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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 honours Bo Diddley's legacy

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Legend shaped rock and roll, rocker says
June 05, 2008 05:00

Knowing his friend was in ailing health, George Thorogood had been thinking about Bo Diddley’s death for some time.

“He was bedridden, right. You are never prepared but you know it is going to happen,” said Thorogood. “I just didn’t think that the state of his body could handle a stroke and a heart attack and be able to bounce back.”

Diddley, a rock ’n’ roll pioneer and guitar-playing inspiration, died of heart failure on Monday at the age of 79. He had been in ill health for a number of months.

“I guess I was as close to him as any person could be,” said Thorogood, who covered Diddley’s song Who Do I Love, and had the legend appear in his Bad To The Bone music video.

“We had a great relationship, let’s put it that way,” added Thorogood on a break from his current Canadian tour with The Destroyers. “We always lead with a Chuck Berry-type song to get the band loose, and we follow with a Bo Diddley song.”

Thorogood said he starts his shows this way because both artists pretty much created rock and roll with their blues backgrounds.

“As great as some lead singers are, and drums and saxes, guitars will always be the number one dude when it comes to rock and roll,” he said.

It is essential to listen to both men, added the musician, if you want to get a grasp on rock and roll and what the music is all about. They represent a lineage that stretches back to some of the best blues musicians of the last century — and continues into rock today.

“Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley got John Lennon and Keith Richards’ attention, who are the two highest profile rock musicians ever, right up there with Hendrix.”

If you don’t take the time to listen to the blues, you’ll never get a real understanding or appreciation of rock, he said.

“It is like an actor who never heard of Tennessee Williams,” he said. “Or a director who says, ‘I don’t know who Cecil B. DeMille is.’”

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According to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, the influence that Bo Diddley’s records have had is immeasurable, but that’s not the most amazing part of his legacy. “But how heavy is it that a person has a beat named after him?” he asks. Indeed, the “Bo Diddley Beat” has left an indelible mark on the rock landscape, and according to Gibbons it will be immortal. “You can play Bo Diddley for three year olds who can’t speak and yet they start gyrating,” he says. I think we must be wired to respond to it and he just happened to tap into it and deliver it in such a masterful way. And it still works.”

George Thorogood would agree, as one of his biggest hits was a cover of Diddley’s “Who Do You Love.” Thorogood also counted Diddley as a friend. “When I first met him he was kind of standoffish. Once we got going we had a very wonderful relationship,” Thorogood says. “He was very moved by the fact that I was so into his music and I seemed to have a grip on it. I did a concert with him in Australia in 2005, and he played before I did. As he was coming up he stairs I said goodbye to him, he hugged me and grabbed my hand and he whispered, ‘I’m done, George. It’s yours now.’”

Buddy Guy was never close to Diddley, but he was an admirer. “I say he was one of the best guys that ever played the music,” says Guy. “I’m a very religious man and I think we all was put here for a reason. And when Bo came along and came up with that beat he was at the right time at the right place. You gotta give credit where credit is due. He is one that should never be forgotten.”

George Thorogood speaks about Diddley's impact

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Guitarist remembers his friend and influence

Jun 3, 2008
Bo Diddley news, reviews, video and tour dates
Add Bo Diddley to MyNME
George Thorogood remembered Bo Diddley, his friend and influence who died of heart failure today (June 2).

The singer/guitarist, who covered Diddley's 'Who Do You Love' and name-checks him in one of his songs, told NME.COM that he was turned on to Diddley by The Rolling Stones.

“I first heard Bo Diddley in 1966," said Thorogood. "I knew The Rolling Stones were big on this guy and I got a copy of Bo Diddley’s '16 All-Time Greatest Hits' and flipped over it, and played it constantly."

Thorogood said that he still performs his cover of 'Who Do You Love', as well as 'Ride On Josephine', which was heavily influenced by the 'Bo Diddley beat'.

"I first met him in 1979, and as years went on we got closer and closer," he said. "It’s an honour to be associated with his great music. I just had ‘Hand Jive’ on last night. It goes, ’A doctor, a lawyer and an indian chief/They all dig that Diddley beat.’ That says it all.”

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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

George Thorogood Preparing For A New Album And Tour

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Posted by Mitch Michaels on 02.29.2008

Thorogood says he ain't stopping till he's run over or left for dead...

George Thorogood & The Destroywers are hitting the road for a four week US tour that will bring them to Hard Rock Café in Orlando, FL on March 18th.

