Thursday, June 4, 2009
George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the world’s reigning bar band, will leave the Fox Theater doused in copious amounts of bourbon, scotch and beer after their performance on Thursday, June 11.
At 59 years old, Thorogood can still move every body in the audience with his growling whisky voice and his reflective, reinvented blues tunes about getting torn up and evicted, with no possessions but his John Lee Hooker record collection.
Since the early ’70s, Thorogood songs like “I Drink Alone,” “Bad to the Bone” and Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” have become anthems of hardworking, hard-drinking, blue-collar America and have been heard around bars and baseball stadiums throughout the country.
After 15 albums and decades of tours, the blues machine continues to put on high-energy performances: Thorogood is currently in the middle of a tour that began May 13 in Oslo, Norway, and ends Aug. 23 in Algona, Iowa. The band is also releasing a new album, The Dirty Dozen, in July.
After selling out shows at Royal Albert Hall in London and the Apollo in Manchester, Thorogood was in a feisty mood during a phone interview a few hours before his show in Glasgow, Scotland.
“They’re having parades for us and closing the schools,” he joked. “They really love rock and roll over here you know, with Jeff Beck and all.”
Thorogood has a voice that sounds like it has soaked in formaldehyde for decades and it sometimes fades into a deep coarseness, almost too hard to decipher.
“[Touring] is just starting to get fun,” says Thorogood. “The venues are getting bigger and there are people who take care of everything, like carrying all the equipment.” He says that when the band started out touring dingy bars throughout the East Coast, many times there wasn’t enough money for a hotel room.
Thorogood – who grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and played second base for a semi-pro baseball league – says the first step he took towards rock and roll stardom was moving to Boston, where his band recorded their first demo in 1974.
“Delaware will give you the blues; it’s definitely not the cornerstone of rock and roll,” says Thorogood.
Even before the band left Delaware for the big city, they hardly performed in their hometown.
“There just weren’t many places to play [in Delaware] so we’d play mostly in Pennsylvania; we played a lot in Philadelphia on South Street, New Hope, West Chester and Chadds Ford.”
Though Thorogood has played countless concerts around the world, he insists that performing signature songs like “Bad to the Bone” or “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” are still just as fun to play as they are to hear.
The Dani Paige Band will open.
GEORGE THOROGOOD AND THE DESTROYERS play 8pm Thursday, June 11, at Fox Theater, 241 Main St., Salinas. $38. 758-8459, www.foxtheatersalinas.com