Gary: “In 1980 I went to the Movies to see a film called ‘The Blues Brothers’, mainly because the music was based on Chicago Blues of the mid-sixties. The film was directed by John Landis, who I also enjoyed. I am Canadian and so I am going to surprise you with some information.
The movie had a huge Canadian Connection. Dan Aykroyd, a Canadian, taught the blues to John Belushi because of his experience with Downchild Blues Band from Toronto. Two of the characters in the movie were based on that 1969 Toronto Band.
The Downchild Blues Band was founded by two brothers Donnie and Richard Walsh; thus, the Elwood and Jake characters. Paul Shaffer, a Canadian, did all of the musical arrangements for the movie, although he did not appear in the film.
The film also used some of the finest American Blues musicians, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn (recently deceased), Matt “Guitar” Murphy and the list goes on, so I will include it later. The film was great, but they also toured as a band and re-introduced some great sixties R&B back on to the charts in the 80’s.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Saturday Night Live (SNL) connection. SNL is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show . Oh, yes I forgot about the late John Candy, another Canadian
Yes I do own the Movie on DVD, I love the music and enjoy the movie.
Now, most of the posts are totally done by me, Gary, but this one especially is all me because Russ has not seen the complete Movie so he knows little about it. So, if you do not like this Post, it’s all on me…
While not all members appeared in the original film, the full band included:
- “Joliet” Jake E. Blues (John Belushi) – lead vocals
- Elwood J. Blues (Dan Aykroyd) – harmonica, backing vocals
- Steve “The Colonel” Cropper – lead and rhythm guitar (formerly with Booker T & the M.G.’s)
- Donald “Duck” Dunn – bass guitar (formerly with Booker T & the M.G.’s)
- Murphy Dunne – keyboards (brought in to act in the film due to Paul Shaffer’s commitment to perform with Gilda Radner in Gilda Live!, toured with the band in the summer of 1980)
- Willie “Too Big” Hall – drums, percussion (formerly of the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes‘ band, appears in the movie)
- Steve “Getdwa” Jordan – drums, percussion (Saturday Night Live Band, appears only on the albums)
- Birch “Crimson Slide” Johnson – trombone (Does not appear in movie)
- Tom “Bones” Malone – trombone, trumpet, saxophone (Saturday Night Live Band)
- “Blue” Lou Marini – saxophone (Saturday Night Live Band)
- Matt “Guitar” Murphy – lead and rhythm guitar (Howlin’ Wolf, other artists)
- Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin – trumpet (Saturday Night Live Band)
- Paul “The Shiv” Shaffer – keyboards, arranger (does not appear in movie, but live)
- Tom “Triple Scale” Scott – saxophone (L.A. Express, does not appear in the movie, though his saxophone can still be heard on the soundtrack)