went down the banjo road. We were lucky to have the gentle guidance of one of the best banjo players in the world. In a way, it was Tony who set me off on this banjo phase of my life by asking me to play on his CD, Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. I suggested to Tony that there are a thousand players who could play the bluegrass standards better than I, but I did have some songs of my own to offer. We settled on “The Crow”, which became one of the tracks on his album, and I was inspired to write more tunes.

The album was recorded and mixed by Gary Paczosa, the massively experienced sound engineer who has turned the knobs for many great artists, including not only Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton, but one of my all-time favorites, myself. Brandon Bell ran Pro-Tools like a Rubik’s Cube whiz kid on Red Bull.

Rare Bird Alert
During the summer of 2010, I was happily shooting a film in Vancouver, BC, The Big Year, with the talented director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and co-starring two unfairly gifted actors Jack Black and Owen Wilson.
The movie is about competitive bird watching. Makes you want to see it, doesn’t it?

My wife, Anne, who continually surprises me with bits of arcane knowledge, told me about a birder’s hotline which a member can call up, say their code word, and be notified of, for example, the location of a desirable Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

When there is a rare bird alert, hundreds of enthusiasts speed to the location of its last sighting – often accruing expensive travel costs – where they then enter stealth mode, quietly raising their binoculars towards nests sometimes built overlooking tasty trash dumps. This song was written during my tenure on that movie, and whenever I play it, I am reminded of the eerie beauty of the Yukon, where we shot for several weeks. On this song, as well as all clawhammer songs on the CD, it’s me playing clawhammer and Graham on three-finger banjo. Mike parallels my opening melody nicely on the mandolin.

Yellow-Backed Fly
What do I know about fishing? Well, I wrote a song about it! All of us seemed to groove on this little tune the moment it was written. Woody was a fly fishing-guide before he was a fulltime musician, and, in fact, once guided my future wife and her family downstream in trout country long before I met her. I’m lucky that charming Woody probably smelled like fish oil. I ultimately benefit, as Woody sings this tune with the knowing phraseology of a real fisherman.

I remember working out the melody to this tune, and as I was playing, pontificating to Anne that, “sometimes all you need for lyrics is to find a phrase that absolutely fits a short piece of a melodic line, like…” and I surprised myself by singing “…yellow-backed fly.” I didn’t know if there was such a thing as a yellow-backed fly, or anything about fishing other than what I had overheard from Anne and her fishing-loving family. I have since found out there is no such thing as a talking fish, but that is the only inaccuracy in the song. And thanks to Graham Sharp who, during the recording session, made an eleventh hour save that allowed me to not repeat “Moby Dick” three times in the lyrics.

Best Love
When banjo player extraordinaire Pete Wernick first heard the song “You,” he warned me that I should beware of writing a song about something so personal since I was a well-known figure. I said to Pete, “But it’s not personal, I made it up.” However, his comment did start me thinking about writing side-ways about Anne and my relationship with her, as well as my belief that love is often expressed in the little things.

I had been working on an instrumental whose temporary title was based on a headline I saw in the science section of the New York Times: ladybug love. I started jotting some lyrics and Best Love was born. The Rangers, Tony, and I had a good rehearsal session before a show in Missouri (on a day that was so hot and humid that the heat-retaining concrete seats baked the audience hours after the sun had gone down). We ran through the tune a hundred times, until the back-up harmonies emerged, and the arrangement came to life.

On recording day in Asheville, Nicky Sanders curled up in a corner and feverishly wrote a cello part (played by the outstanding Ron Clearfield), as well as a part for his own fiddle, and ended up contributing all those lush, wonderful strings that makes this cut worthy of the great artist and gentleman Paul McCartney.

My friend Lorne Michaels, producer of Saturday Night Live, inspired me to ask Paul to sing on this song, when he said to me one day, “you don’t use your friends enough.” I then began a most convoluted search for a contact number for Sir Paul, whom I had met briefly only twice, but then conveniently counted among my closest friends. Great thanks to him for showing up and throwing his heart into the song.

Northern Island
The movie “The Big Year,” unreleased at the time of this writing, inspired several songs on this CD. Shot in Vancouver, the movie allowed me to spend free time visiting different parts of western Canada, including the Yukon, which reminded me of Canada’s great painter, Lawren Harris. Anne and I are lucky enough to own a painting by Harris, called Northern Island (for you sticklers, it has several titles). The Rangers play with their usual precision and emotion, and the closing passages remind me of an arctic dawn, a subject that Harris excelled at painting.

Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back
This song is a co-effort by the Rangers and me. The title appeared in my head, and I jotted it down; the initial melody had appeared some weeks earlier when I was fooling around in D tuning. Then, one afternoon, we realized that the little phrase I’d written down months earlier scanned exactly right to that melody we were playing. We unsheathed our instruments like Samurai swords and the whole tune formed.

Love, breakups, and reunions are never exactly clean and clear-cut, and the emotions expressed in the song are true for a lot of us…especially us men.

Woody sings lead and it’s Mike singing backup. I’m singing silently with my eyes, but just a little flat.

Jubilation Day
Not all breakups are sad. Some bring an infusion of oxygen, spring, and wonder, a thrill as uplifting as any helicopter take off. I love Charles’ bass break, and so does the audience whenwe play it live.

More Bad Weather on the Way
The great clawhammer player Mark Johnson taught me the kickoff that starts this song so nicely. In fact, as I was attempting to master that double-triplet lick I was driven to come up with the rest of the tune to keep from being bored silly with the endless practice. The title became the sole lyric when I realized it said it all, and any more words would just be a reiteration of the same thought.

The key change is achieved by snapping a Shubb Capo off the banjo in the middle of the song and having it land accurately on a pillow.

We played the song at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, but didn’t have the heart to sing the actual lyrics after the horror of Katrina, so for that performance only, we changed the song to “More Good Weather on the Way.”

You
I had been working on a chord progression, and played it for the Rangers before a show saying, “Does this sound like a song to you?” They said yes. All the Rangers are accomplished songwriters so their encouragement mattered. We got out our instruments and ran through it a couple of times, and it did sound like a song.

I took it home and worked on it. The more I played the tune, the more it sounded like a sad song, and the slower it got. That week, the saddest un-sad song in the world had been running through my head, Gordon Lightfoot’s “Did She Mention My Name.” I liked its theme of love gone without regret, but with a lingering frisson of memory. There never was any other title for the song but “You.”

The Dixie Chicks were a pleasure to work with, and they sang the song beautifully, delivering it back to us gilded and wrapped with a bow. My thanks to them for contributing their rare talent to this album.

The Great Remember (for Nancy)
I almost wrote lyrics for this tune, but realized that lyrics were somehow, mysteriously, implied.

It is dedicated to the memory of Nancy Short, whose vitality and love of laughter made elegies easy but grief doubly hard.

Women Like to Slow Dance
One day I mentioned to the Rangers that I thought it would be fun to have a song called Women Like to Slow Dance, and have it be lightning fast and sung by a slightly dense narrator. They agreed. We fooled around with a few melodies and lyrics, but it was really Charles and his friend Philip Barker who took the idea and ran with it. I’d love to hear this given a proper intro at a country dance and watch everyone prepare for a romantic waltz.

Then Chaos, Anger, Denial, Rage.

Hide Behind a Rock
No bluegrass song should be written on the sunny vacation isle of St. Barths -- where lunches for four, as the great comedy writer Dave Barry once put it, cost seventeen thousand dollars -- but this one was. I’m sure my banjo noodling ruined the soothing wash of lapping waves for our guests, but, after my playing the unfinished tune for the hundredth time and asking “is this bothering you?” what could they say except, “of course, not… we’re going for a long walk down by the tractors.”

It was Anne who came up with the title for this song. She said it was a fishing term. “Great,” I thought. Then six months later, I was talking to some friends about the song and explained that the title was a fishing term. Anne said, “no it’s not.” And I said, “You said it’s a fishing term.” She said, “No, I didn’t.” So I supposed I misheard. Then, after we had recorded the song, I was talking about it and she said a fishing guide had told her about the term. I said, “you said it wasn’t a fishing term.” She said, “no, I didn’t.” This went through another go-round until I wanted to shoot myself. My wife is not ditzy, so I guess I am.

The inspiration for this song is the lingering echo of Paul Warren’s and Earl Scruggs’ great “Fiddle and Banjo” on “Flatt and Scruggs at Carnegie Hall.”When I heard the recording at age 17, I was enchanted. I’m excited to play this tune with Nicky Sanders, and attempt my earthbound reach for the stars.

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs
Because gospel is so intrinsic to bluegrass music, I thought there should be at least one gospel song that represents those who might not be religiously inclined, even though I think of this song as quite neutral. It always gets a great response in our live shows, but I’m never clear just what it is that the audience is reacting to. The humor, I suppose, which speaks well of whatever side of the religious question they might be on.

