Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Blues Brothers

It had been a hot summer in 1981. One late evening in the backyard found all four of us together in the small swimming pool that Angie and I had, just to beat the heat. Angie also came up with the idea of sleeping outside in the backyard in a makeshift tent (a rather large blanket held up by a clothesline across the backyard), and no-one objected to that. We all crammed into it and slept the night away. One of the last things that occurred during that summer was a camping trip to Alder Lake, way east, toward Mount Rainier. We went there with a family friend, Fred, and we were only there for a couple of days. Nothing exciting or notable happened, but it was a fun and interesting trip, if only to get away from the house for a little while.

When we came back home and unlocked the house, it was hot and stuffy inside. Even after throwing open all the windows, it wasn't that much better. Angie and I were playing around in the front yard when Dad rolled the TV stand out onto the front porch, with the TV on it. He'd never done that before. Something interesting was going to be on, at least for the TV being set up like this!
It was the Showtime premiere of The Blues Brothers, but I had absolutely no idea what this movie was about, who was in it, or what was going to happen. I didn't even know about Saturday Night Live, and the cast of players who had been on the show, and were now making the big leap to the movie screen, although we'd seen The Jerk recently, and loved it. But this was not like anything I'd ever seen before. It was about two guys cruising around in an old cop car, getting into misadventures and high-speed chases with the cops throughout it. And they seemed to be on a mission of some sort of getting the old band of their back together.
I was very impressed with the music and songs that came up, although I was not familiar with the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, or James Brown, and we took an instant liking to Cab Calloway as we tried scat-singing along to "Minnie The Moocher". I especially liked the part where they somehow won over a rowdy bar full of loud, truck-driving rednecks who threw beer bottles at the stage the entire time.
I sat there and watched the entire movie on the front lawn of the house, completely forgetting the fact that we were still sitting outside, while the TV was on the front porch, and it was completely dark by the time the movie was over. I was impressed, and although we had never done anything like that before, we never did that again so that memory of seeing it the first time that way will always be attached to whenever I see it now. Geoffrey's seen it in parts, and his favorite parts are of Bob's Country Bunker, and "Minnie The Moocher".

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