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Dan Aykroyd has enjoyed a three decades long career in the entertainment business starting as a writer and performer on his local cable access station in 1970. He originated the show with his then partner Valri Bromfield. The program was fifteen minutes long and titled "Change For A Quarter."
Dan was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on July 1, 1952 (Canada Day) to parents of mixed heritage - a French Canadian Catholic mother and an English Canadian Anglican father. Both worked as public servants for the Canadian Federal Government. His maternal grandfather was a career Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sergeant. This stimulated in Dan a life long interest in law enforcement. He majored in sociology studying criminology and deviant psychology at Carleton University for four years. Writing papers on outlaw motorcycle gangs and Michigan Cosa Nostra families he also held a summer position as a Clerk 5 with the Canadian Penitentiary Service in the Solicitor-General's office. There Dan composed a standard manual for the deployment of correctional personnel in emergency situations. He also had jobs with the Canadian Department of Transport as an airport runway load-tester and at the Department of Public Works as a highway surveyor and flex-track/ATV assistant mechanic in the sub-Arctic.
Leaving University without a degree Dan moved full time to Toronto in 1972 to work for Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters Director) and Moses Znaimer at the ground breaking City-TV. In the summer of 1970 he had first performed on CBC network television as a writer/actor for producer Lorne Michaels in the Great Canadian Humour Test TV Special. Lorne was also the host and did a stand-up routine with a partner in his own network show.
Dan was awarded a Doctorate in Literature (Honoris Causa) from Carleton University in 1997 for recognition of his Saturday Night Live writing and for the nine produced screenplays on which he shares co-writing credits - LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT, BLUES BROTHERS, SPIES LIKE US, DRAGNET, GHOSTBUSTERS, GHOSTBUSTERS II, CONEHEADS, NOTHING BUT TROUBLE (VALKENVANIA), BLUES BROTHERS II. He also contributed uncredited material to the films NEIGHBORS and THE GREAT OUTDOORS. He was awarded an Emmy for his writing on the Saturday Night Live show starring Sissy Spacek.
Dan Aykroyd is also a Grammy and an Oscar nominee. The Grammy nomination was for Best New Artist 1979 for the triple platinum selling BRIEFCASE FULL OF BLUES record album which he recorded with his then partner John Belushi. The Oscar nomination was for his performance as Best Supporting Actor in the Best Picture of 1989 - Driving Miss Daisy. In total the films with which Mr. Aykroyd has had principal associations have grossed close to one billion dollars worldwide box office.
In his persona as Elwood Blues he performs on seven CDs - BRIEFCASE FULL OF BLUES, BLUES BROTHERS MOVIE SOUNDTRACK, MADE IN AMERICA, BEST OF THE BLUES BROTHERS, DANCING WITH THE BLUES BROTHERS, BLUES BROTHERS - LIVE FROM CHICAGO, RHINO ESSENTIAL -THE BLUES BROTHERS, with approximately five million units having been sold.
Dan was invested with the Order of Canada, being made a member of the Order in 1999 wherein he received a Vice-Regal decoration from the Governor General of Canada given to prominent Canadians who "desire to make a better country."
Until late 2002 Dan Aykroyd was a sworn Captain in the Reserve at the Department of Police in the City of Harahan, State of Louisiana. He served in an advisory capacity with the Reserve for four years and received a citation for youth anti-crime education.
During Dan's transition job from University to full-time professional entertainment in the early 70's he worked as a contract motor courier to the Royal Mail Service of Canada. He joined the pioneering Canadian Union of Postal Workers as an active member in 1969. He is a member of the Association of Canadian Television Radio Artists, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America and is a subscribing benefactor to the American Society for Psychical Research and the Mutual U.F.O. Network.
Dan Aykroyd has appeared as a co-lead in at least thirty feature release motion pictures with brief appearances in thirty more.
In 1983 he co-ventured as an investor with the co-founder of Hard Rock Cafe International, Mr. Isaac Tigrett to open U.S. outlets of the famous British American establishment in New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. It was at the New York's Hard Rock Cafe Inaugural Concert that Dan reconvened the original Blues Brothers band for the first time since the death of his partner John Belushi aka Jake Blues.
