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George Thorogood at the Mann: Still bad to the bone

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By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER, Times Music Columnist
08/14/2008

It's so easy, bordering on lazy, to play the "Bad to the Bone" angle when doing an article about George Thorogood. Sure, it was a big hit, and to this day is even bigger as part of the pop culture lexicon, appearing on shirts, license plates and as tattoos for guys usually named Bud or Spike.

But there was a moment of confusion when Thorogood confessed to Rock Music Menu from the outset that he was doing "Baaad" this week.

Bad meaning good or bad meaning bad?

"No! It's an expression, 'Bad to the Bone,' I'm doin' bad!" Thorogood howled. "You get it? It's kind of like a moniker, like a thing you do."

Lesson learned. And if anyone is still allowed to reference "Bad to the Bone," it's the man who coined it, or at least is responsible for the enduring popularity of the phrase.

More than three decades in, the Delaware native and his Destroyers are still tearing up the road, hitting the Mann Music Center tonight with Chicago blues master Buddy Guy. "Buddy is such an incredible entertainer and performer. I have to really pick it up a notch, raise the bar a little bit," Thorogood said. "Playing with Buddy Guy is like a combination of B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix put together. Following that every night, you have to give the people something really special, because that's what they came to see: two dynamite live acts."

Guy is one of the few remaining blues legends, with the likes of Robert Lockwood Jr. and Henry Townsend passing in 2006. Hitting closer to home was the June death of Bo Diddley, whose song "Who Do You Love?" Thorogood covered.

He later featured the guitarist in the video for "Bad to the Bone," which lifted its signature riff in part from the Diddley composed "I'm a Man."

"I like all those effects he used when he started," Thorogood said. "He was pretty much ahead of his time, the way Jimi Hendrix blew everybody's mind in 1967; Bo Diddley was doing that in 1953 with the reverb and the tremolo, and flipping all over the stage and playing the guitar between his legs and all that stuff."

"What really got to me when he passed away. ... I loved the guy; we were partners, we were pals and we got along well. Every time I'd see him, if I hadn't see him in awhile, I'd walk in and say, 'Hiya Bo,' and he'd lean back and give me a suspicious look with those big thick glasses and go, 'Are you crazy?!' That's how he greeted me all the time. He was like that -- a lot of laughs, a fun guy."

Thorogood, at 58, is done trying to carry that old-school blues torch, saying he has, "completed the course." "I did my share," he said. "Now I just go out there and play the fan favorites."

It's a shame, because there isn't really anyone left to carry the blues forward. Sure, guys like John Mayer, Jack White and Jonny Lang can play the riffs, but they don't have the musical pedigree.

"Maybe one or two of them have seen John Lee Hooker play because he didn't pass away until 2001, and he was active right up until his death," Thorogood said. "But a lot of the heavy dudes, Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor and Howlin' Wolf, if a kid is 22, you were 3 years old when they died!

It's not your fault, but we have firsthand experience. It's a limited experience, but firsthand experience nonetheless." "They can learn it off the record, but Jeff (Simon, Destroyers' drummer) and I actually played with Muddy Waters. We opened for him and for Howlin' Wolf and met him and saw him perform. We're the last band to do that, 'cause they all passed away right after we got to know them."

And while Thorogood might just be doing the fan favorites live, he's still got some rocking to put down on wax. The word has slipped that next year, he'll be putting out an album of all blues covers, duplicating the feat of his 30-year-old sophomore classic, "Move It On Over." "The world's not ready for my originals," Thorogood laughed. "Only in small doses."

That might be for the best, as rarely has someone been able to take either a blues classic or a an obscure old record and stamp it with bristling swagger and attitude like Lonesome George can.

"I think I grabbed the maybe one or two left that no one is aware of yet, or that didn't appear on an old Yardbirds record," he said. "There probably might be one or two you've heard before, then there will be some you never heard of, and some you'll probably never want to hear again."

One subject unlikely to be covered, literally, is the time-honored drinking song, which Thorogood has been noted as the master of, despite the fact that they make up only three numbers in his catalog.

"I kinda steer away from that," he said. "Unless the song is really good, but even then; I did 'I Drink Alone,' 'If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave),' 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,' which isn't really about drinking, it's about a guy who can't pay his rent."

"I've covered that subject. It was never a dominating idea in my repertoire to begin with; it just happened that way. People will say, 'I got this great song about a real bad guy in a bar,' and I go, 'I think the world has enough songs like that.'"

