Dan Aykroyd recalls his ''Blues Brothers'' period -- The comedic actor looks back at Elwood and ahead to life as a House of Blues honcho

By Dan Zak
Updated August 26, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
Advertisement

These days, Elwood Blues takes a hot bath and then binds his hips, knees, and ankles before performing. Having built his concert business, House of Blues, into a 10-venue empire, Dan Aykroyd looks back at the gig that helped make him a TV and movie star, and subsequently, an impresario: The Blues Brothers, now out in a 25th Anniversary Edition. In a three-piece suit, House of Blues cap, and those trademark shades, the former Ghostbuster also riffs on the current state of Saturday Night Live (”The women are strong”), his favorite automobile (a 1932 Pierce-Arrow limo), and the heady days of 1980, when SNL‘s first class hit the movie jackpot (”We called ourselves living media gods”).

What do you get most these days — ”Hey, Elwood!” or ”Hey, Bass-O-Matic ’76!”?
I don’t get much. I have this young female demographic that recognizes me as the father in My Girl and then I’ve got the older female demographic that’s Driving Miss Daisy.

So your latest thing is performing with Jim Belushi and Co.?
It’s getting the House of Blues where we’re a meaningful brand in the concert business. We’re the third biggest in the world now. There’s people clamoring for it.

How’s your time divided?
I’d say a third concert dates, a third House of Blues-related activity — publicity, board meetings, calls — and a third personal, trying to raise my girls [ages 15, 12, and 7].

Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were starring in Caddyshack when you and John Belushi were in The Blues Brothers. What was the feeling that summer?
We were bratty, ratty little tyrants, of course. We were riding high. But we also had a fear of the future — what’s going to happen after this? Thank God that phase of my life’s over.

How often do you see Bill and Chevy?
Frequently, a few times a year. Billy, I seek out for little mini-adventures — a visit to his house in upstate New York, a House of Blues music night.

Do you think Blues Brothers is the only SNL film adaptation worth a damn?
Well, I like Coneheads. I thought it was a good family picture.

Any movie or TV plans for you?
Pretty much gotta get these clubs open. We are looking to London, Paris, Berlin. Maybe Moscow. Australia, they’re dying for us there. But if Spielberg or Reitman or Peter Weir calls me and says, ”We’d like you to play the U.S. marshal who loses a leg in a train wreck,” of course. I can always work as an actor.

Comments