Performing thereafter in the Elwood Blues Revue Mr. Aykroyd opened the Supreme Court of Rock n' Roll Hard Rock in Dallas Texas in 1985. Mr. Tigrett sold the Hard Rock Cafe International Company to British entrepreneur Robert Earl in 1989.
Dan then recruited Jim Belushi to perform as Jake's blood brother Zee (Zurashayda) for a benefit concert underwriting Carleton University's Alumni fund in 1997 in the Opera Chamber at the National Arts Center in Ottawa Ontario Canada.
Mr. Aykroyd and Mr. Belushi have since performed as Elwood and Zee Blues for audiences at private and corporate events as well as for sold out audiences in casinos around the U.S.. They have also performed opening for the House of Blues venues in America.
The House of Blues Entertainment Inc. was founded in 1993 by Mr. Isaac Tigrett, Mr. Aykroyd and Mr. Laurence Bilzerian.
There are House of Blues concert hall/ restaurant/ retail stores in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Orlando at Disney West Florida; Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resorts in Nevada; Anaheim at Disneyland, California. In 2000 House of Blues Entertainment Inc. acquired the Concerts Division of Universal Studios and currently operates twenty-five venues in North America making it the third largest purveyor of live entertainment on the continent. As Elwood Blues, Dan hosts the 10 year running House of Blues Radio Hour which is syndicated on 180 radio stations through the United Stations Radio Networks.
After numerous live musical performances with both the original Blues Brothers Band and with the house band for House of Blues, the Sacred Hearts; Aykroyd and Belushi have decided to employ the talents of their current band in an entirely different way.
About two years ago they began an active search for material outside of what they were performing from the traditional Blues Brothers CD repertoire.
The result is their new 'HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL REVUE' in which Aykroyd and Belushi work as co-emcees, vocalists and dancers. "The songs and our band are the stars. We are there in service to these classic American songs" says Aykroyd.
"Whereas the Blues Brothers sound is a Chicago-Memphis fusion, Have Love Will Travel has Cali-Texas-Louisiana infusion" adds Belushi. "Most of the band is from Texas and the music we're doing now is different from what John and Danny were doing as Jake and Elwood."
The HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL REVUE debuted at the House of Blues- Mandalay Bay Resorts in Las Vegas Nevada on March 20 for a private corporate event. "The reaction to the new music was extremely positive. It's a collection of songs we loved as kids" says Aykroyd. Belushi notes: "I think this country is ready for some new interpretations of joyous, funny, positive, up-tempo dance and party music. "
Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd can be seen performing their HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL REVUE at select famous venues this summer. Mr. Belushi will be adopting the persona of Full Daddy Diamond and Mr. Aykroyd, Bad Daddy Sweet or The World Famous Dancing Refrigerators: Amana Avocado and Amana Plum respectively.
The HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL Revue featuring Full Daddy Diamond and Bad Daddy Sweet, the world famous Dancing Refrigerators and starring the master show band of Jimmie Wood, Glenn Clark, Tony Braunagel, Larry Lee Lerma, JJ Holiday, Johnny Lee Schell, John Rubano, Julie Delgado and the Texicali Horns Joe Sublett and Darrell Leonard will be touring the United States and Canada during the summer of 2003 in support of their new CD - HAVE LOVE WILL TRAVEL, BIG MEN - BIG MUSIC.
Dan Aykroyd can be next seen in the upcoming Stephen Fry directed adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's book VILE BODIES - "BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS" in which he plays Lord Monomark a 1930's press baron; in the Dave Thomas directed comedy "WHITECOATS" in which he plays Dr. Cyril Kipp a hospital administrator; and in the Pete Segal directed Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore produced comedy "50 FIRST KISSES" in which he plays Ms. Barrymore's neurologist.
Dan has been married since 1983 to his first and only wife Donna Dixon of Alexandria, Virginia. Any other biographical information on this point is fictitious. They have three children and reside primarily in North America.
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