Thorogood goes back to his beginnings on cover album

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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - For his next album, blues-rocker George Thorogood plans a sequel of sorts to his 1978 gold-certified "Move It On Over."

"We're trying to get something like that but even better," says Thorogood, who plans to hit the studio in September or October, after wrapping his summer tour with Buddy Guy August 24. The album, which marks a return to Thorogood's first recording home, Rounder Records, should be out in 2009.

The singer/guitarist had recorded for Eagle Rock since 2003; his last album for the label, 2006's "The Hard Stuff," reached No. 2 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart.

Thorogood says that like "Move It On Over," the new album will feature all cover songs derived from his influences.

"I want to balance it between what I know best -- rock, country and blues," the rock veteran says. "That's what ("Move It On Over") was -- songs by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Brownie McGhee, Chuck Berry, Slim Harpo, Willie Dixon, we covered it all. I don't know anything about jazz or reggae or classical music, but (I do know) hardcore blues, that kind of thing, hardcore country, the real tough stuff like Waylon Jennings used to sing."

Thorogood isn't revealing titles yet, but he says that "we've got a few (songs) we're kicking around that might ring the bell." He doesn't plan to include any originals, primarily because the success of "Move It On Over" proved that an album of cover material could attract an audience.

"In the '70s, I had a lot of people come and say, 'You don't make it unless you write your own stuff,'" Thorogood recalls. "Wrong. You can make a good record of songs you like, as long as the songs are very good and you play them really good. 'Move It On Over' was a gold record without major distribution -- that ought to tell you something. Maybe we can make history happen again."

Thorogood continues rocking to his own beat

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10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, July 31, 2008

By VANESSA FRANKO
The Press-Enterprise

Throughout his career, blues rock guitarist George Thorogood has shared the stage with the likes of the J. Geils Band, ZZ Top, Steve Miller and even Coachella Valley Resident Eric Burdon.

"I only work with the best -- why else do it?" Thorogood said in a recent telephone interview.

His latest tour is no different, as Thorogood stops at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles tonight and at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella on Saturday with none other than Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Buddy Guy.

"Buddy Guy is the greatest," Thorogood said. "That guy, he's got both worlds covered. He could open for the Rolling Stones or to 100,000 people or pack the House of Blues for the rest of his life because not only does he play blues, but he's a vibrant entertainer."

Thorogood is a veteran in the live front as well, playing the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in February.

But Thorogood is selective about touring and only does about 80 shows per year.

"Other bands do 300 dates a year -- that would kill me. I couldn't make it to 90 or 100, I'd be dead," he said.

Thorogood, originally from Delaware, gained popular acclaim with his band the Destroyers in 1978, when his raucous, bluesy cover of Hank Williams' "Move It On Over" became a radio hit, shortly followed by Thorogood's version of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" and his biggest hit, 1982's "Bad to the Bone."

"We play better than we ever did," Thorogood said. "You do something for 30 years and eventually you're gonna get good at it. The venues keep improving and improving all the time so that keeps us very upbeat with what we do."

Thorogood is happy playing the hits for his fans.

"Nobody ever gets tired of having their work appreciated," he said.

He's got ballads, rockers, heartache songs and a fraction of drinking songs in his catalog. And the ones about suds and the hard stuff are some of his best-known work, such as "I Drink Alone" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer."

But don't expect any more liquor-themed songs from what Thorogood himself describes as, the "world's greatest bar band."

"I'm not going to write or record any more. We have enough. There's enough drinking songs in the world, I think," he said, breaking out into a laugh.

Despite touring and working with some of the greats, Thorogood still seems floored when his idols and heroes want to meet and talk with him.

A few years ago, he was performing at the Love Ride, where Peter Fonda was hosting and when he came off stage, Fonda introduced him to Steve Miller.

"I'm standing here with Captain America and Stevie 'Guitar' Miller. I'm going out of my mind," Thorogood said, recounting how one summer he played Steve Miller's album every day and hitchhiked into town to see Fonda in "Easy Rider" twice every day and hitchhiked back out of town, listening to Miller.

"And here I am, standing here and Steve's going 'Why don't we do a tour together?' and Peter Fonda's going 'Yeah, that's great. Can I go?' " as Thorogood stood there incredulous. "Are you kidding me?"

