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The Haunted Song

Dan Akroyd is an interesting fella. A good guy. The creator of the Bass-o-Matic… (Yes, you too can get the full flavor of a fresh bass direct from a glass with the amazing Bass-o-Matic) and he comes with an enormous number of alter egos. Dr. Detroit, Valdar Conehead, Elwood Blues. Leave it to the latter to tell me about the "Haunted Song".

Brother Elwood and Dan, (and I say this because they really are different personalities inhabiting the same body) were on the radio with me a few weeks ago as the House of Blues San Diego opened.

Dan went through the PR stuff about his latest living homage to America’s biggest export to the world. Dan’s love of the blues is genuine. San Diego’s House of Blues is a work of retro art. It’s got the feel and the deal. Let me tell you this: I hope they stay around for a long time and that San Diego supports them. They have the marquis factor to lend credibility and respectability to a lot of up and coming bands. Dan was a gentleman, but when it was time to talk music, that was time to summon up Elwood.

There is this one segment of my morning show on KPRI where I ask musical guests five questions that give us a feel for what makes them tick. I call it "Inside the Rockers Studio".

One of those questions is "Imagine that it's the middle of the night and you are alone in a diner in the middle of nowhere and there is a jukebox in the corner, and you have a magic quarter so no matter what songs are on the jukebox, any song you want will play. What song would you want to hear?"

Elwood paused for a minute and said, "Well there’s no doubt about it. I’d want to hear "Shake" by Otis Redding.”

I asked why he’d never recorded that song with the Blues Brothers. "Now, I wanted to record that song once," said Elwood Blues, but Steve Cropper who used to play with Otis said that song was haunted. Everyone who records it dies. Sam Cooke recorded it. He died. Then Otis recorded it. He died. It’s a haunted song. Cropper said don’t record it. But man what a great song."

Then Elwood asked me if I wanted to talk to the "fat bastard Akroyd" again and I got the impression that the two of them do not really get along well. This was confirmed seconds later when Akroyd apologized for Elwood and revealed how Elwood eats all Akroyd’s food and steals gas out of his cars. So we wrapped up the conversation with the promise to hook up in the future.

And just a little word of warning to you cats who do listen to music. Don’t record

"Shake". Play it live, but never lay it down in a studio. You might say it has a bad "track" record.