George Thorogood @ Massey Hall (Toronto, ON) on April 26, 2018 [Photos & Show Review]
“Bad To The Bone”. “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”. “I Drink Alone”. “Who Do You Love”. “Move It On Over”.... The litany of classic rock n’ roll anthems for which we owe tribute to George Thorogood and his band of merry Destroyers is a lengthy one indeed. Last Thursday, Mr. Thorogood, along with drummer Jeff Simon, Buddy Leach(saxophone), Bill Blough (bass) and guitarist Jim Suhler, rolled through Toronto once again, bringing their 2018 “Rock Party” tour to Massey Hall.
The show was short but sweet. A dozen songs in total were performed this evening, with Thorogood altering the words in some instances to reflect Toronto and Canada. During his set, Thorogood talked about his love for Canada a number of times, eliciting a hail of cheers when he said his first Canadian show was in Toronto over 40 years ago.
“There are three things you can rely on... Beer, Rock n Roll and Canadian fans!” This was delivered along with Thorogood’s signature smile, and it probably got the loudest cheers of the evening. That, and maybe the part when he left the stage for a moment towards the end of the set only to return a few minutes later wearing a black shirt with ‘Canada’ emblazoned across the front of it in an outlined script typeface.
Thorogood recently released a very limited Record Store Day vinyl single with a new track entitled “Ain’t Coming Home Tonight” along with “Shot Down,” a song originally released by The Sonics many moons ago. Both of these tracks were performed this evening, along with some of his most famous booty-shaking tracks, many of which have been in regular rotation on rock radio stations for close to four decades now.
Thorogood took a little time to plug responsible drinking before dropping “I Drink Alone” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” suggesting you get a friend to drive you home. Or even better, a friend’s girlfriend. He strutted about the stage mugging for the audience while performing like a musician just getting his career started, belying his 68 years of age - 50 of which he’s spent pursuing his rock and roll lifestyle.
Customized pillars of lighting set up on either side of Jeff Simon along with six panels of lights hung above the crowd and facing the audience were utilized to good effect this evening. The word “BONE” was spelled using the middle four of these panels as the band performed “Bad To The Bone,” easily Thorogood’s most renowned and most popular original song.
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One not a lonely number for Thorogood
Couresty Winnipeg Free press
By: Erin Lebar
Veteran blues-rocker touring solo -- with help from his friends the Destroyers
Forty years ago, veteran blues-rocker George Thorogood made his first trek across the border into Canada to play a handful of shows.
He stayed for only a week and hit up just three cities — Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa — but still has some pretty distinct memories of the trip, including a gig in Montreal where he had to turn people away at the door himself.
As Thorogood, 68, explains it, there was a lineup of folks around the block when he and the band arrived at the venue, which led them to believe they were at the wrong place.
Once they realized all the people were there to see them, they rushed their gear upstairs and did the first of two shows. The venue owners wanted to clear the room before the second (already sold-out) show, but a group of people wouldn’t leave.
After a long, heated argument — entirely in French — the venue owners finally sent Thorogood out in an effort to talk the stubborn fans out of seeing his next set.
"So here I am, this kid from Delaware, I’m in a different part of Canada, and I’m trying to speak French, and this is the first time I’m trying to talk people into not listening to me play. Do you know how bizarre that was for me?" Thorogood asks, followed a raspy chuckle.
"I thought, ‘Why would they stay? We only have one record out, there’s only 10 songs on it, we already played them, we’re going to play them again.’
"I tried to explain that to them and they wouldn’t hear it. Finally they paid double for the ticket and the venue let them stay.
"We were just getting started but the reception was so… I’ve never seen anything like this. And the other parts of Canada were the same. Turning people away is one thing when you’re sold out, but making people leave…"
Since then, Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, have gone on to build a 16-album catalogue and sell more than 15 million records worldwide, not to mention logging more than 8,000 live shows.
But within that massive collection of work, one thing was noticeably absent — a George Thorogood solo record.
So he made one.
Party of One was released last year and features just Thorogood and his guitar, ripping through 14 stripped-down blues covers that span all eras of the genre. The record also sees him return to Rounder, the roots label that signed him in 1976 and released his first three albums.
On all fronts it’s a bit of a retrospective, revisiting where his career began — as a solo, guitar-slinging blues performer — which is a difficult thing for someone who doesn’t typically spend time focusing on the past.
"No, I don’t look back," he says. "This is what’s happening right now, and I can’t wait to see what’s happening tomorrow. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present so it is a present.... I try to live in the now and look forward to the mystery of tomorrow."
But what is Thorogood most proud of when it comes to Party of One?
"The picture of me on the cover. I look like a damn movie star on that record!" he says.
