Saturday, February 21, 2015


"The Blues Brothers" (1980) 
Directed by John Landis 

   One of my favorite things about the 1980 film, "The Blues Brothers" are the songs. Not only is the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway and John Lee Hooker on this film's soundtrack, but the musicians themselves are in the film, performing the songs.
   Many years ago, I showed this film to one of my best friends for the first time. He loved it. Afterward, he asked me, "Do you own the soundtrack?"
"No," I answered. "I want it, but I haven't gotten around to buying it yet."
"I have an idea," he said. "I think we should both buy the soundtrack and not keep it. We should give our copy to each other as a gift. That way, we can both say that we were given this soundtrack by each other."
What an amazing idea, I thought.
   We did just that. I still have my Blues Brothers soundtrack on CD.
   I cherish it.
   He was right about this idea. I always think about my friend when I see this disc in my collection.
   My favorite song on the soundtrack is "Shake a Tail Feather" by Ray Charles. This is also my favorite moment in the movie.
In this scene, people on the street, perform the dances that are called out in the lyrics of the song as Ray sings it, including: The Twist, The Fly, The Swim, The Jerk, The Monkey, The Watusi, The Boney Maroni, The Mashed Potato and The Boogaloo.
   The last time that I watched this scene, I found myself thinking: I need to learn every single one of those dances. I imagine attending a midnight screening of "The Blues Brothers" and when "Shake a Tail Feather" comes on, everyone in the audience gets up and starts doing all the dances that happen on the screen. If this actually happened, I would lose my mind! If Rocky Horror fans can dance along with "The Time Warp", I can shake my tail feather.

   I have a plan. I will invite friends over to my place, then suggest, "Wanna watch The Blues Brothers?"
Of course they will say yes because it's THE BLUES BROTHERS and you don't say No to "The Blues Brothers". Then, when "Shake a Tail Feather" comes on, I will get up, off the couch and dance along. I will do every dance that Ray calls out in the lyrics and blow the minds of my friends. I will continue to pretend that it is just that easy to blow minds.
(Note to self: Do not show my friends this blog, or they will see it coming)

I have figured out a way to make my fantasy, kinda sorta come true and I will be able to cross that one off the bucket list.
The best part is: I will never get caught. I'm on a mission from God.
(Artwork by Isaac Keith Martinez)


Brandon Early said...

I miss John Belushi. Seeing his brother and Akroyd doing the Blues Brothers on the SNL 40th Anniversary Special last week just made me sad. Of course, almost everything about that special seemed designed to make me feel a thousand years old. SNL debuted when I was five years old. I suppose we can take solace in the notion that Belushi and Ray Charles are shaking a tail feather together at the big "after party" in the sky.

Isaac's Haunted Beard said...

"SNL40" was a lovely tribute.
I agree. It was special, yet pulled on my heart strings very hard.
Thank goodness for shows like SNL & films like, "The Blues Brothers" to share the music & comedy talent of so many special people!