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Jim Belushi talks Gasparilla, pirattitude and his rock 'n' soul band, Sacred Hearts




When you interview Jim Belushi, you don't necessarily expect a mini-concert. But that's what we got when we spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for his role as grand marshal of this weekend's Gasparilla Pirate Fest.

Asked if he remembered any lyrics from The Pirates of Penzance, in which he played the Pirate King on Broadwa, he didn't hesitate.

"Oh, better far to live and die! Under the brave black flag I flyyyyy!" he bellowed. "For I am a Pirate Kiiiiiiiiiing!”

Well done, sir. It was a nice little preview of Belushi's concert Friday night at the Hard Rock Cafe with his band, the Sacred Hearts, a classic rock 'n’ roll outfit specializing in Chicago blues and Memphis soul. The show is 10 p.m. Friday inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino; tickets are $40. For details, call (866) 502-7529.

Click here for our full interview with Belushi, in which we touch on topics including (but not limited too) swordplay, pirates vs. ninjas, and whether he'd rather have a peg leg or a hook hand.

And after the jump, get a little extra snippet of our conversation, about the wild times that take place backstage at Blues Brothers and Sacred Hearts shows.

I would imagine that as a Blues Brother, you probably get asked to perform at some pretty wild parties.

No, they’re not wild. They’re fun. We mainly play casino and corporate events, and benefits, so as wild as that can get. The most wild ones we have, that are real fun, are when we open up a House of Blues.

Do you have a libation of choice when you hit the bar?

Well, I don’t drink beer anymore. It’s like drinking a sandwich in a bottle, and I just can’t keep the weight off. I’ll have a wine, and when I have a regular drink, I’ll have maybe ... um ... see, this is how I am at the bar, too. “What do you want?” “Um ... oh ... I dunno ... what kinda scotch you got?”

I’m exactly the same way. I feel like one should have a go-to drink, but I’ve never had one.

I had a go-to drink in my 20s — Jack Daniels. I was a bourbon and beer guy. I do have a Maker’s Mark that I’ve been enjoying once in a while. And scotch — I like the McClelland’s scotch.

Do you have a rider for the Sacred Hearts? Is there a drink the band likes backstage?

They like a bottle of wine, a six-pack of Guinness and one bottle of Skyy vodka. Mine is chicken on a salad, and Diet Cokes.

That’s not very rock ’n’ roll at all.

I know, I know. Most of us are a little older now.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:18am]


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