The Weekend Concert Series: The Blues Brothers Live at Winterland, 1978

The Hunt for New Music. The Blues Brothers, a traditional blues/R&B/soul band, began as an comical/music act on Saturday Night Live, inspired by a meeting that John Belushi had with blues singer Curtis Salgado while Belushi was filming Animal House.   In the faux-blues-band-turned-real-live-performers, Belushi performed as “Joliet Jake” Blues (Vocals) and Aykroyd was Elwood Blues(Backing Vocals and Harmonica). The backing musicians for the band were music all-stars: Memphis legends Matt “Guitar” Murphy (lead and rhythm guitar,  who worked with Howlin’Wolfe)), Steve Cropper (lead and rhythm guitar, Booker T & The MGs), Donald “Duck” Dunne (bass guitar, Booker T & The MGs) , Murphy Dunne (keyboards),  Willie “Too Big” Hall (drums, The Bar-Kays), “Blue Lou” Marini  (SNL House band and Blood, Sweat, and Tears),  Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin (trumpet, SNL House Band) , Tom “Bones” Malone (Trombone, Blood, Sweat & Tears) were in the original lineup of the band, but over time another, equally impressive list of R&B and soul musicians and singers played or toured with The Blues Brothers. What started as a musical parody (one of Belushi’s specialities..who can ever forget his imitation of Roy Orbison) turned into a band to be taken seriously, because Aykroyd and Belushi knew the very best way to cover up any of their musical shortcomings (vocals) was to be backed by a powerhouse showband. The Blues Brothers movie was directed by John Landis, who had become a comedic legend for his direction of Animal House.  Aykroyd and Belushi’s commitment to the band and it’s concept was real: they scheduled tours and played dates. By the time the movie was released, in 1980, The Blues Brothers was a legitimate, totally committed and  entertaining musical act. The concert shown here was the last of their shows at Winterland in 1978. It looks like a concert shot in 1978–the lighting is touchy, the staging much less polished than seen today, but the music and performances are very good, exceptional even, and the sound is excellent. It’s a little piece of cultural history. What’s a perfect way to end a hot summer’s weekend? A date with The Blues Brothers, Live at Winterland. As always, bump it to the flat screen, and run the music through the stereo and the big speakers.
The Fine Print: Concert embed via YouTube(thank you). This concert was recorded live at Winterland on 12/31/1978. All rights reserved by their respective artists. 

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