John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

Share this:

When Steve Cropper was first suggested as a possible member of the Blues Brothers band, John Belushi had trouble placing him — not because of his legendary playing style but because of Cropper’s distinctive look.

Seems Belushi had met Cropper, after a performance by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist as part of Levon Helm’s RCO All-Stars, but hadn’t recognized him. A stone-cold R&B legend, the shaggy-maned Cropper didn’t exactly look the part.

“He said, ‘The guy with the long hair? He’s not a guitar player; he’s a roadie,'” Cropper says of his old friend Belushi, in a talk with Bronson Herrmuth. Tom “Bones” Malone, who played with Belushi on Saturday Night Live and later with the Blues Brothers tried to set his old friend straight. “Tom says, ‘No man, that’s Steve Cropper from Stax and all that,'” Cropper adds, laughing. Belushi, having none of it, “said, ‘No man, that guy’s a roadie. I saw him at the after party.'”

It wasn’t until John Belushi later ran into Phil Walden, manager for Otis Redding, that he was finally convinced. “One night in New York in a limo or whatever,” Cropper adds, he said, ‘You know, you were Otis’s manager. Tell me about this Steve Cropper guy, what’s he look like?’ So, Phil described me and he said, ‘God, it really is him.'”

Belushi was finally convinced. Steve Cropper had to extricate himself from a project with fellow guitar great Robben Ford first, but an association with the Blues Brothers was born.

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close