By Todd Beebe, October 30, 2019
George Thorogood has been a force to be reckoned with in the Blues/Rock world for more than 40 years now. From his 1977 debut with his band The Destroyers, to his most recent solo album, Party Of One, George has kept the Blues and Rock and Roll alive as only he can. Musical trends come and go, and George has seen them all. From disco to new wave to alternative rock, George Thorogood stays true to himself and plays music on his own terms. When you list artists who have kept blues based rock and roll alive through the decades, George Thorogood is at the top. Party Of One features him singing and playing guitar completely alone and shows George in top form. I had the privilege of speaking with George recently. We talked about the new album and how George is born to rock! When I asked him about a possible follow-up to Party Of One, his answer was "nope! The minute I got done with the album, I was ready to make music with The Destroyers again!" George is as great as they come and a super down-to-earth guy. His sense of humor is off the chart and we laughed constantly through this interview! We had a great time talking and reflecting on his 40 plus year career. Here's to another 40 years George! Thanks for a great interview!
Todd Beebe: Hey George! Thanks for talking to me today! It's an honor.
George Thorogood: Sure Todd! My pleasure.
TB: I'd like to start off talking about your early years and music you heard that first caught your ear.
GT: As far as the first music I ever heard that influenced me, I mean I was listening to music since I was a kid. I had two older teenage brothers that played rock and roll music all the time, either on the radio or on the record player. So I didn't know, when I was a little kid, that Elvis Presley was a new phenomenon called rock and roll. I thought it had been around forever, because I didn't know! I was too young. I knew I liked it, but I was saying "what's the big deal?!" This guy, Elvis Presley, was just blowing everybody's mind, and all this incredible new music was coming on the radio: Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, and people like that. I just took it in stride cause I just thought, you know, it was always around, just like sunshine was or baseball or winter and summer. It was just a natural thing. But when the Beatles hit, that's like everybody else in the world. It's like, Elvis Presley shook the world, The Beatles shook the universe! (laughs) That was absolutely impossible to deny! I mean, the second you turned on the TV and you saw this guy with this mop haircut with a guitar shaped like a violin and he was playing it left handed, he said the three words that changed the world Todd. And those three words were (sings) "close your eyes!" BOOM! And the world's never been the same! The whole world was watching! I've never asked them about this. I wish I had, but I know for a fact, even though I have never asked them, face to face. I know exactly where Chrissie Hynde was on February 9, 1964, or Bruce Springsteen or Mellencamp or Tom Petty, Willy DeVille. ANY of them! They were right where I was- with their nose right up against that TV screen watching the Ed Sullivan show! And we watched it for the next 5 years! The band that really got close to me quickly was the Rolling Stones. I mean, when I saw them, remember, they were coming out at a time when the Beatles were doing A Hard Day's Night, and they were just blowing everybody's mind! The Stones were just getting started, and they hadn't done any originals yet, to speak of actually. They were doing covers of rhythm and blues. See, I looked at The Beatles and they represented freedom. They were young, they were good looking, they were rich, they were single. They had it all! I mean they were living the 007 dream! (laughs) And I said "wow! They're free of... they don't have to go to gym class, they don't have to cut their hair, they don't have to go to some job they hate!" At least this is what I thought, when I was a kid. Dylan represented truth. When I listened to him it sounded like a person speaking the truth. The Stones represented hope to me. Hope for a guy like me. A slim hope! You gotta remember, the music that happened from 1964 to 1970 is 75% of the music we still listen to today!