Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Greatest Band Ever, Worst Movie Ever?

So I was flipping around the channel guide like an hour ago, and saw that Blues Brothers 2000 was on; I'd already missed the first hour or so. I'd never seen it (choosing not to sully the memory of the late John Belushi by even watching it, a sentiment nobody involved in the movie seemed to share), nothing else was on, it was late, I was tired, so I figured, hey, why not see just how bad this train wreck was. The music's got to be pretty good at least, right?

Well, it was bad. Really awful. Like, you wonder how they possibly could've even let it be released bad. No doubt. But the music was good, really good, and one sequence contained what might qualify as the greatest band ever. I don't know if Blues Brothers 2000 is the worst movie ever, I'm sure it would hold its own in any discussion, but you could dump the entire Pacific in the gap between the quality of the music and the script, and this one scene, with this one band, is like a glistening pearl in a toxic waste dump. Coming across it late at night was such a shock that I'm sitting here buzzing over it, compelled to write about it and wondering if anybody else ever got far enough into the movie to notice this all-time, all-star band.

So, the Blues Brothers band, for reasons I missed, enters this weird bayou battle of the bands, and the band they're going up against, the Louisiana Gator Boys, well, just look for yourself:

This is the second song they did in the movie, and you can see who's in the band. It's an absolutely unbelievable assembly. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Dr. John, Jimmy Vaughn, Gary Bonds, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls, Clarence Clemens, Isaac Hayes, Koko Taylor, Travis Tritt, Steve Winwood, people I didn't even recognize. The clip above is okay, but the first song they did, the B.B. King song "How Blue Can You Get," is way better than this, although I couldn't find a clip of it. But it's absolutely sick. It seriously might be the greatest single assemblage of musical talent, like, ever. Can you think of a better one? The entire God-awful movie is worth sitting through just to get to that one scene.

This song's pretty good, too, with Erykah Badu singing, after she turned the Blues Brothers into what I think are supposed to be zombies, and a pretty impressive piano solo from Paul Shaffer:

And all for this lousy movie. It just doesn't make sense, but there it is. Those are the only songs I saw by the way. Now I'm seriously thinking of going back and watching the rest of this train wreck, just for the music.

Also, it all reminded me, if you've never been to Jazz Fest in New Orleans, you are missing what is surely the best music festival in the nation, hands down. Go. Just, go.

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