From the Desk of Dan Ellis: Dan Aykroyd was invited to be grand marshal of the Dan Ellis Jazz Funeral because of his love of New Orleans, jazz and blues, and his interest in metaphysical issues. What primed Ellis to make the contact resulted from purchasing a small bottle of Crystalhead Vodka, which the internet informed him was made by Aykroyd's own company.
After a few emails, Aykroyd -- having pondered the Jazz Funeral idea -- found he had already committed to a European trip. In lieu of his presence here, Aykroyd sent a large 1.75 liter of Crystalhead, which comes in an actual crystal skull bottle and retails for $110.
The box had remained unopened until Ellis's funeral kick-off orientation party for his pallbearers, greeters and other funeral celebrants. Faced with the necessity of making a toast, Ellis finally opened the special package, only to find that Aykroyd had personally signed the bottle with a printed note -- "This is My Funeral, 2012."
The New Orleans style Jazz Funeral will begin with a Wake at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21 and proceed to the Pied Piper at 5:15 p.m. to have memorials and then the New Delhi for an interesting Viking Funeral at 6:30 p.m. and a Reception and Reincarnation at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant at 8 p.m.