The next week we did nothing. Things started to move quickly. He signed The Blues Brothers up. The boys now needed a band. He told me to choose another horn player. Dan Aykroyd remains grateful to Malone, Marini and Shaffer. Then we became more than a comedy tribute. We became true blues with the full band and had the real essence of the music.
Duck and Shaffer were both archivists and turned us on to so much. They and Lou Marini helped us treat the music with knowledge, humour and with confidence that we were venerating it. They gave John confidence as a singer and me as an instrumentalist. While choosing the set-list should have been easy — especially with a couple of Stax legends onboard — Aykroyd admits he made a few odd suggestions. The live cut of Soul Man eventually peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot It was dedicated to Curtis Salgado.
The crowd was shocked and stunned. We just ripped it up. People were freaking out. Jagger was all smiles — it was like a whirlwind, a congratulatory visit. When the decision was made to make a movie based around the band and its two leading characters, some line-up changes had to be made. Tom Scott was not replaced, taking the band back down to a three-man horn section.
Dan Aykroyd spent six months writing the screenplay for what would eventually become The Blues Brothers movie. The result was a page slab bound in the covers of an LA Yellow Pages as a joke that was too unwieldy to reproduce onscreen.
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The finished result contained some of the greatest movie dialogue ever. And what dialogue kicks off the mayhem! Maxwell Street in Chicago served as the backdrop for the exterior shots of the cafe. The interior was created on a studio lot. The scene is a piece of blues history.
15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Blues Brothers
The brothers head into the cafe and encounter Mrs Murphy. When she realises the brothers intend to lure her husband and dishwasher back on the road, the foot comes down. Blue Lou follows seconds later. I was almost cracking up when I looked at her. Lou Marini recalls the days filming for a couple of reasons. First there was a practical joke: Landis and me, a camera guy, lighting guy, sound guy. I yelled and down the end at the coffee shop I heard them cracking up.
The Blues Brothers () - IMDb
He was less amused by his portrayal during the Think routine. The reason his head was chopped? The scene was based on real-life experiences and as Steve Cropper told Dan Aykroyd at the time, he had seen worse. Dan went round interviewing the band and putting bits of useful information into the script. John Landis also encountered trouble getting The Blues Brothers into cinemas.
For instance, Ted Mann, head of the Mann Theatres chain, was unconvinced that white movie-goers would be interested in a bunch of old black musicians.
- The Blues Brothers () - Plot Summary - IMDb.
- The Blues Brothers (film) - Wikipedia!
Ultimately, The Blues Brothers only opened in half the theatres that a similar size movie would enjoy. Some critics hated the movie for its thin plot and reliance on car chases for entertainment, but they were in the minority. The finished product is a blast. The Blues Brothers made stars of Belushi and Aykroyd, allowing the latter to bankroll future box-office behemoths like Ghostbusters.
It also reignited back-catalogue sales for James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker and the other legends that appeared in the movie. Belushi was only 33 years old when he succumbed to the effects of a speedball, a combined hit of cocaine and heroin. John was like a seal!
He could catch shrimps, sing, dance, he was a real negotiator, actor, manager. He managed himself and the band brilliantly. A medical officer wrapped the knee and injected the star, who winced his way through the finale. During one night filming around a deserted lot in Harvey, Illinois, Belushi, well known for his erratic and comical behaviour at the time, vanished from the cast and crew.
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Aykroyd, who often found himself looking after Belushi, went to the nearest house with lights on, asking the home owner for one of his actors. He came in here an hour ago and raided my fridge. Carrie Fisher might have had crazed eyes for Belushi on camera, but off set she and Aykroyd were a real-life couple, almost ending up getting engaged.
Props to the prop handlers: The shopping mall famously wrecked by Jake and Elwood — not to mention the tailing fleet of Illinois State Police cars in hot pursuit — was the Dixie Mall in Harvey, Illinois.