2008 is shaping up to be a busy year for the brash, iconic and outspoken George Thorogood, with plans for a new album and non-stop touring.

"We're hitting the ground running and not going to stop until we're run over or left for dead," laughs Thorogood. "Remember, rock and roll doesn't sleep, it just passes out."

In 2007, the rocker and his band did over 70 shows in the U.S. including headlining concerts, a dozen dates with Bryan Adams, key performances at prestigious gigs like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Memphis' Beale Street Festival, Red Rocks in Colorado with Buddy Guy and Montreal's International Jazz Festival, plus a tour of Europe. He was also inducted into Guitar Center's "Rock Walk" by KLOS radio's Jim Ladd. "It was a good year," says Lonesome George. "What's next?"

Thorogood's last studio set was 2006's The Hard Stuff Last year was the 25th anniversary of his landmark album, Bad To The Bone.



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By M&C News Aug 1, 2007, 13:17 GMT

In 1982, George Thorogood and The Destroyers first hit the rock charts with their major label debut,

Ex-Destroyers member sues over royalties


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By SEAN O'SULLIVAN, The News Journal
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2007

WILMINGTON -- A former member of George Thorogood's band, the Delaware Destroyers, claims he is not getting his fair share of royalties in a federal suit.

He also says the band's refusal to release him from a 2002 recording contract has prevented him from earning a living as a musician.

The suit, filed by Delaware resident Henry G. "Hurricane" Carter, is similar to a lawsuit he filed, and subsequently dropped, last year in federal court.

Carter's attorneys refused to comment and Thorogood and his representatives could not be located for comment. Thorogood is a Wilmington native and a Brandywine High School graduate.

The lawsuit says Carter joined the band, which later dropped "Delaware" from its name, in 1979 and played saxophone, keyboards, guitar, trumpet, mandolin and was "involuntarily released" in 2003 for unspecified reasons.

"The fortunes of the band changed dramatically during Carter's tenure and the band enjoyed significant commercial success," according to the lawsuit.

One of the band's biggest hits, "Bad to the Bone," was released in 1982 and featured in the 1991 film "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

The lawsuit said despite Carter's departure, he was "entitled to be compensated for the good will he helped create for the band during his two-decade tenure."

This apparently includes revenue from albums recorded since his departure and tours that have taken place without him.

Carter alleges that since his departure, his 20 percent share of the royalties of record sales has been subjected to an unexplained "17 percent management fee."

The suit also alleges that he only received "11/16ths of his agreed 20 percent"of the royalties on a recent greatest-hits album, where his work appears on 11 of 16 tracks "and was charged again for phantom 'management fees.' "

The lawsuit charges breach of contract and demands an accurate accounting of royalty payments and restoration of his full royalties from recording, touring and merchandising revenues.

A March announcement indicated that Carter recently joined the certified public accounting firm of Belfint, Lyons & Shuman P.A. in Wilmington as a staff accountant in the small-business department.

Sumlin, Thorogood and Keb' Mo' Next RockWalk Inductees


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On Saturday, June 16, 2007, Hubert Sumlin (see photo), George Thorogood & The Destroyers, and Keb' Mo' will be inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk at Los Angeles nightspot The Music Box @ Fonda. Following the RockWalk Induction ceremony, Guitar Center's The King of the Blues Grand Finals Event, hosted by Cheech Marin, will feature The Black Crowes, Hubert Sumlin, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, plus the top four undiscovered blues guitar players in the country performing with Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson.

Hollywood's RockWalk, the only sidewalk gallery dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock 'n' Roll. George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Keb' Mo' and Hubert Sumlin will join other equally accomplished musicians and innovators who have been inducted into RockWalk such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, The Ramones, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker and Earth Wind & Fire.

About Hubert Sumlin
Born on November 16, 1931 in Greenwood, Mississippi and raised in Hughes, Arkansas, Hubert Sumlin was taken by the great Blues players he heard including Charlie Patton, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Destined to take the place of these masters, Sumlin received his first guitar from his mother, who spent her entire $5, weekly paycheck to purchase it. He had his first encounter with the legendary Howlin Wolf, at the age of 10 when he sneaked out to a local juke joint and stood on a pile of crates to see through a window. Drawn in by the music, Sumlin fell through the window and right onto the stage where Wolf insisted that the under aged Sumlin stay and watch as he played. A few years later, Wolf brought Sumlin to Chicago where he contributed to some of the most powerful Blues the world has known. After Wolf's passing in 1976, Sumlin continued to play with Wolf's band for four years before leaving for a solo career in 1980. Sumlin has gone on to record as both a leader and a sideman sharing the stage with everyone from The Rolling Stones, to Elvis Costello and Santana. His 2005 release About Them Shoes was conceived by Keith Richards, produced by Rob Fraboni and garnered a 2006 GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album. Sumlin continues to tour bringing his original and personal blues feeling to music lovers across the U.S.

