Robert Cray on Appearing in ‘Animal House’


From Rolling Stone:

When you were in Animal House, did you think that was your big break?
No. That was filmed, I think, in ’76 or ’77. I was living in Eugene, Oregon, and some lady asked me if I wanted to be in a film. It was after a gig was over at this club, and I sarcastically said, “Yeah, right.” And she took my information and a couple months down the line, she called me. Nobody knew what it was. We weren’t told the working title of the film.

It was cool being on a movie set and stuff, and seeing a lot of locals in the area being picked up to be extras as well. And I’m going to go into this story: We had the Cray Band, and there was a local group called the Nighthawks with Curtis Salgado, a singer-harmonica player. We had a splinter group, and we called it the Cray-Hawks. And on Monday nights, we would play at the Eugene Hotel. Curtis was the harmonica player-singer who wore Ray-Bans.

One night John Belushi came in, and people were saying to Curtis, “John Belushi’s in the audience.” And Curtis is going, “Who’s John Belushi?” Because we always worked on Saturday nights. So eventually, Belushi came on and did his Joe Cocker impersonation. He sat in with the band.

You hadn’t ever heard that before?

What’d you think?
I thought it was kind of stupid. But he was a nice guy.