The Definitive Story of The Blues Brothers

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Recounting reminiscences from John Belushi‘s highschool classmates and Dan Aykroyd‘s faculty theater friends, the guide paints an image of two very divergent upbringings leading to two wildly completely different performers whose concepts of comedy someway overlapped sufficient to turn into lifelong mates. Their circuitous routes to Saturday Night Live are dotted with a blinding ardour for genuine music (Belushi for heavy metallic and ultimately R&B, Aykroyd for electrical blues), which inevitably made its approach into their performances (each onstage and off).

While Aykroyd and Belushi had completely different outlooks, their yin and yang developed into a robust artistic partnership which pushed the envelope of what comedy on tv may very well be, all of the whereas holding all-night events at Aykroyd’s secret blues bar the place Keith Richards and

The FAA needed to certify the Pinto as an plane.

Francis Ford Coppola poured drinks behind the counter. While the background of the 2 whirlwind comedians is compelling and well-told, the rubber actually hits the highway because the characteristic movie begins coming into focus. The guide recounts anecdote after anecdote in regards to the course of, the characters, the stunts, and the visitor stars, every extra eye-gogglingly unattainable than the final.

A quick listing of discoveries from the guide:

• The title “Elwood” got here from Elwood Glover, a chat present host whom Aykroyd thought was “probably the most boring man on Canadian tv.”

• The signature Ray Ban sun shades had been worn out of necessity since Aykroyd’s insecurities made him reluctant to make eye contact and Belushi’s eyes had been all the time bloodshot because of his fixed debauchery.

• The SNL musicians would carry round little decoy “Belushi Bottles” of cocaine with solely a tiny bit remaining as a result of if Belushi acquired a maintain of their precise stash it will be hoovered up immediately.

• The Blues Brothers’ debut album Briefcase Full of Blues listed the 2 comedy superstars’ precise names solely on the again of the report jacket as “very particular because of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi” (and the album charted larger than precise post-war blues albums by B.B. King and Muddy Waters).

• Belushi had a behavior of repeatedly setting his mattress on fireplace whereas falling asleep smoking. (Three packs of cigarettes a day, cocaine behavior, Quaalude habit, amphetamines, common doses of mescaline).

• Dan Aykroyd almost misplaced the one copy of the script as he was nonetheless ending it. After a frenzied search of the 30 Rock places of work, he discovered the pages in a stack of previous SNL scripts, supposed for the shredder.

• The unique script was 324 pages lengthy (most film screenplays are between 95 and 125 pages in size) and he hand-delivered them to movie business executives wrapped within the torn-off covers of cellphone books.

• The movie’s unique finances was $10 million however ultimately ballooned to $27.5 million, which was greater than Steven Spielberg spent on Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

• Landis wished B.B. King to be one of many Rhythm and Blues luminaries within the film, however King’s supervisor indicated that the guitar legend was too busy touring to look within the movie. King later was crushed when he came upon his administration had handed.

• After the movie’s launch, Cab Calloway‘s long-dormant profession was revived, resulting in a flurry of bookings for his new Big Band, strutting round in a zoot swimsuit performing “Minnie the Moocher” nicely previous the age of 70.

• The rampant destruction of the deserted shopping center (which was filled with rotting produce and shortly stuffed with automobile exhaust and burning rubber) resulted in just one small harm which required two stitches.

• Chicago’s new mayor, Jane Byrne, had confronted a lot vitriol and misogyny from staffers who had labored for her predecessor Richard J. Daley, that she gleefully gave permission for the movie crew to crash vehicles into his namesake Daley Plaza.

• During the quiet elevator scene close to the top of the film, a schmaltzy Muzak model of Antônio Carlos Jobim‘s “The Girl from Ipanema” performs overhead as a type of retribution since director John Landis wished to make use of a parody model of the tune in Animal House however Jobim would not enable it.

• Landis initially wished to drop the orange Pinto pushed by the hated Illinois Nazis from a top of “I do not know, 5, six thousand ft?” however he ultimately agreed on twelve hundred ft (the peak of the John Hancock Building). While this was decrease than the director initially wished, it was nonetheless so excessive that THE FAA HAD TO CERTIFY THE PINTO AS AN AIRCRAFT.

In addition to the detailed biographical data and the behind-the-scenes movie analysis, the writer is a longtime music author (and occasional contributor to AllMusic), and delivers a wealthy stage of element about electrical blues, the music tradition of the ’70s (together with Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park), and insights into the movie’s musical visitor stars (Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown and others). The guide lovingly tells the story of a high-speed experience that soars triumphantly and expectedly (assuming the reader is conscious of the destiny of John Belushi) crashes on the finish.


The Blues Brothers – An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic is on the market now from Grove Atlantic and your native bookstore.

The Blues Brothers - An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic
The Blues Brothers – An Epic Friendship, the Rise of Improv, and the Making of an American Film Classic

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