by Carol Anne Szel — George Thorogood and the Destroyers brought kick ass to the juke box with hits like “Bad to the Bone,” One bourbon, one scotch, one beer, ” “Move It On Over,” and “Who Do You Love?” – bringing rebel rock anthems into the 1980s musical world.
Heading out on tour at the age of 60, George Thorogood is now taking his show on the road across the nation with a jam-packed summer of shows.
Bridging the generations with his timeless songs, I spoke to Thorogood and what transpired was refreshing, inspirational, and very very real!
How had your material stood the test of time?
George Thorogood: The truth of the matter is if the old stuff is so out of date well then how come that’s still on the radio? How come every day you hear ‘All Along The Watchtower’ written by Bob Dylan and played by Jimi Hendrix? You hear it every day because it’s great. And great knows no time limit.
You hear people say ‘well you’re biased because of the old days.’ And I know what’s good! I know when I’m eating shit and when I’m eating steak, you know? You think something’s gonna replace ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ ? It hasn’t yet. And that song’s just as relevant as when it came out then. It’s bigger, it’s bigger now. Good lasts.
How do you come up with new music?
GT: When we go into the studio and make these CDs, Albums, whatever you call them, I’m like an actor who searches for the right part for my chops. I don’t go beyond. Well people say Thorogood will never take a risk. I go right! I’m not going to embarrass myself. You don’t tell John Wayne to do Shakespeare. You don’t tell Woody Allen to do Westerns. So I look at material that’s right for me.
You have such an enthusiasm for what you do, does that carry over into your personal life?
GT: You are talking to a man who is at want for nothing. That is me. The world is my oyster. Every single day of my life is more fulfilled than the day before. Because I fill it with the only passions I have. My family and my music. There’s really nothing else for me. There’s nothing else I’d want to put my time and energy into. Life is short. What else can I ask for? So there you have it. I’m not the mystery man, you know? My heart is on my sleeve. And I’m not embarrassed by it, that’s who I am. I’m a joker with a guitar, that’s me.”
And what would account for your incredible longevity?
GT: Well it’s quite a shock to me. I’ll tell you three reasons why I got to where I’m at. “Bourbon and Scotch and Beer” “Bad To The Bone” and “Movin’ On Over.” That’s what made me. I didn’t make those songs famous, those song made me famous.
Your songs all touch our lives in one way or another, I think people really have a memory of hearing your songs and laughing – in a good way!
GT: Another thing about those songs. All of our songs are funny. People remember funny. They remember funny. Funny will never go out of style. Two things never go out of style. Funny and sexy.
Definitely! Everyone can relate to your songs.
GT: The one thing you can guarantee in the world for every human being who ever walked the face of this earth. Every single person in this life has experienced sadness. Very few have experienced joy. And that’s what I’m trying to do. It would be very easy to share my pain with people. But that’s not what I care to share. I want to share pleasure. Not every person lives a happy life, let’s face it. But why does comedy rule? Because people like to laugh, they want to be uplifted. Joy is the pursuit of happiness, it’s not something that’s a given. So when I put together a song I go ‘give them something they can chuckle to, give them something that will make them laugh.’ Because how short is life? If you can make them laugh and make them dance at the same time, then that’s it in a nutshell. That’s what to strive for.
George Thorogood & The Destroyers 2010 Summer Tour:
Sat 05/08/10 Tacoma, WA Emerald Queen Casino
Sun 05/09/10 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Mon 05/10/10 Bellingham, WA Mount Baker Theatre
Wed 05/12/10 Victoria, BC Save On Foods Memorial Centre
Thu 05/13/10 Coquitlam, BC Boulevard Casino
Fri 05/14/10 Coquitlam, BC Boulevard Casino
Sat 05/15/10 Kamloops, BC Interior Savings Centre
Sun 05/16/10 Vernon, BC Wesbild Centre
Tue 05/18/10 Calgary, AB Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Wed 05/19/10 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Thu 05/20/10 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place
Fri 05/21/10 Regina, SK Casino Regina Show Lounge
Sat 05/22/10 Winnipeg, MB Centennial Concert Hall
Mon 05/24/10 Thunder Bay, ON Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Wed 05/26/10 Kitchener, ON Centre In The Square
Thu 05/27/10 Windsor, ON Caesars Windsor “The Colosseum”
Fri 05/28/10 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
Sat 05/29/10 Ottawa, ON National Arts Centre
Sun 05/30/10 Kingston, ON K-Rock Centre
Tue 06/01/10 Quebec City, QC Theatre Capitole
Wed 06/02/10 Sherbrooke, QC Granada Theatre
Thu 07/22/10 Verona, NY Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Fri 07/23/10 Atlantic City, NJ House Of Blues
Sat 07/24/10 Readington, NJ Solberg Airport
Sun 07/25/10 Westhampton Beach, NY Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Appearing at “Seaside Summer Concert Series”
Thu 07/29/10 Brooklyn, NY Asser Levy Park @ Coney Island
Appearing at “Newport Sunset Music Festival”
Fri 07/30/10 Newport, RI Newport Yachting Center
Sat 07/31/10 Hogansburg, NY Akwesasne Concert Grounds
Tue 08/03/10 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Wed 08/04/10 Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent
Thu 08/05/10 Cohasset, MA South Shore Music Circus
Sat 08/07/10 Pittsburgh, PA PNC Park At North Shore
Tue 08/10/10 Vienna, VA Filene Center At Wolf Trap
Wed 08/11/10 Canandaigua, NY Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands PAC (CMAC)
Fri 08/13/10 Bay City, MI Downtown Bay City
Appearing at “Northern Ohio Rib Cook Off”
Sat 08/14/10 Maumee, OH Northern Ohio Rib Cook Off Festival Grounds
Sun 08/15/10 Grand Rapids, MI Frederik Meijer Gardens
Tue 08/17/10 Apple Valley, MN Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater
Wed 08/18/10 Milwaukee, WI Northern Lights Theater / Potawatomi Bingo Casino
Thu 08/19/10 Kansas City, MO The Crossroads
Fri 08/20/10 Dubuque, IA Mississippi Moon Bar
Sat 08/21/10 Chicago, IL House Of Blues