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Entertainment roundup: Remembering “Animal House”

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By BEN OLSON/for The Herald  —  As most long-time residents of the Upper Willamette valley probably know, the filming of the bar scene in the movie “Animal House” took place at the Dexter Lake Club. Back in the fall of 1977, director John Landis brought his crew there to film the toga-clad Delta Tau Chi fraternity and their dates, from Emily Dickinson College, dancing to Otis Day and the Knights.

Every time I’m there, I find it hard to believe that a 6-piece band and 40 reveling college students could fit in there for filming, even with all the chairs and tables gone. 

The two songs in the movie, “Shout” and “Shama Lama Ding Dong”, were sung by Lloyd G. Williams, and lip-synced by DeWayne Jesse, playing the part of Otis Day. A few years after the release of the film, Jessie purchased the rights to the name “Otis Day” and essentially became him, touring the country as the band that was in Animal House.

Blues guitarist Robert Cray, who began his musical career in Eugene, was the bass player in the film scene.

Dexter Lake Club events

The Dexter Lake Club now has open mic/ jam sessions every Sunday and Tuesday evening. If you’ve ever wanted to sing or play your guitar on the same stage where a famous movie was filmed, this is your chance. Brian Chevalier and friends play rock and roll on Sunday evenings and Brian and Craig Sorseth get bluesier and a bit more countrified on Tuesdays. 

The jams kick in sometime after 6 p.m. and run until everyone has had a chance to do a few songs. I’ll be there on Tuesday, May 17 and 24, at 5:00, playing my guitar until the band gets set up.

There is no cover charge for these events. The Dexter Lake Club has a full bar and a sandwich and dinner menu and is located just off Highway 58 at the Dexter exit. For more details call 541 581 3000.

Broken Horn and Olson entertain at the LMB

Twenty-some miles up Highway 58 in Oakridge, the Lion Mountain Bakery will be featuring Broken Horn on guitar and vocals this Sunday, May 22. Showtime runs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. I’ll be there playing my bass that same day from 9 until 10:30. The Lion Mountain offers a spacious, relaxed atmosphere and serves both a breakfast and lunch menu.

On Saturday, May 21 at 2:00, the Lion Mountain will be hosting a celebration of life for Jane Hilton, who was a lifelong resident of Oakridge. I knew her as a member of our ukulele group that met every week at the Lion Mountain. 

Eats at the Middle Fork Bistro now available on weekends

In old town Oakridge on 1st Street, things are getting livelier. The Middle Fork Bistro is open again on weekends and John at the 3 Legged Crane is starting to schedule more live music. I’ll be playing my guitar on the main stage this Thursday evening, May 19, from 7 until 9.

On Saturday night, May 21, the 3 Legged Crane features the return of the Midnight Darlins, showtime starting at 7. Of course, there is no cover charge for these events. The 3 Legged Crane has a fine selection of hand-crafted beers and a sandwich and appetizer menu.

If you know of any upcoming live music events in our readership area, please drop me a line. That’s what we’re here for- to support live music and the musicians who make it! That’s all for this week.

Ben Olson, musician and Oakridge Resident, with his standup bass Ben Olson photo

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