Bad to his funny bone

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ELKHART -- Trying to get a straight answer from George Thorogood is like trying to get a firm hold on a slippery slope -- it just ain't gonna happen.

And the chief of The Destroyers is the first one to admit it ... with great delight.

Heading to the Elco Theatre for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, he squeezed in a brief phone interview from somewhere out of town.

"Interviews," Thorogood pronounced (he does a lot of pronouncing), "are all the same.'

"Being funny adds a little flavor," he continued. "In interviews, rock stars always say 'I wrote it when in a deep depression or when my dog died.' No one wants to hear about that, so I do what I do.

"I make it fun."

And, in spite of every frustrating, off-the-wall response, it was.

Thorogood came "from a small Eastern state" (correctly identified as Delaware). He also is a history buff, the source of an amazing amount of trivia and a purveyor of long tall tales that seem plausible until, almost at the punch line, it becomes obvious that it is anything but.

It's probably true, however, that he ran away from home in the summer of '68 "with dreams of being a rock star."

"From day one I never had any doubt about doing it," he said. "It was not a hobby with me. Since age 15, I was going as far as my talent would take me."

It took him initially to Philadelphia, where he drifted away from rock because "when I started, it was not such a far-fetched idea ... to be a star. It gave me hope. Then bands like The Who and The Doors came along and they were the greatest and other bands started to fall by the wayside."

Listening to the blues "rekindled my ambition," he said. "I figured I could probably make a living as a bar band. It was better than digging ditches."

He credits that attitude with things starting to open up and adds, "I learned to play guitar at 21." True? Not true? Who knows?

Thorogood also said he wanted to be a standup comic.

"I do a lot of that," he said, declaring as proof "we're the funniest band there is. I'm not Neil Young or Tom Petty. That's just not me. Steve Miller's not 'The Joker.' I am."

Categorizing himself and his band as "the Three Stooges with guitars," he said, "the lyrics are pretty much intentionally funny," and protested (very emphatically) a suggestion that most of his "110 songs" reference drinking.

Checking over his song list, however, seemed to substantiate this suggestion. No matter.

Not surprising when he admitted, "My ideas for songs come from everywhere. If I see a beautiful woman, I write a song about a beautiful woman. If I see a train wreck, I write about a train wreck. If I see ..." You get the picture.

Best known for his list of 1980s hits, Thorogood is anticipating the release of his new CD, "The Hard Stuff," which will be out in May.

Meanwhile, he still pleases audiences with hits compiled during more than 30 years in the business ... and serves as his own best public relations person.

"We're very good," he said. "People love us a lot ... especially women."

Yep. "Bad to the Bone."

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This page contains a single entry by fountainhead published on March 23, 2006 1:11 PM.

Interview @ enigmaonline was the previous entry in this blog.

Thorogood found right job on his own is the next entry in this blog.

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