George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Courtesy - The

May 2-3, 8 p.m. | Hard Rock Casino Vancouver (Coquitlam)

Tickets: $49.50 plus charges at

9792926“Get a haircut and get a real job.”

At the mid-point in his career, now 40 years strong, George Thorogood wrote an unlikely hit.

In 1993, during an era dominated by grunge, with plaid flannel shirts and long, greasy hair the signifiers of a new rock generation the same way paisley print and bell-bottom pants (and long, greasy hair) had been that of the ’60s, there was little room for a blues-rock anthem.

Yet, Get A Haircut became Thorogood’s new calling card, a tune as beloved now as the other big hits in his catalogue — Bad To The Bone, and his classic reboot of Bo Diddley’s House Rent Blues/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer — and one that, unlike many of his hits, he penned himself.

“We just got incredibly lucky with the timing,” Thorogood said in a recent phone interview. “The grunge rock/garage thing was big at that time. I said, ‘Eventually, Neil Young is going to write a song like this. And he’s going to give it to Nirvana or Alice In Chains or someone like that.

1Courtesy - Prince George Free Press

Now THAT was a rock concert.

George Thorogood is not just good, he’s one of the best in the business.

Time – 40 years of albums and concerts, and counting – has done nothing but make this “Born to be Bad” blues rocker even better. He looks good, he sounds good, he plays guitar like he was born with one in his hands.

And if he wasn’t born to be bad, he learned to act bad…just for show.

Dressed in black, he’s lean and full of energy. He jokes around with the crowd, flashes lots of smiles and tells them what they want to hear – besides great music – managing to slip “Prince George” into song lyrics and dedicating Get A Haircut to “sophisticated” rock fans. That kind of natural ease and showmanship only comes at this level of a solid music career that spans decades and includes hundreds and hundreds of live performances.

To be honest, rockers have a reputation.

They like to party and play around. But I’ve never yet seen one who can flirt with an entire audience. Thorogood does. He turns his back, wiggles his bum, combs his hair with his back to the audience, turns around and, like a black panther, he paces across the stage with the mike in one hand and the audience in the other.

Opening with Born To Be Bad, he had 2,600 fans in delirious frenzy in less than five minutes.

He told the audience it had been “nine long years” since he and the band last played Prince George – too long, he said. Later on, he promised us to keep coming back here until the day he died.

This one will be hard to top.

Bad to the Bone .. .George Thorogood and the Destroyers rocked the house at CN Centre Wednesday night. The rock and roll band on their 40 Years and Still Strong tour played for 2,600 appreciative fans. Teresa MALLAM/Free Press



For George Thorogood and his longtime band The Destroyers - Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy GT-Flame-Engine-Logo 1000-637x478Leach (saxophone) - their 40th anniversary is indestructible proof that staying true to yourself and the music can still mean something. And with a catalog of iconic hits that includes "Who Do You Love", "I Drink Alone", "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", "Move It On Over", "Bad To The Bone" and more, being able to share it with audiences is what will always matter.

"When I first started messing around with this thing in the early '70s, none of us even knew if Rock & Roll itself was going to last," George says. "There were no music videos, no Classic Rock radio. Only acts like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones were doing big arena shows. Casino gigs were for performers like Joey Bishop and Dean Martin. I thought to myself, 'I just want to put out a couple of records before the whole thing goes away.' Every performer of my generation - Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt - thought the same way. We didn't get into this because it felt like the thing of the future. I was afraid that Rock would be over, and I'd miss my chance to be a part of it."

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Courtesy by Steve Newton

When you interview rockers on the road you always try to find out where they’re located, so you can write “When so-and-so calls from wherever” and establish a setting for the conversation. But when I contact blues-rocker George Thorogood, he’s not ready to cough up the info.

“We swore under oath with the government not to reveal the whereabouts of our location,” jokes the 64-year-old boogieman, so we’ll never know whether he was in Tallahassee or Kalamazoo.

And when I casually ask how he’s doing, Thorogood evades that query as well, instead replying with the title of his best-known song: “Bad to the Bone”.

Considering Thorogood’s name is synonymous with “Bad to the Bone”, it comes as quite a surprise that—at first, anyway—he didn’t even want that song for himself.

“I thought it would be a great song for Muddy Waters,” he explains. “I tried to hustle that tune to Muddy Waters’s camp, with absolutely no success, and actually his people were very offended with me for bringing the song to him. They were like, ‘A white guy bringin’ a blues song? Hell no, that’s not gonna work.’ I thought, ‘That’s bullshit! If Eric Clapton or Keith Richards did that they’d do it in a minute.’