With his hits and working with some of the greatest musicians and guitarists of all time, Thorogood is just happy to be in the game.

"I'm just proud to be part of it in some small way. If I was on a baseball team I'd say, 'Just get me a uniform. I don't care where I play, where I bat in the lineup, just get me a on a team,' " he said.

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June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bo Diddley, the rock 'n' roll originator with the rectangular guitar whose signature beat influenced musicians from Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Springsteen, has died. He was 79.

Diddley died at his home in Archer, Florida, early today, according to his publicist, Susan Clary. The cause was heart failure. In May 2007, he suffered a stroke during a performance in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

He scored only a few hits in more than 40 years of recording, yet Diddley's impact on the development of rock 'n' roll places him in a pantheon with Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The maracas-fueled sound he introduced in 1955 on the song ``Bo Diddley'' evolved into what Rolling Stone magazine called ``the most plagiarized rhythm of the 20th century.''

The beat -- bomp a-bomp a-bomp bomp bomp -- became the driving force on songs such as Holly's ``Not Fade Away'' (1957), which the Stones recorded and the Grateful Dead used in live shows for years; Johnny Otis's ``Willie and the Hand Jive'' (1958); the Strangeloves' ``I Want Candy''(1965); The Who's ``Magic Bus'' (1968); the Stooges' ``1969'' (1969), Springsteen's ``She's the One'' (1975); and U2's ``Desire'' (1988).

The Stones' version of ``Not Fade Away'' in 1964 became their first top-10 hit in the U.K. and first U.S. release. In its early days, the band often opened its shows with the number.

``We did it with a Bo Diddley beat, which at the time was very avant garde for a white band to be playing Bo Diddley's stuff,'' said Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. ``It was a very popular rhythm for us in clubs.''

Guitar Sound

The distorted tremolo sound Diddley achieved on his guitar, which was souped up with electronic gadgets, expanded the instrument's range and influenced a generation of musicians such as Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds -- which made Diddley's ``I'm a Man'' one of its show-stoppers -- Keith Richards of the Stones, Jimi Hendrix and a legion of 1960s fuzz-tone garage rockers.

Diddley's ego was legendary. Who else but Bo Diddley would name his first recording after himself? His boasting and sexual bravado on songs like ``I'm a Man'' presaged American rap music by decades. Diddley, who spent years complaining that he had been overlooked by the public and the media, remained bitter about all the attention given to Elvis Presley.

``Elvis was not the first,'' Diddley told Neil Strauss of Rolling Stone magazine in 2005. ``I was the first son-of-a-gun out there. Me and Chuck Berry. And I'm very sick of the lie. You know, we're over that black-and-white crap, and that was all the reason Elvis got the appreciation that he did. I'm the dude that he copied, and I'm not even mentioned.''

Born in Mississippi

The man who would become Bo Diddley was born Ellas Otha Bates on Dec. 30, 1928, in McComb, Mississippi. His mother, who was about 15, asked her first cousin, Gussie McDaniel, to raise the child. Diddley never knew his father.

After Gussie McDaniel moved her family to Chicago during the Great Depression in 1935, she changed the child's last name to Bates McDaniel. Ellas McDaniel attended public school, where he learned how to box. At one point, he dreamed of becoming a prizefighter.

Like B.B. King and other great blues and rhythm-and-blues artists, Diddley's first exposure to music came from church, in this case the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side. He learned to play the violin and the trombone. At age 12, Diddley took up the guitar after hearing John Lee Hooker's 1949 rhythm-and-blues hit, ``Boogie Chillen.''

``Diddley claimed that playing the violin influenced his muted-string, choke-neck style of rhythm -- an early forerunner of funk that can be heard on songs like `Pretty Thing,''' the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame says in its official Bo Diddley biography.

Origin of Name

Diddley formed a band called the Hipsters, which played on street corners before landing a regular spot at a South Side juke joint called the 708 Club. He electrified his guitar using old radio parts and other gadgets, which created the famous vibrating tone. He gave bandmate Jerome Green maracas that he jerry-built from the floating rubber balls found inside toilets, and black- eyed peas. Diddley's thick black glasses completed the look.

The derivation of his stage name is the subject of debate. Some say it came from his days as a boxer; others say it's based on the one-string folk instrument called the diddley bow. Chess Records found that another Bo Diddley had been performing in Chicago in 1935. There are about a dozen versions of the story.

