"More Funny Stuff:  John's Birthday Party"
(from Music News & Notes - Daily News -1980)

John Belushi turned 31 on Jan. 24th, and he celebrated the next night at the L.A.'s Whisky a Go Go, sitting in on drums with Stiv Bators and the reformed Dead Boys for a thrashing rendition of the band's anthem, "Sonic Reducer."  Bators, for one, was impressed:  "He's a good drummer -- there's a lot of rolls in that song."

 Belushi was just warming up.  That Saturday, taking a break from filming the "Blues Brothers" movie, he invited a bunch of friends (Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Michael O'Donoghue, sax player Tom Scott, actress Penny Marshall and director Steven Spielberg, among others) up to his hilltop house to party out and jam on some instruments that he'd set up in his garage.

 "The funniest part of it was the security," Chase remarked.  "It consisted of strange-looking bearded guys who were mismanaging the parking of cars to the extent that no one could get in OR out.  I'm not trying to say there was a paranoid atmosphere, but, as far as you knew, these people might have had machetes, you know?"

 "I didn't stay to the bitter end -- and I'm sure it was bitter, too," O'Donoghue quipped.  "At the high point of the party, they stole a huge German staff car off some studio lot, covered the swastikas to get it out the gate and drove it up as a little surprise."  As a birthday gift (and a capsule critique of Belushi's last film), O'Donoghue made up a little black button inscribed JOHN BELUSHI 1949-1941.  "I presented it to him in a velvet jewelry case," he said, proudly.

-- Richard Sherwood