GRAMMY.com Exclusive First Look: Harry Shearer
GRAMMY-nominated multi-hyphenate Harry Shearer will release his latest studio album, Can't Take A Hint, on Aug. 27. Ahead of the album's release, GRAMMY.com has your exclusive first look at the video for "Celebrity Booze Endorser," which features vocals by Shearer and Fountains Of Wayne as his backing band. Additionally, GRAMMY.com conducted an interview with Shearer regarding the creative direction of the album and his career in film, TV and radio, among other topics.
"This is [my] fourth [self-releaed album], which is the reason for the title," says Shearer regarding Can't Take A Hint. "The first two were GRAMMY-nominated [and] the third was not, which is the hint I'm not taking."
Can't Take A Hint features collaborations with GRAMMY winner Dr. John ("Autumn In New Orleans"), Jamie Cullum ("A Few Bad Apples"), "Glee"'s Jane Lynch ("Like A Charity"), and GRAMMY-winning guitarists such as Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Steve Lukather. In addition to singing lead vocals, Shearer plays bass on many of the songs.
"These songs started as sort of demo versions for my radio show and then I take them to trained professionals and tart them up," says Shearer. "I have a huge amount of fun doing that and making these records. I persist in putting them out regardless of what else happens."
A versatile performer, Shearer was a cast member and writer for "Saturday Night Live" from 1979–1980. He has provided the voices for characters such as Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers on the long-running animated sitcom "The Simpsons." Since 1983, Shearer has hosted "Le Show," a comedy/music program broadcast on Santa Monica, Calif.-based radio station KCRW. Shearer co-created, co-directed and co-starred in the acclaimed 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap. As a recording artist, Shearer has received three career GRAMMY nominations, including two for his solo albums Songs Pointed & Pointless (2007) and Songs Of The Bushmen (2008), and Spinal Tap's Back From The Dead (2009). He is married to singer/songwriter Judith Owen.
"My wife, who is British and therefore stern, said to me early on in our marriage, 'You can do funny music, but it goddamn well better sound like music. I hate that funny music that sounds like somebody doodling at the piano,'" says Shearer. "She whipped me into shape so [my] records have all been trying to live up to that standard."