With the most electric rock ‘n’ roll party of the year storming the Arts Theatre with a briefcase full of festive cheer next week, we speak to Judy Belushi about the show and why The Blues Brothers is so darn good!
Read the full interview…
Hi Judy, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! How are you today?
“Relishing the beauty of autumn in New England.”
Now of course this show is a Blues Brothers Approved Venture, so what is it that excites you about this show in particular?
“The Blues and Christmas are great bedfellows. Both have the seemingly contradictory themes of fun and redemption, yet both themes are filled with joy. I’ve wanted to see The Blues Brothers do a Christmas show for some time and this is our first foray into the arena.”
What would you say is your favourite song from the film?
“I am not big on “favourite” in regards to deep, emotionally connected categories such as favourite food,favourite colour,favourite child, etc; each element, each experience has so much beauty to offer. But there is one song in the movie that I think is often overlooked, and perhaps not even recognized as a Blues Brothers song, which is “She Caught the Katy”. It is the song under the opening drive, when Jake learns the Caddy has been traded for a microphone, the band is not together and the lighter doesn’t work. I think those are some of the best vocals John ever recorded.”
Does it make you proud of John (Belushi) for playing such a legendary character in the form of Jake Blues?
“I’m proud of both John and Dan (Aykroyd – of course!) for their inventiveness, uniqueness, drive and follow through. I believe the Blues Brothers, a.k.a. Jake and Elwood, are great American characters that will live in fiction long after I’m gone.”
The film has obviously exposed a lot of younger generations to the blues. Would you say this Xmas Special has kept the true blues spirit?
“I think so, that’s what we strive for anyway.”
What was it like for John and Dan to work with the likes of James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin?
“John and Dan were over the moon filming the movie. They took the chance of asking their ideal people to play the roles of the other musicians and singers and each one said yes. Can you imagine?!”
They of course also teamed up with a lot of incredible musicians with some spectacular nick names. Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn and Steve ‘The Colonel’ Cropper for example. What nick name would you give yourself?
“My nickname in the world the Blues Brothers was The Blues Wife.”
Is there anything you’d like to say to the blues fans young and old who make up the audience of The Blues Brothers: Xmas Special?
“Kick back and let the music free your soul. Then go forth and bring the Christmas Spirit with you!”
Tickets for The Blues Brothers: Xmas Special at the Arts Theatre are on sale now, just head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.