``I would love to know where the sucker came from,'' Diddley said in a 1995 interview, when asked about the name.

First Release

In 1955, Diddley signed with Checkers, a subsidiary of Chess, the label that featured Berry.

``Bo Diddley and I were signed to Chess records at the same time,'' Berry said today in a statement. ``He was a great artist and will be missed.''

Diddley's debut single was the two-sided ``Bo Diddley'' backed with ``I'm a Man.'' The A side featured the nursery school rhyme-like verse ``Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, have you heard?'' while the B side had Diddley boasting ``All you pretty women, stand in line, I can make love to you baby, in an hour's time.''

The beat used on the A side, now known as the Bo Diddley beat, has been traced to West African drumming, the rhumba, the novelty rhythm ``shave and haircut -- two bits'' and a 1950s body-slapping street craze among black teenagers called the hambone.

The record, which topped the R&B charts for two weeks, is cited as one of the cornerstones of rock music and one of the most influential two-sided singles ever. A string of groundbreaking songs that combined rhythm-and-blues and rock 'n' roll followed, including ``Road Runner;'' ``Pretty Thing;'' ``Mona,'' also covered by the Stones; ``Who Do You Love?'' and ``You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover.''

TV Appearance

His appearance on the Ed Sullivan's ``Toast of the Town'' on CBS in 1955 is now regarded as one of the first rock 'n' roll performances on television.

A novelty song, ``Say Man,'' which featured verbal sparring between Diddley and Green, became a crossover hit in 1959.

In 1963, he toured the U.K., playing with the Stones, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers. A teenage Robert Plant, who would become the singer and co-songwriter for Led Zeppelin, attended one of the shows.

``Although the Stones were great, they were really crap compared with Diddley,'' Plant said in a 1990 interview with Q magazine. ``All his rhythms were so sexual, just oozing, even in a 20-minute spot.''

British Invasion

After the Beatles led the British invasion, Diddley's popularity waned, though he continued to tour relentlessly for the next four decades. In 1966, he released ``The Originator,'' an album where he staked his claim as one of rock 'n' roll's founding fathers. In 1967, after moving to California, Diddley made his debut at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, bringing his electrifying sound to the Summer of Love crowd.

Even though rock music changed, Diddley's influence never subsided. The Clash, the seminal British punk band, asked Diddley to open for the group on its first major U.S. tour in 1979. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer called Diddley his hero.

In 1982, Diddley was introduced to the MTV generation through the video of ``Bad to the Bone'' by George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Thorogood and Diddley play a game of pool while billiards legend Willie Mosconi looks on. In the end, Thorogood wins when he flicks his cigar ash, making the eight ball fall into the pocket. Three years later, the two artists appeared together at the Live Aid benefit concert in Philadelphia.

In 1987, Diddley was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame at the Cleveland museum's second annual ceremony. The members of ZZ Top were his presenters. Two years later he appeared in a Nike commercial, telling baseball and football star Bo Jackson, ``Bo, You Don't Know Diddley.''

Speaking Out

Diddley continued to speak out against what he called the exploitation of early rock 'n' rollers, including himself, by record companies, promoters and music publishers.

He was married four times, most recently in 1992 to Sylvia Paiz, according to the Internet Movie Database Web site. Three prior marriages ended in divorce. He also had four children.

He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in Los Angeles in 1996. The same year he released ``A Man Amongst Men,'' his first on a major label in years. It featured Richards and Ron Wood of the Stones. He also was honored with a lifetime Grammy Award.

``Age ain't nothing but a number,'' Diddley told the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 2006, when he was 77. He said that disc pain in back had forced him to play while seated. The stage strutting and karate kicks were no more. ``But, he said, ``I'm just as dangerous sitting down.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Schoifet in New York at mschoifet@bloomberg.net.

Thorogood simply bad to the bone

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By ANN MARIE McQUEEN - Sun Media

George Thorogood is thoroughly committed to being George Thorogood.

For example, when answering the simple question "How are you?" he has this response: "I'm bad."

I groan. But at the same time, what I really want to say is, "Bad to the Bone," Mr. Thorogood?"

I reckon he wouldn't mind. This is the sort of performer who perpetuates his reputation for a particular sort of mainstream mediocrity, the cleverly constructed kind. Who, when asked about his shrewd tendency to self-deprecation, says quickly, "Self-deprecation. Is that when you wet your pants?"