I had written the lyrics, slowly and steadily – it wasn’t easy to find a rhyme for “godless existentialism” – but I had no idea how to write a gospel melody to set it to. Woody and Graham took the challenge and showed up one day with the music entirely composed, and I loved it instantly. It remains a highlight of our live show. I could never hit the high note if it were a serious song, but because it’s comedy, and I feel I’m playing a character, I can do it.

King Tut
The words to this song were found painted on the wall of the original burial tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter in 1923. They were not translated until 1978 when I recorded it with the Toot-Uncommons (actually the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). The Steep Canyon Rangers correctly pointed out that the ancient Egyptians loved bluegrass and probably intended the song for banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass and guitar. We are pleased to present it here in its most historically correct form.




Steve Martin
Rare Bird Alert
Street Date: March 15, 2011

Steve Martin, one of the most diversified performers in the motion picture industry today—actor, comedian, author, playwright, producer, musician – has been successful as a writer of and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history.

Martin will release his second full length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert on Rounder Records on March 15, 2011. He will be joined by the Steep Canyon Rangers, who toured extensively with Martin over the last year. Rare Bird Alert features 13 new Martin-penned tracks, including a live version of “King Tut,” and was produced by Tony Trishka. Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chick make special guest vocal appearances on the album. Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers.

Since becoming involved in the modern bluegrass scene, Martin has been impressed with the overall level of musicianship that exists in the world of the professional and semi-professional player. As such, in 2010, Martin established The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, an annual award which brings recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music. In its inaugural year, the award was presented to Noam Pikelny.

Martin published his second children’s book on September 8th 2010. Narrated with wit and charm getting to school has never been quite this difficult--or hilarious. Steve Martin and illustrator C. F. Payne teamed up to tell a story of the adventure, danger, and laughs of the journey to school. Enclosed with the book is a CD of Martin on banjo and vocals, singing the book's story with a bluegrass twist.

For his adult audience, Martin’s latest novel “An Object of Beauty” was released on November 23rd 2010. Sharing his knowledge of the 1990’s New York arts scene, Martin tells the story of Lacey Yeager, a captivating, and ambitious young woman who takes the NYC art world by storm.

Earlier this year, Martin completed production on “The Big Year” directed by David Frankel and costarring Owen Wilson and Jack Black. The comedy is set to be released by 20th Century Fox in October 2011, and sees Martin as a member of a group of avid bird watchers competing to spot the rarest birds in North America at an annual esteemed event.

In March of 2010, Martin, along with Alec Baldwin, co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards – his third time serving as host of the prestigious award show. He received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his participation.

On January 31st, 2010, Steve Martin's banjo album, The Crow / New Songs For The Five-String Banjo, won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

Christmas 2009 saw Martin share the screen with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in Universal’s “It’s Complicated.” The comedy, directed by Nancy Meyers, tells the story of a divorced couple (Streep and Baldwin) who discover that their feelings for one another might not have completely disappeared. Martin plays Adam, the soft-spoken and sweet architect who also vies for Street’s characters’ affection.

In 2008, Martin had two books published: In October, Doubleday released a children’s book titled The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!, co-written with The New Yorker illustrator Roz Chast. In December, Martin’s autobiography, Born Standing Up, was published by Scribner.

Additionally, in December of 2007, Martin was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

In February 2006, Martin was seen in “The Pink Panther” playing the role of Inspector Clouseau, originally made famous by Peter Sellers. The film, which reunites Martin with director Shawn Levy, costarred Beyonce Knowles and Kevin Kline. In 2009, Mr. Martin revived his role of Inspector Clouseau in “The Pink Panther 2.”

In 2005, Martin received critical praise for the Touchstone Pictures film “Shopgirl,” costarring Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman. The screenplay was written by Martin and adapted from his best-selling novella of the same name. “Shopgirl” follows the complexities of a romance between a young girl, who works at a Los Angeles Saks Fifth Avenue glove counter while nurturing dreams of being an artist, and a wealthy older man, who is still learning about the consequences that come with any romantic relationship.

Christmas 2003, Martin starred in the highest grossing film of his career, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” directed by Shawn Levy for 20th Century Fox. The family comedy, co-starring Bonnie Hunt and Hillary Duff, has grossed over $135 million domestically. Christmas 2005 saw the much anticipated sequel “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” staring the original cast and adding in a rival family, headed by Eugene Levy. In February of 2003, Martin starred with Queen Latifah in the blockbuster comedy, “Bringing Down the House” for Touchstone Pictures which gross $132.7 million.

