No matter that he left everything on the stage at the Mississippi Blues Festival Saturday night in Davenport, Iowa, Curtis Salgado was up at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning to fly home. Portland and another great blues festival awaited. “I still haven’t slept,” he began our noon hour interview in his S.E. Portland apartment. “Maybe a couple of hours on the plane. I need a neck pillow.”
I had promised to take no more than 15 minutes of his time, but it was no use. After showing me his records – his and his dad’s – we sat down for a wide-ranging interview that lasted nearly an hour. All I had to say was, “John Belushi,” and he never slowed down.
Monday morning on PRP.FM, photographer Robert Parish and I will share Curtis’ stories of Eugene in the 1970s, his memories of Les Sarnoff, his view of Portland growing up, and word of an album – as yet unnamed – that he just recorded in Los Angeles.
For now, here’s an excerpt that brings us up to date on Curtis’ health, his thoughts on replacing Gregg Allman as the closing headliner for the 2014 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival – and his gratitude to Portland for raising funds that enabled his liver transplant in 2006. Also, how music must have “grease.”
If you missed it Monday morning, here’s more from our interview with Curtis Salgado. In this excerpt, he explains how – when he first met John Belushi, in Eugene, Oregon in the 1970s, he had no idea who Belushi was.
But, as you may know, Curtis and John Belushi went on to establish a life-long friendship. And, Curtis played a significant role in the development of Belushi’s “Blues Brothers” character. In fact “Briefcase Full of Blues,” the first Blues Brothers album Belushi and Dan Aykroyd released in 1978, was dedicated to Curtis. Here’s more on how their relationship developed.
During our trip down memory lane, Curtis and I recalled how he visited KINK on occasion – when Les Sarnoff and I co-hosted the Morning Show during the 1980s and ’90s. Les, who died in 2009 after a battle with cancer, promoted local artists, something Curtis never forgot:
Les would have loved to know that Curtis, all the 2014 artists, along with Blues Fest attendees helped the Oregon Food Bank raise over $1 million over four days to feed the hungry in Oregon.