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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Swooning for Steve

While Bemelmans still tops my "if you could invite any person, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would it be" list, running a close second these days is the beloved Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin- the one who's been around for years, the one your parents loved when you were little and you didn't get half his jokes, the one who wears a navy blue "tux-a-do" in Father of the Bride.

You see, these days, Steve Martin is experiencing a sort of renaissance- emerging as a triple threat- musician, author, and of course, actor.

In this month's Garden & Gun, there's a great feature about Martin and the bluegrass band he's touring with, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Martin plays the banjo with the group, often not appearing on the show's billing, and showing up to delight an astounded audience. And unlike most actor-turned-musicians (cough cough *Lindsay Lohan* cough cough), Martin's actually GOOD.

Photo by Brad Swonetz

Of course, this comes on the heels of another of Martin's recent accomplishments- his latest book, An Object of Beauty, a fiction novel with New York's art world as its backdrop. Martin has become an avid art collector over the years, and his behind-the-scenes knowledge of the gallery world is gleaned from his own personal experiences. This is far from his first novel- Shopgirl got turned into a movie with Claire Danes, and he also authored The Object of my Affection a few years back.



If you haven't read the terrific Born Standing Up, his autobiography, you owe it to yourself to pick this up- or better yet, listen to it read by Martin himself on audiobook. Even if you've never been particularly into Steve Martin, this is a fantastic and compelling read about his early years breaking into the business. I love reading autobiographies of people who've made it big in their fields, be they actors, businessmen, athletes, political figures, or what have you, because it's always apparent that they didn't get where they are by accident. All of them dealt with failure, rejection, stress, and other obstacles. It sounds cliched, I know. But sometimes I think that I take "no" for an answer all to readily, and it's a great reminder that if you have a dream or a passion, you're going to need to be persistent and chase it. 


And of course, then there's Martin's lovely wife, Ann Stringfield, who happens to be the cutest darn thing we've ever seen (and a writer for New York Magazine). Something tells us she must have a little something to do with Martin's renaissance. Love those glasses. She happens to be a Davidson grad (we knew we liked her!). 


Of course, Steve Martin can play all the bluegrass he wants, write ten books, and marry a gorgeous young brunette, but he's still no match for Franck Eggelhoffer. Enjoy some vintage Father of the Bride! "I suggest we choose the cek!" get me every time...

3 comments:

julie said...

And the Steep Canyon Rangers are NC boys- most of them are old friends of mine from Chapel Hill. We saw them play with Steve in Charlotte last year and it was a blast!

TN Mimi said...

I just bought his CD "The Crow". It's very enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Wow, she's so young....I thought she was his daughter or g. daughter.

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