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Mike Haydon (Melbourne, Victoria Australia)

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Belushi: A Biography
Belushi: A Biography
by Tanner Colby
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a more loving and complete picture than "wired"., 23 July 2011
This review is from: Belushi: A Biography (Hardcover)
i heard about this book when i bought the other oral history biography overseen by tanner colby on chris farley. i loved that layout, hearing from all the people that were close to him and even some that weren't just for context and a complete image. i read wired first, as most would, and found it incredibly detailed and informative but i could tell that wasn't all there was too it. there also seemed to be too much embellishment which is unfortunately from the guy who wrote all the president's men. judy put out samurai widow and there's been a book or two since then in a somewhat roundabout way but nothing which reaches the level of greatness as this.

firstly, the format. while i love having the ability to read a book anywhere i want without difficulty (aka trade paperback) i don't think this book could have been done any other way. it's about as big as a 10" record sleeve and the binding is great. when i reached the middle sections when you have to break the spine a bit it all felt solid. real value for money in the construction here. the pages are glossy and full colour with most having one or more (amazing) photos. did i mention the photos throughout the book are amazing? the photos throughout the book are amazing. so many glimpses into john's life that we'd never have otherwise seen. the photos of the blues brothers performing in black and white with old blues musicians are candid and full to bursting with energy. it's rare for photos to have the ability to put you right where they were taken but that's the case here and it pulls you into his life even further.

the range of people interviewed is great. all his family (judy, his mother etc.), best friends (aykroyd etc.), all the business types (brillstein, glazer etc.), co-stars (bill murray, chris guest etc.) and even some other people along the way. the style in which they're laid out is prime. no one ever has a brutally long quote, the longest is smokey at the start of the "smokemaster general" chapter and it works in context. they're little bites, little grabs here and there from all sides of what's going on, fleshing things out. it's all lovingly spread out with the photos and sometimes a photo will have a relevant quote over the top of it. first class layout here. it doesn't aim to be as exhaustive as "wired" but i feel like you can use both books to fill in the blanks of each other in some cases. not in all as "wired" is obviously heavily intent on showing john as pure animal, which you can tell he wasn't by balancing it out with this book. i feel like the times when you see crossover - which happens more than you'd expect given how much "wired" was disowned - help you use both books the way they were written. "wired" as the very cold, bare bones "factual" document and this as the warmer, less thorough but more complete picture.

if it sounds like i'm gushing it's because i am. if you're a belushi fan, this is completely essential. in fact if you're a belushi fan and you don't have it yet then you're officially not a belushi fan anymore until you get it. the photos alone are worth the cost.


The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz
Price: £27.53

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars slimmed down packaging is the only change., 23 July 2011
This review is from: The Last Waltz (Audio CD)
this is for the more compact version of the rhino last waltz box set. it's about 2/3rd's the size of the original packaging, it's not textured anymore (just classy matte) and the booklet has been made slightly more compact. the music remains the same as it was: perfect. i think this was a bit of a glory project for robbie in some ways as a few of the "previously unreleased" selections aren't really worth having except for archival purposes. which is why most people will buy this actually. forget what i just said, let's thank robbie for these additional sketches and rehearsals. everything sounds tight, you can tell it's remixed and remastered from the original release in 1978. playing the vinyl versions of these songs then switching to these versions is like night and day in the best way.

if you like the band, you have no excuse. put your money down.


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