The 56-year-old Thorogood, who is set to play the Ottawa Bluesfest mainstage tonight, knows exactly what self-deprecating means.

A quote on his website bio sums it up: "My biggest thrill is when someone says I've got George's new CD and it sounds exactly like the last."

The blues-rock mainstay from Wilmington, Del., has clearly figured the game out to achieve a steady, reliable sort of success. Mostly that has happened by giving rock fans exactly what they want, something that was evident when he played the Bluesfest in 2004.

"The reason you guys bring me to Ottawa is 'cause you need a rock band," he said. "You need a rock band and we're one you can afford. You can't afford Tom Petty. You can't afford Bruce Springsteen."

Thorogood has ridden his waves of popularity out, first assembling his band The Destroyers, releasing his debut album in 1974 and peaking with hits and three gold records in the 1980s.

And unlike some of his peers, Thorogood isn't about to complain about the current paralytic state of the music industry.

"Things change all the time," he says. "You have to adapt to the changes that go on or you don't stay in the business."

One thing of the changes he's witnessed slowly, over a 30-year career, is the state of the crowds that come to see him.

"They're much more behaved now. The ticket prices change all that ... someone pays $2 to get in you're taking your chances. Somebody pays $50 to get in, they are going to be on their best behaviour."

Thorogood says not only are his original fans grandparents now, there are often kids in his crowd. That means these days, when it comes to being "bad," he has to have just the right balance.

"There are people who are nine, 10, 11 years old out there, and then there are grandparents out there," he said. "I have to keep my rough-and-rowdy image going, but at the same time, I can't be vulgar or anything and be crude.

"There's children here."

The soft side of rock's wisecracking rebel

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Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, July 06, 2007
If there's one thing about the music business George Thorogood would like to change, it's the expectation that an album/disc/record must contain a dozen or more tracks.

"That's a concept I'd love to change in the music industry," says the veteran singer-guitarist, who headlines Bluesfest's main stage tonight.

With his latest disc, Hard Stuff, he found it a challenge to gather enough obscure blues songs that he could rework to suit his down 'n' dirty, rock 'n' roll style.

"The Hard Stuff is not a bad record," Thorogood said during a recent phone interview, his demeanour alternating between disruptive wisecracks and surprisingly sensitive insight. "But there's nothing obscure anymore."

"I don't know if you've noticed but they have a thing called the Internet now, and you can get anything you want," he cracks.

"You can find out anything. That's why to find obscure material, like I used to base my career on, is a thing of the past.

"And I've been playing a certain way for so long that I really can't play anything different. When we did Ride Til I Die (his previous studio disc), the songs were falling out of the sky. Something was just going right for me then -- there was material that I'd never heard, material that I could play, material that I enjoyed playing, material I could introduce in live concerts. But the last one was tough, very, very tough to pull that thing together."

Thorogood established his career with a string of hard-edged, testosterone-dripping blues-rock anthems, including One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, Bad to the Bone and I Drink Alone. His bluesy bluster about drinking and leaving conjured a rebellious image that holds great appeal with many of my biker friends.

They might be surprised to hear that their swaggering hero went through a period of self-doubt, and that he makes no secret of the fact that he's a sensitive guy. As a boy, he liked poetry and would get emotional over spotting the first robin of spring.

"You know how sensitive I am," he says. "I think that's the key to being an artist, whatever type of artist you are. I'm a performing artist, that's what I do. There has to be a level of sensitivity here. I'm not a bricklayer, I'm not a policeman. Policemen can't afford to be sensitive."

Thorogood eventually found enough material to fill Hard Stuff, including a couple of his own songs, as well as covers of tunes by Fats Domino and John Lee Hooker. There's even a sweet, soulful take on Dylan's Drifter's Escape that proves the sensitivity theory. But the Holland K. Smith track, Rock Party, makes a fun, upbeat song for Thorogood, and earns my vote as the Bluesfest song of the day. Sample lyric: "Come on everybody, there's a rock party tonight, everybody's dancing, everybody feels alright."

That's what it's all about for Thorogood -- the live show. In these days of endless entertainment options, he wants those who attend his concert to feel they've made the right choice.

"These people are paying money," he says. "There's other things to do. You gotta be aware of that. Basically you want everybody to leave saying 'I'm really glad I did that tonight.'"

He's just as adamant about getting them home safely.

