Former 'SNL' band leader wasn't playing politics in Tampa — just his guitar

The blond-haired Smith is most recognized as the ponytail-donning, suit-wearing electric guitar player who strummed bluesy tunes on "SNL" as the show cut to commercials. This week, he spent hours in the Republican Party site with his band perched on a temporary platform next to the convention stage, where dozens of marquee GOP leaders pontificated.  


Other musical acts such as "American Idol" Taylor Hicks and 3 Doors Down played one song, but Smith sat through much of the political program.

While fellow "SNL" alumna Victoria Jackson spent her time at the convention pushing GOP politics, Smith sat back and zoned out. 

The former Hall and Oates lead guitarist said that he isn’t into politics. He took the gig because that’s what musicians do.

"We're like Doctors Without Borders. We go where the need is greatest,” Smith said as he examined the musical instruments packed up following Thursday night’s confetti and balloon drop in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Smith said that the folks he met were very friendly but that he was looking forward to returning home.