Mike Heber, of the Rock Inland Public works department, laughs after he finishes bloting down the newly refurbished Blues Brothers statues in the District of Rock Island, Friday, May 2, 2014. The monthlong restoration of the life-size fiberglass statues was done by Navarro Camoe Rock Island. For behind the scenes video of the restoration process go to QCOnline.com/multimedia
"Let us let the blues ring out in this fine, fine concert hall and welcome, from Rock Island, Ill., the blues band of 'Joliet' Jake and Elwood Blues, the Blues Brothers." -- Elwood Blues
Cheers to plans to bring the Blues Brothers to television as a prime-time animated comedy series. We can only hope that Rock Island will gain notoriety again as the home of the Blues Brothers.
Bento Box Entertainment has announced the project, co-created by executive producers Dan Aykroyd, former "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts, and Judy Belushi, widow of Blues Brothers co-founder John Belushi.
The series will be based on the musical act formed in 1978 by then-"SNL" cast members Aykroyd and Belushi, which led to a hit record album, live appearances and the classic 1980 film, "The Blues Brothers," as well as the House of Blues chain.
The production company says its new series will chronicle the music, mayhem and comedy adventures of Jake and Elwood Blues, along with characters within their Chicago blues band. The project is being shopped to television outlets in May.
The story line behind the original movie tells us the brothers grew up in a Rock Island orphanage, described as a sweaty kid factory with black windows. Jake (Belushi) and his younger brother, Elwood (Aykroyd), were saved by the blues. The nuns at the orphanage filled their days with holy threats and at night a gray-haired janitor named Curtis taught them the blues in the basement. It was Curtis, with his black shades, narrow black tie and pork pie hat pushed back on his head, who provided the Blues Brothers persona.
"It's 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses,'' became one of the most repeated lines from the film.
In the sequel, Elwood Blues is out of jail again and finds himself on another mission from God. Jake is dead, but long-lost half-brother, Cabel, is a by-the-book police officer. Also joining the act is Mighty Max Blues, played by John Goodman.
Elwood returns to Rock Island to visit his former teacher, Sister Mary Stigmata. The orphanage has been torn down and Curtis is dead. The sister is now a hospital administrator. Elwood promises to help her raise funds for a children's hospital wing and also serve as a mentor to an 11-year-old orphan named Buster.
If you don't believe Rock Island is home to the Blues Brothers, check out the statue in The District.