"I think the most important issue of the night is that everybody goes home safely. No injuries, no auto accidents, safety first."

So if you can't resist hoisting a cold one when George growls the words bourbon, scotch or beer, leave the car (or motorcycle) at home. There's no parking anyway.

George Thorogood plays the MBNA stage at 9:30 p.m. Tickets & times, www.ottawabluesfest.ca

Thorogood makes no bones about his signature song

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By WAYNE BLEDSOE, bledsoe@knews.com
April 13, 2007


It doesn't bother George Thorogood one bit that's known to most of the world by one song - "Bad to the Bone."
"One time a writer asked me how it felt to be a one-hit wonder," says Thorogood. "I told him, 'Well, it's better than being a NO-hit wonder!' "

Thorogood laughs, over the cell phone.

Of course, Thorogood was wowing crowds before "Bad to the Bone" became a hit in 1982, but the number became a signature song not only for Thorogood, but for the idea of a tough guy. It now makes regular appearances in movies and television shows.

"What makes it work is that it's a total fantasy," says Thorogood. "Remember James Bond or you see a Clint Eastwood movie? Everybody wants to be that guy. Women say, 'I want to be with that guy!' Even if it's just for an hour. Somebody gets on a motorcycle, and maybe they crash the motorcycle, but for maybe 45 minutes they thought they were that guy."

A native of Delaware, Thorogood and his band the Destroyers (at one time called the Delaware Destroyers) made a name for themselves in the 1970s as one of the hottest bar bands in the game.

Thorogood says he had a plan for success:

"I don't have the voice of Aretha Franklin or Dean Martin or Barbra Streisand. I'm not like Jeff Beck or Carlos Santana where I can just go out there and wow them for two hours with my guitar playing. When I started out, it was when Led Zeppelin was big. Well, nobody could sing like that guy. I had to just do what I can do."

He says his inspirations were John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley, because their music was simple and could communicate to a wide audience.

"Then you had the Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Canned Heat and all those guys going strong. I said, 'Well, here's something I can get a piece of before it's too late. I can get a little attention with this slide-guitar thing.'"

The group first made a dent in 1978, with a rocked-up cover of Hank Williams' "Move It on Over."

Thorogood says he wanted a sound that could fit into as many situations as possible.

Thorogood knew he had something special when he wrote "Bad to the Bone," but his first picks to perform the song were legends.

"I wanted Muddy Waters to do it, and he refused," says Thorogood. "Then I wanted Bo Diddley to do it, but he didn't have a recording contract."

That turned out to be lucky for Thorogood. His recording of "Bad to the Bone" was buoyed by a video that received regular airplay on the recently launched MTV.

While he's continued to make new recordings through the years, none have matched the sales of his early material. He finds no shame at all in that.

"Did Johnny Cash or does B.B. King or Eric Clapton need to make another record? For bookings, to play, do they need to make more records? No."

He points out a time when he was recording a new album and a promoter was insistent that Thorogood perform for a festival.

"My manager told him, 'He can't talk about it right now because he's in the studio making a new record.' You know what the guy said? He said, 'Why?'

"Seventy-five to 80 percent of the people who come to my concerts just want to hear stuff off the first two records. I should've just stopped right there!"

He is a little bothered that so many people associate his music with drinking songs.

"We've done 11 studio records, each album has around 10 songs, that's 110 to 115 songs altogether, and only three of those songs have to do with drinking, and only one was written by me," says Thorogood.

He does have goals - acting jobs might be part of that, despite, he says, a lack of "talent or ability."

"I'm in a new movie," he says. "It's directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Elmore Leonard, stars Robert De Niro and Jon Voight. I play a bad guy. It's called 'The Ballad of Lonesome George."

Really?

"No, but I can dream."

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thanks for the hat tip, DMF

By Steve Wildsmith
of The Daily Times Staff


For blues aficionados and casual music fans alike

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Blue-collar blues-rock is one way to sum up the music of George Thorogood and the Destroyers, who will be kicking off the fourth leg of their 2006 tour at Sandia Resort and Casino on Wednesday.

Thorogood and the Destroyers, who once played 50 shows in 50 states in 50 days, have built a reputation over a 30-year career as a band that works hard and plays hard.

This year's tour

George remains good at being bad

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By Deanna Dowlin, Journal Staff Writer

As one might expect, George Thorogood is definitely bad to the bone, just as his music proclaims. But what you might not expect is his softer side

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