Music is a motivating experience for many of us. Actor Dan Aykroyd, who rose to stardom on the original Saturday Night Live sketch comedy show, has the blues so engrained in his persona that it has become more than just an enjoyable pastime. The blues permeates both his personal and professional life.
From his early days growing up in Ottawa, where he frequented the blues haunt Le Hibou, to his cult classic film and entertainment franchise The Blues Brothers, the music genre has guided much of Aykroyd’s professional direction.
The famed House of Blues, started in Cambridge, Massacheusettes, was the brainchild of Aykroyd and a pile of fellow Hollywood heavyweights – Jim Belushi, Paul Shaffer, Aerosmith and others – and now boasts 13 locations across the United States.
Aykroyd, in the guise of Elwood Blues, is the host of the House of Blues Radio Hour, a weekly syndicated radio show.
Where did all this inspiration come from? Believe it or not, Toronto-based blues band Downchild was the party band that inspired Aykroyd and John Belushi to originally develop the characters of Jake and Elwood Blues for a few SNL skits.
AUDIOHolger Petersen, host of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, spoke with the actor/musician about the roots of Aykroyd’s affinity and obsession with the blues.
Aykroyd obviously does not take his obsessions lightly. We won’t even discuss his fixation on paranormal activity. That is for someone else’s blog.
Blues Brothers movie cameo appearances
Shades of blues
Donald 'Duck' Dunn
on Jul 03, 2012