By Sheryl DeVore - Chicago Tribune

George Thorogood thought about becoming a comic. After all, he had 100 jokes in his portfolio when he was in sixth grade, he said.

But the hard-rocking, blues-playing Thorogood settled on guitar and a career playing rock 'n' roll and blues music.

Four decades later, there's still comedy in his bones and joy that his job consists of performing on stage with a rock band. "Even the president wants to do that," he quipped.

Thorogood comes to Genesee Theatre Friday to perform during his Badder Than Ever tour, playing classics including "Who Do You Love," "I Drink Alone," and his iconic "Bad to the Bone."

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"The music of your youth is always the most powerful," says blues rocker George Thorogood. "From the minute I heard bands like the Stones and people like Robert Johnson, I knew that I had found music that was vital. It was like, 'Where did this come from? How can this be?' And it's the stuff that's stayed with me all this time. It's that good!"

Thorogood recalls a similar conversation that he had with his friend Gary Busey. The actor and musician remarked, "It's the music that changed my life." "I looked at him and said, "'No, Gary, it's the music that made your life,'" Thorogood says. "Gary thought about it and he agreed. I mean, come on. You're only 14—how much living have you really done yet? I know it's that's way for me. This music didn't change my life. It made it, and I'm so thankful for that."

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You never forget your first George Thorogood show, or your second, or even your third. Or your twenty-second, I suppose, if you make a career out of it.  Thorogood’s just that kind of performer, one of a kind.  For the folks gathered at Hampton Beach’s Casino Ballroom for the hot and steamy Thursday night show, they won’t forget that show either – it was just that much fun.  There is only one Thorogood, probably for two reasons – 1) no one can copy him, and 2) no one could keep up with him.

I am only on my third George Thorogood & The Destroyers show, but I’ve been a fan since the early days.  I may be getting older, but by the looks Thorogood is not.  The man has not lost a thing as the years have slipped by – his vocals are as sharp as ever, his guitar work is as tight as ever, and his antics are as naughty as ever.  The setlist hasn’t varied a great deal since I saw him four or so years ago, but the music stands the test of time.  Plus, Thorogood sells every single song with attitude, verve, and a big old grin.  This was a great show, as expected.

Hampton Beach’s Casino Ballroom is a wonderful venue: big enough to hold a couple of thousand people and small enough to be an intimate performance.  Thorogood is great on a big stage, but he’s even better on the smaller stage with the fans right at his feet.  Artists seem to love performing there, and the fans flock to see their favorites up close and personal.

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Time to go old school for the summer. As the month of July came to a close, with it came some great music that still holds sway in this day and age. This past weekend, George Thorogood & The Destroyers along with their peers Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes paid the good people of New York City a visit via The Beacon Theater. Not only was it an amazing throwback to some classic blues rock, but the performances proved that these men still have the skills to kill.

Despite the rainy Saturday evening, guests were relishing the unusually cool temperatures that swooped in. Finally, the humid heat dissipated for a temporary escape. For those who like to wet their whistle before some rock, head on over to McAleer’s Pub for an iced cold brew. It’s the best way to ease into the soon to be raucous events to come. Arriving at The Beacon gives way to crowds of 50+ aged couples and families who patiently waited in lines for entry. Once inside the legendary venue, bikers dominated the space with their handlebar mustaches and leather jackets, male and female alike.

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