“We’re on a mission from God”
Those words will always sit iconically in my mind. The journey of Jake and Elwood is perhaps, one of the most important stories about the city of Chicago. It is a story of friendship. A story of brotherhood. A story of sticking it to the man and saving your home and the ones you love even if they have left you, no matter the cost. Most importantly though, it is a story that is about one gift of Chicago that helps hold it all together, the blues.
Every story needs a beginning and that is what brought me to the old Joliet Prison. Jake was imprisoned here after sticking up a store to pay his band for gigs they had been stiffed on by the venues. He served three years of a five year sentence and was put on parole and picked up by his brother Elwood. Elwood had sold the “Blues Mobile” and gotten an old cop car at an auction, which did not please Jake to be picked up in. Setting off with the nick name Joliet Jake, the two brothers started a journey that rivals that of Odysseus.
The prison itself is now shut down and abandoned, having been closed in 2002. There was not much going on in the area, but it is an interesting spot to stop and think about the past. Local kids use the lots as skate parks, and apparently tours have recently started but non were running when I arrived. This place will always have a spot in my heart.
Closest Supercharger Boilingbrook IL 23 mi
755 E Boughton Rd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Old Joliet Prison
1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432