the blues brothers band

Billboard ad for Monterey Pop Festival that still lists Beach Boys in the line up.

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Recently, I was made aware of the existence of The Best of the Blues Brothers, a 1993 documentary (of sorts), in which Tom Davis interviews both Dan Aykroyd and Elwood Blues together. It’s witty, it’s clever, sometimes quite poignant and touching. You hear about the time Dan almost lost the Blues Brothers script, and also how he and Elwood dealt with the loss of John and Jake. Plus Elwood opens up about himself in surprising ways, as you can gather from the quote below. What I really like about it is how protective Dan is toward Elwood. I feel like I understand both of them better. ;) I highly recommend, look up the DVD on Ebay, etc., you won’t be disappointed! (Make sure it’s the DVD, not the CD. And if anyone has any questions about the documentary, feel free to ask!)

Tom: There’s a guy who hasn’t changed.

Dan: I think he’s starting to open up a little. 

Tom: He never used to sit there and talk to you like this. 

Dan: He’s, in his old age, starting to let on what goes on behind those shades. But I’ll tell you, that man expresses himself best when he’s got that band behind him. 

Tom: I agree. 

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On this day in music history: October 17, 1964 - “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Mann hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is the biggest hit for the London based pop quintet. Formed in 1962 by South African born keyboardist Manfred Mann, the band originally call themselves The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. They establish themselves as part of the thriving British blues scene in London along with contemporaries including The Yardbirds, Alexis Corner, and The Rolling Stones. When they land a record contract with EMI Records HMV label in 1963, Manfred Mann’s producer John Burgess insists on a name change, and adapt their keyboardist and bandleaders name as their new moniker. After scoring a handful of hits in their native UK, they record a cover of the song “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Newly married at the time it was written, Barry and Greenwich perfectly express their newly wedded bliss, with the title being a clever euphemism for a “sexual dalliance”. Originally written for and recorded by The Exciters (“Tell Him”) as “Do-Wah-Diddy”, their version is only a minor hit, peaking at #78 on the Hot 100 on January 25, 1964. Manfred Mann records their version after lead singer Paul Jones discovers the song in his record collection. Issued in the UK first in July of 1964, it is an immediate smash, leaping to number one on August 13, 1964. Licensed to Ascot Records (distributed by United Artists) in the US, it quickly becomes a hit on American radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on September 5, 1964, it streaks to the top of the chart six weeks later. Regarded as one of the great party anthems of all time, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is covered by a wide variety of artists including Jan & Dean, Andrew Gold, and the 2 Live Crew. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis sing the song during a marching sequence in the film “Stripes” in 1981.

(The guy who sketched this out requested that you listen to wicked jazz while you look at this picture.)

This is a drawing neogandw made, which I gladly offered to help color as his computer is undergoing repairs this week.

I can’t really explain too much about the concept behind this picture, since he came up with the idea, but it was something along the lines of a crossover between skullgirls and blues brothers, because the sequel from 2000 included animated segments, sadly I can’t really properly explain it. ^^; You’ll need to check out Neo’s blog for the full story about the idea behind this. (which you should, he’s a great artist! )

Anyway, this was really fun to color, and I really had a blast doing it. Sadly during this week it’s been extremely hot outside, which made the process much slower than it should’ve. <n< Still, I’m happy about how this turned out, so that’s always good. c:

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“Whipping Post” by Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band (1969)

In San Francisco’s hippie heyday Joplin became the voice of the blues-rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and a sensation at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. The film tells how the band almost missed out on appearing in D.A. Pennebaker’s seminal film, Monterey Pop. Like other bands from San Francisco, they refused to sign release papers for the filming.  But Pennebaker, blown away by their unfilmed performance, persuaded them to sign and repeat their set for the cameras the following day.

Big Brother’s first album was released in August 1967, shortly after that breakthrough appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The second album, Cheap Thrills, included one of the definitive interpretations of ‘Summertime’, which we see Janis rehearsing with the band in the studio. It is one of her finest achievements.

Berg suggests how ambitious Joplin was, consciously shaping her image, wrapping herself in feather boas and cultivating an impish spontaneity and extravagant emotional openness. The implication being that it was all artificial, designed to mask the thoughtful, quietly articulate woman she really was. She got a lot of stick at the time from the women’s movement, made uncomfortable by her frank sexuality: she admitted she more one of the boys than she was a feminist, though the musicians she most admired tended to be women: Odetta, Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin, and so on. Though, as one witness notes, her characteristic screamed repetitions were stolen from Otis Redding. 

Janis Joplin in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1966 

Courtesy of Garry

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Now this is how you do a movie novelization:

“‘The band! Don’t you see the light, Elwood? The band!’

Elwood wanted to understand. In fact, he felt, amid all the noise and wonderful confusion, that he was on the verge of understanding, that all he needed was one final clue. As the hysteria continued to mount, however, he felt the need for a clue begin to dissipate; looking at Jake’s wild and happy eyes, Elwood himself began to believe. The band. Yes, the band! Of course. That was the answer! Why hadn’t he seen that before? It was so obvious!

‘The band!’ Elwood heard himself shouting. ‘The band! Yeah!’” 

(The Blues Brothers, by Miami Mitch Glazer)