New interviews with Richie Sambora, Bad Wolves & George Thorogood
Listen to Richie Sambora & Orianthi, Bad Wolves & the great George Thorogood on this episode of Westwood's One's Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. Firehouse's Bill Leverty co-hosts.
In our first interview, former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora along with Orianthi discuss their new album Radio Free America, the Hall Of Fame induction (approx 17 minute mark), working with Alice Cooper & Michael Jackson, who actually played bass on the classic Bon Jovi albums (approx. time: 21.30), Richie's approach to songwriting, his first solo album, producer Bob Rock, the 7800º Fahrenheit album, Halo Of Flies and much more.
In our second interview, John Boecklin of the Bad Wolves discusses the band's debut album Disobey, starting over, the importance of Metallica's And Justice For All... album to him, covering The Cranberries, moving on from DevilDriver, the tour with Five Finger Death Punch, his gear endorsements and more.
In our final interview, iconic guitarist George Thorogood talks about his love for Canada, his 50 States in 50 Days Tour back in 1981, the effect of classic rock radio, Party Of One (his latest album), what makes a great song, how he writes songs, Record Store Day, the NY Mets and more.
Thorogood Thoroughly Enjoyable
Courtesy: Nick Kuhl - The Lethbridge Herald
"You’re never too old for rock and roll, baby,” said George Thorogood late in his set Saturday night.
This became easily apparent for Thorogood, his band The Destroyers, as well as about 2,000 people who weren’t drinking alone at the Enmax Centre.
The 68-year-old rock legend was in Lethbridge this weekend for the penultimate Canadian date of his Rock Party 2018 tour. He played a blistering 90-minute set packed with all of his top hits such as “Bad To The Bone,” “I Drink Alone,” and “Who Do You Love.”
Thorogood was clearly enjoying himself on stage, getting right into his heavy blues riffs and hip thrusting with opener “Ain’t Coming Home Tonight.”
The Delaware native, along with original drummer Jeff Simon, bassist Billy Blough, guitarist Jim Suhler, and saxophone player Buddy Leach, remained his charismatic self throughout the show, proving why he’s sold 15 million albums worldwide and still has legions of fans after more than 40 years of touring.
He also didn’t play any songs from his 2017 solo acoustic album “Party Of One,” choosing rather to keep the volume and tempo at high levels.
After a mid-set run of “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Gear Jammer,” fan singalong “Get A Haircut,” the band broke into its biggest hit and signature song, “Bad To The Bone.”
By this point, Thorogood had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Since he’s a crafty veteran, he didn’t stop there.
After a quick musical interlude, he came back on stage wearing a Dylan Cozens Lethbridge Hurricanes T-shirt – to raucous cheers.
“We’ve never had the pleasure of playing Lethbridge before,” Thorogood said. “We hope it’s the start of a long beautiful relationship. We have always enjoyed the support of our Canadian fans.”
Thorogood then closed the show with “Move It On Over,” and “Born To Be Bad.” It was only a 12-song set, but I’m pretty sure everyone who was there Saturday got their money’s worth – as it was a textbook example of a great rock concert.
Before Thorogood performed, opening act Damon Fowler displayed some talent fronting a three-piece blues rock formation. The singer/guitarist from Florida has been releasing work since 1999, but had never toured much in Canada.
“This is just about as far north as I’ve ever been,” Fowler said midway through his 40-minute set. He went on to explain he believes “Canadians are awesome,” detailing a story of when he got a speeding ticket earlier on this tour, which wrapped Sunday night in Calgary.
“He smiled and told me to have a nice day,” Fowler said. “We have some CDs for sale. We need to sell them to pay for the speeding ticket.”
Solid blues riffs and a good sense of humour clearly had Fowler making some new fans Saturday night in Lethbridge.
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.
Click here to read more.
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."