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John Belushi

Saturday video break: Groove Me

One of the great cover bands of our time, the Blues Brothers:

It’s been over 33 years since John Belushi died. Every now and then I wonder what kind of career he would have had if he had managed to tame his demons enough to survive them. He was amazingly talented, but he’d entered that “not quite sure what to do next” phase of his life, and who knows how that might have gone. What a terrible, tragic loss.

Here’s the original version of that song:

If you knew without looking it up that it was done by King Floyd, give yourself a pat on the back.

(Yeah, I know, I got out of order again. This is what happens when I do these that far in advance. Next week will be out of order too, so be prepared to cope.)

Saturday video break: With A Little Help From My Friends

Song #14 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “With A Little Help From My Friends”, originally by The Beatles and covered by Joe Cocker. Here’s the original:

One thing I’ve always liked about that song is that it’s right in my own vocal range. I used to be a low-end tenor, though my voice has gotten lower as I’ve gotten older. I can still sing this one along with Ringo, however, so if I ever stumble into a karaoke party, there’s at least one song I can do. Now here’s Cocker’s iconic cover:

Of course, he’s best known for his live performance of it at Woodstock:

And whether because of the sub-optimal acoustics, the, um, unique vocal stylings, or just the whole drug-fueled aesthetic of it, that recording has inspired numerous parodies, from John Belushi:

To random people on the Internet with too much time on their hands:

That’s funny – the Fred Flinstone image will stay with me for a long time – but man, Belushi was a genius. I guess it was inevitable that he’d die young, but what a tragedy it was. Look at the body of work Bill Murray and Dan Ayckroyd will leave behind, and wonder what could have been if he could have just reined in the self-destructiveness a bit. Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand, which version is your favorite?