In case anyone questions the sincerity of this, Don Giller has compiled a half hour video of Van Halen’s Letterman appearances that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shaffer loved the opportunity to play music with him.
Described by Letterman as “our special friend playing with the band tonight,” and by Shaffer as “an innovator and... just a nutty kind of a guy,” Van Halen is first shown playing with the show’s band on May 16, 1985. Shaffer looks like he’s having a ball while Van Halen rips through an instrumental version of “Pretty Woman,” his own band’s “Jump,” and “Sunshine Of Your Love.” (There are a whole lot of Cream covers throughout his appearances on the show.)
In another visit on June 27, 1985, he sat in with Shaffer’s band during his wife Valerie Bertinelli’s guest appearance on the show before performing “Panama.” Shaffer introduces him this time by saying he’s “having the time of my life.” The last clip comes from August 10, 1995, when Van Halen (the whole band) appeared as the episode’s musical guests, later joining the house band to play “Jump.”
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