Rediscovered photos document a singular night in D.C.’s rock-and-roll history
Courtesy Washington Post
By John Kelly
It had been a long time since Mike McLaughlin thought about the hot summer night in 1978 when guitarists George Thorogood and the Nighthawks’ Jimmy Thackery crossed a busy Georgetown street and briefly switched places in each other’s bands during a raucous performance of “Madison Blues.”
Then last year Mike was going through some old photos and found himself staring at the past. There he was at the Cellar Door nightclub with Jackie Miles, his future wife, and his DeMatha buddies Mike Morley, Pat Quigley and George Koebke. There was Thorogood, sweatily hunched over a hollow-body Gibson.
“I don’t remember who came up with the idea [to go to the Cellar Door show],” said Mike, of Laurel, Md. “I know we were all big music fans and Thorogood fans.”
The Cellar Door was a legendary spot at 34th and M, across the street from Desperado’s. The two bands — the Nighthawks and Thorogood’s Destroyers — had prearranged the stunt. “The M Street Shuffle” it came to be called. Or “The Duel on M Street.”
George Thorogood & The Destroyers : Still Bad to the Bone at Waterfest!
Courtesy Oshkosh Independent
Delaware native George Thorogood is famous for his blistering slide guitar and let’s-get-this-party-started brand of rock ‘n’ roll. He remains a solid fan favorite with his raucous live performances. “Bad To the Bone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over,” “I Drink Alone,” “Get A Haircut,” and “Who Do You Love?” are his best known hits.
The Destroyers consist of Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar), and Buddy Leach (saxophone).
The band has garnered six gold and two platinum discs in its 40 year career.
Thorogood has said that the Beatles were a great influence on him and that George Harrison was his favorite. He proudly pointed out that their birthdays are only a day apart – his is February 24th and Harrison’s is February 25th.
Thorogood received the B.B. King Award at on July 1, 2017 at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. He is only the fifth winner of the prestigious award, joining previous award recipients, blues legends B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Taj Mahal and James Cotton.
His long awaited solo debut album, Party Of One, was released on August 4, 2017.
George Thorogood's goal is to give the people what they want
Courtesy Randle G Mielke - Beacon News
Blues-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter George Thorogood selects songs to perform just to make people happy.
“It’s like a menu at a restaurant,” Thorogood said. “You want to put something on there that people want.”
George Thorogood and The Destroyers will perform on Aug. 4 at RiverEdge Park in Aurora. Playing before Thorogood is the rock group Foghat. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.
“At live performances, you don’t want the obscure songs from albums that did not do well,” Thorogood said. “We will be playing all the hits.”
Those hits include “Bad to the Bone,” “I Drink Alone,” “Who Do You Love?,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over,” “You Talk Too Much” and “If You Don't Start Drinking, I'm Gonna Leave,” among others.
Unlike some other songwriters, Thorogood, who wrote “Bad to the Bone” and “I Drink Alone,” among others, does not write about personal, painful issues.
Bad to the Bone
Courtesy Mohave Valley Daily News
It's rare that George Thorogood takes anything in life too seriously. Does he care about trying to change the world one guitar lick at a time? No, not particularly. Is he trying to do better than the next guy? Nope.
As far as he's concerned life is all about having fun, playing a bit of music and taking as many people as possible who want to go along on this crazy journey with him. And if you think at his age of 68 he has any intention of slowing down, forget it.
All we can say is, buckle up, people, you're in for one hell of a sweet roller coaster ride.
"Lonesome George" plays music simply for the joy of playing music, and the thing is, Thorogood is ridiculously more talented than he gives himself credit for. Along the way, his music has left its mark in history and on his fans who continue to come to his shows after all these years. As proof, Thorogood received the 2018 B.B. King Award during this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. He is only the fifth recipient of the award created in 2014, to recognize the exceptional talent of an artist who has left an indelible mark on the blues scene. He is in good company with Charlie Musselwhite (2017), Taj Mahal(2016), James Cotton (2015) and the late great B.B. King himself, so congratulations are in order.
"I thank you. I don't think it's ever really going to sink in," he told the Laughlin entertainer. "B.B. King is to blues what Hank Williams is to country music. He was the first blues artist I ever saw.
"It's kind of a strange feeling to say I've been banging around the United States, but I've got to go to the Montreal International Jazz Festival in Quebec to get this award," he laughs. "It hasn't really sunk in just yet. I'm sure it will some day. After all, we're talking about B.B. King here. You're not talking about the Three Stooges Award or something here, you know. I'm like, 'Hey, man, are you sure you've got the right guy?'"
We're pretty sure, even if Thorogood isn't convinced.