Despite the fact the current tour is in support of the solo record, the Destroyers are on the road with Thorogood, so he promises the show will be as loud and as raucous as audiences have come to expect. And even though he’s not the biggest cheerleader for nostalgia, he says he’s keen to continue playing songs that have been fan favourites for decades, such as Bad to the Bone and I Drink Alone.
"It’s like a cook who makes a meal — if my family likes it, I like it; if my customers like it, I like it; if they don’t like it, it’s off the menu. Our act and our material was designed for the public… when we go in the studio we say, ‘Will our fans like this song?’ We always like the song, yes, but the motive is always to put out something that will please the public so I don’t get tired of them," he says.
"As long as the fans aren’t tired of them, then I’m not tired of them."
Thorogood getting bad to the bone back in the Bay
Courtesy TB News Watch
Blues rocker and honourary citizen, George Thorogood, makes his return to Thunder Bay.
THUNDER BAY – It’s been four long years since George Thorogood, the rocker behind hits like Bad to the Bone, Move it on Over, and I Drink Alone, has played to Thunder Bay audiences, but that doesn’t mean anything has been forgotten.
“For better or for worse, whether you love us or you don’t, once you see us you remember us,” Thorogood said in an interview with Tbnewswatch. “If you haven’t seen us, I would say have a good night’s rest and a good meal because you are going to need your energy.”
Thorogood and the Destroyers will be playing the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Tuesday, May 1. With more than 15 million albums sold and more than 8,000 live shows, Thorogood has been making hit music for the last 40 years.
But even in all that time, there are some things Thorogood still hasn’t done, at least until now. In August 2017, Thorogood released what he called his first and last solo album, Party of One.
“It was something that was long overdue,” he said. “I was meaning to do it ever since I picked up a guitar.”
The album was released by Rounder Records and includes Thorogood performing 15 songs from traditional blues, modern blues, and rock artists, including John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Brownie McGhee, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash.
“When we first started doing the many acoustic things I used to do before, some of them were songs I’ve been doing alone and then we did the rock and roll versions,” Thorogood said. “We did those and halfway through it, we said is that enough material to stretch these things out? Why not start doing songs by people who admired or influenced you.”
Bringing his own distinct high energy sound to some of these artists was challenging, not only musically, but physically.
“It put a lot of pressure on me,” Thorogood said. ”It put pressure on my hands. How I prepare for it is a lot of rest and a lot of sleep the night before.”
And while this is his first solo effort, Thorogood said there will not be another because there is nothing more for him to do.
“I’ve run the gauntlet of what I can do,” he said. “This is pretty much all I’ve got in me to do that. It wouldn’t make it as special. That’s why I say it’s Party of One. There will be no Party of One part two.”
Audiences in Thunder Bay can expect to hear all their favourites, which are just as much fun to play for Thorogood and the band as it is for the audience to hear.
“They've become favorites, popular or whatever, and that’s what did them for,” he said. “Now what we achieved that, we’re going to keep playing them. That’s why people pay for the tickets.”
Bad to the bone, but still good on the road
George Thorogood first toured Canada 40 years ago and he’s back again May 9 at Sandman Centre
Courtesy Kamloops This Week
By Sean Brady
If it’s the hits they want, it’s the hits they will get.
That’s the philosophy of George Thorogood, who has been touring in Canada for more than 40 years now along with his band The Destroyers.
Thorogood’s is a career that would be the envy of many musicians, with hits like Bad to the Bone, I Drink Alone, Who do you Love? and several others.
With more than 8,000 live shows under his belt, you might think he’s tired of playing the hits over and over again — but you’d be wrong.
“That’s what I set out to do to begin with,” he told KTW. “Do you want to go pay $70 for a ticket and have someone get up there and say, ‘Here’s a song off one of our records that didn’t sell very much and it’s a song nobody knows or doesn’t like very much’?”
But just because he doesn’t tire of the songs doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes make him tired. The American musician, 68, said some songs are just physically harder to play than others.
“After I play One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, I need about three days off and a bowl of Wheaties,” he said, laughing.
Thorogood has been to the River City at least a few times in the past decade and early next month, he’ll return again to waiting fans. He and The Destroyers will be at Sandman Centre on Wednesday, May 9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $50 to $60 (plus fees) and are available through Ticketmaster.
After decades of touring and 16 studio albums spanning a 42-year career, the question might be: What keeps him on the road? Thorogood was pragmatic in how he answered.
“What inspires me is that there’s still a demand for us. That blows me away on a daily basis,” he said.
“That’s really what dictates the whole thing. You’re not still here because you want to do it, you’re here because you’ve succeeded, because you’re popular and people like it and still want to see you. That, to me, is the bottom line. When the phone stops ringing, then it’s over.”