Blues Brothers -VHS - joeyjrp.com
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  • Blues Brothers -VHS - joeyjrp.com
  • Blues Brothers -VHS - joeyjrp.com
  • Blues Brothers -VHS - joeyjrp.com

Blues Brothers -VHS - joeyjrp.com

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The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis.[4] It stars John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as his brother Elwood, characters developed from the recurring musical sketch "The Blues Brothers" on NBC variety series Saturday Night Live. The film is set in and around Chicago, Illinois, where it was filmed, and the screenplay was written by Aykroyd and Landis. It features musical numbers by rhythm and blues (R&B), soul, and blues singers James Brown, Cab Calloway (in his final feature film role), Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, and John Lee Hooker. It features non-musical supporting performances by Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, Charles Napier, Kathleen Freeman and John Candy. The story is a tale of redemption for paroled convict Jake and his blood brother Elwood, who set out on "a mission from God" to prevent foreclosure of the Roman Catholic orphanage in which they were raised. To do so, they must reunite their R&B band and organize a performance to earn $5,000 needed to pay the orphanage's property tax bill. Along the way, they are targeted by a homicidal "mystery woman", Neo-Nazis, and a country and western band—all while being relentlessly pursued by the police. Universal Studios, which had won the bidding war for the film, was hoping to take advantage of Belushi's popularity in the wake of Saturday Night Live, the film Animal House, and The Blues Brothers' musical success; it soon found itself unable to control production costs. 

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The genesis of the Blues Brothers was a January 17, 1976, Saturday Night Live sketch. In it, "Howard Shore and his All-Bee Band" play the Slim Harpo song "I'm a King Bee", with Belushi singing and Aykroyd playing harmonica, dressed in the bee costumes they wore for "The Killer Bees" sketches. In 1978, guitarist Arlen Roth was performing on SNL with Art Garfunkel who was that week's host of the show. Before the actual live show, Belushi and Aykroyd asked Roth and others to join them onstage in the outfits that would later become the Blues Brothers' look. Roth taught Belushi the lyrics to "Rocket 88" so they could perform it that night. This was also discussed on Aykroyd's "Elwood's Bluesmobile" radio show, when Roth was interviewed about his Slide Guitar Summit album, and the song "Rocket 88". Following tapings of SNL, it was popular among cast members and the weekly hosts to attend Aykroyd's Holland Tunnel Blues bar, which he had rented not long after joining the cast. Aykroyd and Belushi filled a jukebox with songs from Sam & Dave, punk band The Viletones and others. Belushi bought an amplifier and they kept some musical instruments there for anyone who wanted to jam. It was at the bar that Aykroyd and Ron Gwynne wrote and developed the story which Aykroyd turned into the draft screenplay for the Blues Brothers movie, better known as the "tome", because it contained so many pages. It was also at the bar that Aykroyd introduced Belushi to the blues. An interest soon became a fascination, and it was not long before the two began singing with local blues bands. Jokingly, SNL band leader Howard Shore suggested they call themselves "The Blues Brothers". In an April 1988, interview he gave to the Chicago Sun-Times, Aykroyd said the Blues Brothers act borrowed from Sam and Dave and others; the Sun-Times quoted him as explaining: "Well, obviously, the duo thing and the dancing, but the hats came from John Lee Hooker. The suits came from the concept that when you were a jazz player in the '40s, '50s '60s, to look straight, you had to wear a suit." The band was modeled in part on Aykroyd's experience with the Downchild Blues Band, one of the first professional blues bands in Canada, with whom Aykroyd played on occasion.[note 1] Aykroyd encountered the band in the early 1970s, around the time of his attendance at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and where his interest in the blues developed through attending and occasionally performing at Ottawa's Le Hibou Coffee House. As Aykroyd described it: So I grew up (in Ottawa), in this capital city. My parents used to work for the government, and I went to elementary school, high school, and the university in the city. And there was a place on Sussex Drive (Sussex Drive is where the Prime Minister's house is, right below Parliament Hill), and there was a little club there called Le Hibou, which in French means 'the owl.' And it was run by a gentleman named Harvey Glatt, and he brought every, and I mean every blues star that you or I would ever have wanted to have seen through Ottawa in the late '50s, well I guess more late '60s sort of, in around the Newport jazz rediscovery. I was going to Le Hibou and hearing James Cotton, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins and Muddy Waters. I actually jammed behind Muddy Waters. S. P. Leary left the drum kit one night, and Muddy said 'anybody out there play drums? I don't have a drummer.' And I walked on stage and we started, I don't know, “Little Red Rooster”, something. He said 'keep that beat going, you make Muddy feel good.' And I heard Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett). Many, many times I saw Howlin' Wolf. And of course Buddy Guy, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. So I was exposed to all of these players, playing there as part of this scene to service the academic community in Ottawa, a very well-educated community. Had I lived in a different town I don't think that this would have happened, because it was just the confluence of educated government workers, and then also all the colleges in the area, Ottawa University, Carleton, and all the schools—these people were interested in blues culture. The Toronto-based Downchild Blues Band, co-founded in 1969 by two brothers, Donnie and Richard "Hock" Walsh, served as an inspiration for the two Blues Brothers characters. Aykroyd modeled Elwood Blues in part on Donnie Walsh, a harmonica player and guitarist, while Belushi's Jake Blues character was modeled after Hock Walsh, Downchild's lead singer. In their first album, Briefcase Full of Blues (1978), Aykroyd and Belushi featured three well-known Downchild songs closely associated with Hock Walsh's vocal style: "I've Got Everything I Need (Almost)", written by Donnie Walsh, "Shotgun Blues", co-written by Donnie and Hock Walsh, and "Flip, Flop and Fly", co-written and originally popularized by Big Joe Turner.[6] All three songs were on Downchild's second album, Straight Up (1973), with "Flip, Flop and Fly" becoming the band's most successful single, in 1974. Belushi's budding interest in the blues solidified in October 1977 when he was in Eugene, Oregon, filming National Lampoon's Animal House. He went to a local hotel to hear 25-year-old blues singer/harmonica player Curtis Salgado. After the show, Belushi and Salgado talked about the blues for hours. Belushi found Salgado's enthusiasm infectious. In an interview at the time with the Eugene Register-Guard, he said: I was growing sick of rock and roll, it was starting to bore me ... and I hated disco, so I needed some place to go. I hadn't heard much blues before. It felt good. In an interview with Crawdaddy he added: I couldn't stop playing the stuff! I bought hundreds of records and singles ... I walked around playing that shit all the time. And then I knew Danny had played the harp in Canada, and I always could sing, so we created the Blues Brothers. Salgado lent him some albums by Floyd Dixon, Charles Brown, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and others. Belushi was hooked. Belushi began to join Salgado on stage, singing the Floyd Dixon song "Hey, Bartender" on a few occasions, and using Salgado's humorous alternate lyrics to "I Don't Know": I said Woman, you going to walk a mile for a Camel or are you going to make like Mr. Chesterfield and satisfy? She said, that all depends on what you're packing, regular or king-size. Then she pulled out my Jim Beam and to her surprise It was every bit as hard as my Canadian Club These lyrics were used in the band's debut performance on SNL.

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