Formed in the '70s by George Thorogood, Jeff Simon and Billy Blough, George Thorogood & the Destroyers are a high energy group whose slide guitar and blues rock takes on songs by the likes of Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker landed them a record deal with Rounder Records. After paying their dues in the blues scene of Boston, they recorded their second album Move It On Over, and struck a big hit with the title track, which was a cover of a Hank Williams song. In the '80s the band signed with EMI and released a series of gold records including, 1982's Bad to the Bone whose title track spawned Thorogood's best known single to date, and its accompanying video was a staple on MTV. They continued their hit-making success into the '90s with such hits as "Get a Haircut" and many additional albums followed into the new millennium. These included a compilation released in 2004, Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock, which went gold and was #1 on Billboard's blues charts for 60 weeks. George Thorogood & the Destroyers are currently crisscrossing the US on a spring/summer tour which includes a nine date run of co-headlining dates with Bryan Adams.

Raised in Compton, singer-songwriter and guitarist Keb' Mo' grew up in a home filled with gospel music and records of the '50s and '60s. Born Kevin Moore, he began playing guitar as a child and blew the trumpet and French horn as a teenager. After playing with local cover groups, Moore went on to play back up on the first three albums for legendary roots violinist Papa John Creach. He followed that up with a staff position at A&M writing songs and contracting demo sessions before releasing his own solo album, Rainmaker. After gigging with the Whodunit Band and appearing in LATC's productions of Rabbit Foot and Spunk, the newly minted Keb' Mo released this blues heavy debut disc Keb' Mo' to immediate acclaim. His subsequent albums continue to demonstrate his depth and artistry, three of which, Just Like You, Slow Down, and Keep It Simple all took home GRAMMYs for Best Contemporary Blues Album. In 2006, Mo' was GRAMMY nominated for Country Song of the Year for "I Hope" which he co-wrote with the Dixie Chicks and appears on their GRAMMY award winning album Taking the Long Way. His latest album Suitcase is a diverse collection of songs that are his most personal to date. His vocals are honestly delivered and his mastery in acoustic and slide guitar shine through. From its storytelling and gritty country blues tunes to its ballads and fiery laments, Suitcase is soulful and authentic. Beyond his musical accomplishments, Keb' Mo' has also garnered a number of accomplishments in television and film and is committed to a number of charitable causes.

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April 30, 2007 03:17 PM
by Tjames Madison
LiveDaily Contributor
Already busy with their long spring and summer tour, veteran blues-rockers George Thorogood & The Destroyers have announced a few dates with singer Bryan Adams.
Thorogood and his band, who are touring behind last year's "The Hard Stuff," are already well into a tour that kicked off April 6 and resumes Friday (4/27) in Fort Worth, TX. The new dates with Adams consist of nine shows in August sandwiched between the nearly 50 shows that the hard-working band will play this spring and summer. Full details are included below.

Thorogood said in a press release that he's been looking forward to touring with Adams since the two performed together during a 1985 jam session in Nashville with Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn. "We got along immediately, and it's great that we're finally able to get out and do some shows together," Thorogood said.

"The Hard Stuff" is Torogood & The Destroyers' first new studio set since 2003's "Ride 'til I Die." Released last May, the disc features a number of originals, as well as covers of several obscure blues tunes such as Jimmy Reed's "Little Rain," Hound Dog Taylor's "Give Me Back My Wig," Fats Domino's "Hello Josephine" and Johnny Shines' "Dynaflow Blues."

The group decided to make a blues-heavy album after its 2004 retrospective, "George Thorogood: 30 Years of Rock," spent 50 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums chart, and 90 weeks on the chart overall.

Thorogood and two other Destroyers--drummer Jeff Simon and bassist Billy Blough--remain from a group that was formed more than 30 years ago. Newer additions Jim Suhler (guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) round out the current unit.

Canadian singer/songwriter Adams, who first achieved MTV fame with 1983's "Cuts Like a Knife," released his most recent studio album, "Room Service," in 2004.