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Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times Of John Belushi

Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times Of John Belushi


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John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose March 5, 1982, in a seedy hotel bungalow off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Belushi's death was the beginning of a trail that led "Washington Post" reporter Bob Woodward on an investigation that examines the dark side of American show business---TV, Rock and roll, and the movie industry. From on-the-record interviews with 217 people, including Belushi's widow, his former partner Dan Aykroyd, Belushi's movie directors including Jack Nicholson and Steven Spielberg, actors Chevy Chase, Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher, the movie executives, the agents. Belushi's drug dealers, and those who live in the show business underground, the author has written a close portrait of a great American comic talent, and of his struggle to succeed and to survive that ended in tragedy.

Using diaries, accountants' records, phone bills, travel records, medical records and interviews with firsthand witnesses, Woodward has followed Belushi's life from childhood in a small town outside Chicago (Wheaton, Illinois---also Woodward's hometown) to his meteoric career that started at the famous Chicago comedy troupe Second City, proceeded to new York's National Lampoon organization, then went on to the wildly popular NBC television's "Saturday Night Live", the greatly successful movie Animal House, a #1 Blues Brothers hit album, more films and then plans for films that this gifted actor did not live to make.

WIRED is also the story of the battle and debate among Belushi's friends, family, and the directors, producers, writers and stars about how to save him from drugs and harness his singular and explosive personality and talent. Why did they fail?

In a stark, documentary narrative---similar to the #1 best sellers on Watergate (ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, THE FINAL DAYS) and THE UNITED STATE SUPREME COURT (THE BRETHREN)---the spotlight now falls not on Washington but Belushi's cities---Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Belushi's life and his colleagues are scrutinized. The drug use was not secret. Nearly everyone knew that the young actor was heading over the edge. Here, in WIRED, it is made clear who no one was able to stop him; whey couldn't stop himself, and how the fast tracks in New York and Hollywood and the pressures of the star system contributed to disaster.

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