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The Sound

George Thorogood

4/3/2019

Rock ’n’ roll never sleeps with “groovy” tunes.

During the past 45 years, George Thorogood has performed more than 8,000 live shows. He has sold 15 million albums — two have gone platinum; six have gone gold. His “Bad to the Bone” recording has made the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list, and he was the 2018 recipient of the BB King award, which recognizes the talent of artists who have left a mark on the blues scene.

Thorogood is bringing his Good to Be Bad Tour: 45 Years of Rock to Hoyt Sherman Place on April 28. CITYVIEW caught up to Thorogood prior to this upcoming concert. In this interview, his responses — like his songs — are short, staccato-like, and to the point. When asked about returning to Hoyt, he says, “The demand is still there for us. Anyone who asks us — we come back.”

With “Bad to the Bone,” the song’s popularity earned its way into countless movies scenes, when a bad event is about to happen. He shrugs off the idea that his song is in numerous movies.

“It’s a common statement,” he says. “It’s only in less than one half of 1 percent of all movies made. It’s not much. … We thought it would be an American Slang. I don’t think it ever happened. It’s just a groovy song fans like to hear.”

At age 69 — when most people quit their job — there’s little chance of retirement for Thorogood. It would seem tactless that a reporter dare ask such a foolish question, but since we did, here’s his response.

“I don’t have anything to say to that,” he hesitates. “As long as there’s demand for the Destroyers and George — if no one books them, then it’s time for retirement.”

With performing more than half his life — roughly 177 days a year on the road — Thorogood doesn’t have a lot of free time. When he does get a spare moment, he relishes his quiet time.

“I’ve never heard a doctor say you’re getting too much rest,” he says.

Additionally, when touring, he often “minds his own business,” coming to the venue only to perform.

He encourages fans to let loose and party at his concerts, emphasizing it’s not a sit-and-clap type of performance.

“If someone invited us to a party, we wouldn’t just sit there,” he says. “It thrills me (when fans get up and dance). I’m saying, ‘Hey — I’m here.’ You sent for me — don’t just sit there.”

Thorogood prefers old-time communication and refrains from using social media.

“I have enough trouble finding my glasses or the keys to my car,” he admits. “I’ve got my hands full.”

Thorogood says not one concert has been more memorable than the next.
“Our best gig we ever played was last night,” he says. “The gig we play tomorrow night will be our best gig.”

However, he said everything in Iowa is memorable, and he looks forward to the Des Moines show. He also offers a recommendation for concertgoers.

“Obey the speed limit and wear your safety belts at all times,” he says. “Rock ’n’ roll never sleeps — it just passes out.” ♦

One Comment

  1. I saw the band outside when you played on the deck of the Foxy Ladies Lounge next to the lake, Grey’s Lake is it(?), in Des Moines, Iowa back in1991 and had a GREAT time! I just watched the band again inside when you played at the Riverside Casino in Iowa City, Iowa (Riverside, Iowa) and had a FANTASTIC time there! My band had retired several years ago and I had forgotten how many of you songs we had covered, but it was so many that it could be a set by themselves if played back-to-back! We are jst getting around to practicing and coming out of retirement sometime in the next year. So, this was a treat and nice refresher for me! I’ll be reminding the others of all these songs and I can ASSURE you we’ll be covering several again! Thank you SO much for the inspiration yet again! I hope we’ll do you n the boys proud! Thanx again!

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