Saturday, 20 July 2013

Searching for Aykroyd

When I started this whole project I wrote a wish list of people I would like to interview. Some had sadly already passed and some have passed over the last two years whilst I have been writing. There are some I have managed to interview, some who have politely declined and then there is Dan Aykroyd...

I still can't get to Aykroyd, I know that one day I will hear something even if it's just a no (a no is better than nothing).

I interviewed Ken Tipton who I will talk about later on in more detail. Ken met Candy on the set of  Planes Trains, when he was John Candy's stand in. Many years later he tracked John down and John became his mentor. In the process of getting to John he contacted Dawn Steel who said she would help Ken and she gave him her book - he was furious! He was expecting help not a book, then he read it. "They Can Kill You but They Can't Eat You". Ken recommended I read it, I did. It showed me the power of determination. If you can't get in the front door, go to the back door. If you can't get through the back door, go through the side door, can't get through the side door? then go through the window. So this has been the strategy for most of my research.

So when trying to get to Aykroyd I knew it was never going to be easy. I have interviewed Valri Bromfield (his old comedy partner), Dave Thomas who he worked closely with (including co-writing Spies Like Us) and Bruce McNall (Ex Owner of the LA Kings and ex Co-owner of Toronto Argonauts). Dave and Bruce said they would get word to him for me. I have written letters, Tweets, Facebook posts. Dan had even come over to the UK to promote his latest venture Crystal Head Vodka, I sent letters via the producer of the programme he was being interviewed on, a letter where he was doing a signing (my conscience would not allow me to take a sickie, I work for a chairty as the day job), nothing. Apparently he doesn't have email and I didn't think anyone was going to give me his mobile phone number.

I then started to think outside the box. Aykroyd is very spiritual he believes in telepathic transmission, so I thought it might be worth a try. I rallied some sceptical friends of mine to help and every night I would ask them to focus on Aykroyd and try and send him the message to contact me. Steve, El, Sarah and Bec thank you for humouring me. Steve even went that extra mile...


Well actually not nothing... he did Tweet about John Candy shortly after so maybe it had some effect!

Through my research I know that Aykroyd had given much of his time to the author Bob Woodward who wrote 'Wired', the John Belushi Biography. He gave hours of his time as did Belushi's wife Judy. When the book was published they were distraught and angry as their words had been twisted and taken out of context, painting the wrong picture. Once bitten, twice shy? More than likely, this was his good friend, can you imagine losing someone you love so dearly in such a tragic way? only then to have your memories of them skewed to suit the Author's purpose?

I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to talk to me about John Candy. I am a nobody... I think it is sweet that after all this time people are still cautious, they want to look after their friend. I might be a nobody but I am a good soul. I am writing this because I think it needs to be out there, people need to know more about John, they deserve to know more. I don't want to dig dirt and I'm certainly not writing it to make money. 

One day Aykroyd, one day...