Friday, June 16, 2006

I can't turn you loose, If I do I'm gonna lose my life

Update: For everyone coming here from Crooks & Liars, thanks. This post, however, is less about Otis Redding, and more about Curtis Salgado.

While researching for a blog post I was going to write, I came across this:
Curtis Salgado, the singer and bluesman who was the visual inspiration for John Belushi's Blues Brothers act, has liver cancer and has suspended concerts.

Salgado, who grew up here and lives in Portland, was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. The 52-year-old performer expects to begin radiation treatment in May and eventually hopes to have a liver transplant, said longtime manager Shane Tappendorf.

"We're just staying optimistic," Tappendorf said. "As we take each treatment, we'll know more."

Salgado was singing and playing harmonica for blues guitarist Robert Cray in 1977 when he met Belushi at the Eugene Hotel. Belushi was in town to film "Animal House."

In a 2005 article in Guitar Player magazine, Cray recalled the time.

"Curtis wore prescription Ray-Ban sunglasses, and he had a little growth of hair under his bottom lip," Cray said. "Right then, Belushi got the idea to start the Blues Brothers, basing his character on Curtis."

Salgado, who has been working in Nashville on new material for his fourth album, expects to be back on tour by early June, Tappendorf said.

"I am fortunate to be under the care of an incredible team of doctors and nurses, and I'm inspired by the courageous people who have faced this fight before me," Salgado said in a prepared statement.

Salgado was known until the late 1980s for partying hearty, but Tappendorf said Salgado has stayed away from drugs and alcohol for 17 years and is now known in the Portland area for speaking engagements to children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

On one level the Blues Brothers are pure unadulterated fun, but on another, they're what I refer to as "White People Trying Desperately To Be Funky." For folks who heard Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose" for the first time from John & Dan, that's fine. But the original is just funky as hell:

I really don't mean that as a criticism, as Dan & John were really into the music. Dan, especially, as he still has his House Of Blues radio show.

But as often is the case, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, hopefully folks will flatter Mr. Salgado with some love. Here's his web site:
Here's the latest press release from his site:

P.S. The research I was doing involved finding a picture of Belushi as Bluto in a toga, which I was going to use to lampoon Victor Davis Hanson taking sides with Socrates in his latest work of flatulence here. In which VDH believes in Law & Order. Not Law & Order with Jill Henessey wearing short skirts, but with actual, you know, law, and order. But maybe with Sam Waterston looking really butch in his leather motorcycle jacket. I'm just sayin'.