Mr. Martin hosted the 75th Annual Academy Awards in 2003, his second time handling those duties, the first being the 73rd Oscars. The 75th Annual Academy Awards was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including a nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”

Born in Waco, Texas and raised in Southern California, Mr. Martin became a television writer in the late 1960’s, winning an Emmy Award for his work on the hit series “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” By the end of the decade he was performing his own material in clubs and on television.

Launched by frequent appearances on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” Mr. Martin went on to host several shows in the innovative “Saturday Night Live” series and to star in and co-write four highly rated television specials. When performing on national concert tours, he drew standing-room-only audiences in some of the largest venues in the country. He won Grammy Awards for his two comedy albums, “Let’s Get Small” and “A Wild and Crazy Guy,” and had a gold record with his single “King Tut.” In 2003, Martin also won a Grammy® Award for Best country instrumentalist for playing on Earl Scruggs 75th Anniversary album.

Mr. Martin’s first film project, “The Absent-Minded Waiter,” a short he wrote and starred in, was nominated for a 1977 Academy Award. In 1979, he moved into feature films, co-writing and starring in “The Jerk,” directed by Carl Reiner. In 1981, he starred opposite Bernadette Peters in Herbert Ross’ bittersweet musical comedy, “Pennies From Heaven.”

The actor then co-wrote and starred in the 1982 send-up of detective thrillers, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and the science fiction comedy “The Man With Two Brains,” both directed by Carl Reiner. In 1984, Mr. Martin received a Best Actor Award from both the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review for his performance opposite Lily Tomlin in “All of Me,” his forth collaboration with writer/director Carl Reiner.

In 1987, his motion picture hit, “Roxanne,” a modern adaptation of the Cyrano de Bergerac legend, garnered Martin not only warm audience response, but also a Best Actor Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Best Screenplay Award from the Writer Guild of America. Mr. Martin was also the executive producer on the film.

In 1988, he costarred with Michael Caine in the hit comedy film “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” his second feature collaboration with director Frank Oz (the first being “Little Shop of Horrors”). In 1989, he starred with Mary Steenburgen and Diane Wiest in Ron Howard’s affectionate family comedy, “Parenthood” for Universal Pictures.

In 1991, Mr. Martin wrote, starred in and co-executive produced the critically acclaimed comedy, “L.A. Story,” a motion picture about a love story set in Los Angeles. That same year he made a cameo appearance in Lawrence Kasdan’s critically lauded “Grand Canyon” and starred with Diane Keaton in the hit Disney film “Father Of The Bride,” receiving the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture for the latter. In 1992, he starred in the Universal comedy feature “Housesitter,” opposite Goldie Hawn, winning the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy, for the second year in a row.

In 1996, he starred again with Diane Keaton in the hit sequel to “Father of the Bride,” and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. In 1997, he received universal critical acclaim for his riveting performance in director David Mamet’s thriller, “The Spanish Prisoner.”

Mr. Martin wrote and starred in the hilarious 1999 feature comedy, “Bowfinger,” opposite Eddie Murphy for Director Frank Oz. The film was showcased at the Deauville International Film Festival.

Mr. Martin’s other films include classic comedies like Frank Oz’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” in which he played a demented dentist; John Hughes’ “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” co-starring John Candy and the comic Western send-up “The Three Amigos” co-starring Marin Short and Chevy Chase.

In the fall of 1993, Mr. Martin’s first original play, the comedy-drama “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” was presented by Chicago’s prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre. Following rave reviews and an extended run in Chicago, the play was presented successfully in Boston and Los Angeles, and then Off-Broadway in New York at the Promenade Theatre, to nationwide critical and audience acclaim. It has since been, and continues to be, mounted in productions worldwide. “WASP” a one act play that Martin wrote, was first performed at the Public Theatre in NY in 1995. “The Underpants,” a dark comedy Mr. Martin adapted from the 1911 play by Carl Sterneim, premiered Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company on April 4, 2002.

In 1996, Mr. Martin was honored with a retrospective of his work, by the American Film Institute’s Third Decade Council at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. In 2004 Martin was honored for his film work by the American Cinematheque.

A selection of paintings from his extensive, private, modern art collection was given a special exhibition at the Bellagio Hotel gallery in Las Vegas in 2000, with catalog notes written for the show my Mr. Martin.

After the success of his first novella Shopgirl Mr. Martin’s second novella, “The Pleasure of My Company,” published by Hyperion, once again was ranked on best seller lists around the country including the New York Times. He has written a bestselling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and his work frequently appears in The New Yorker and the New York Times.

He lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

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