By Adrian Gomez / Albuquerque Journal

George Thorogood counts his blessings.

He knows that having a career in the music industry for 45-plus years doesn’t happen too often.

“I try not to think about it,” he says in his signature gravelly voice. “I continue to try and be active in the rock world. I’ve been able to have steady work. This time in my life, touring is a thrill. It used to be a grind. Now it’s a thrilly grind if that makes sense.”

Thorogood and the Destroyers are set to perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Kiva Auditorium.

Since 1976, George Thorogood & the Destroyers have sold over 15 million albums, built a catalog of classic hits, and played more than 8,000 ferocious live shows.

The band is known for the hit singles, “Get A Haircut,” “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over,” “Who Do You Love?” and the definitive anthem “Bad To The Bone.”

They broke records with their 50 Dates/50 States Tour, delivered landmark performances at Live Aid and on “Saturday Night Live,” and became mainstays of radio, MTV and stages worldwide for more than two generations. Through it all, they’ve remained one of the most consistent – and consistently passionate – progenitors of blues-based rock in pop culture history.

“If you’re content, you may as well be dead.” Thorogood says. “I think everyone has thoughts about retiring, but the phone keeps ringing. ‘You want me and the Destroyers to come to your town, set up our gear, wear some cool threads and play ‘Who Do You Love?’ End of conversation. Let’s rock!”

Thorogood and his longtime band – Jeff Simon, Bill Blough, Jim Suhler and Buddy Leach – the power to rock audiences has been both battle cry and creed from the beginning.

Thorogood says when he was a teenager, his family knew once he gave music a go, he would only go back home to visit.

“Since I was 17, all I wanted to do was see how far I could go with my guitar, putting my own spin on music I loved,” he says. “My entire family knew that I had the passion for it. Has it been a difficult journey? Yes. But when I’m on stage, I come alive. There’s no better feeling.”

Thorogood says his songwriting has come to a screeching halt.

“I leave the songwriting to Bob Dylan,” he says. “I’ve recorded songs from other artists. I polish them up and I make them shine. That’s what I’m about. I’ve put in the work and now I’m enjoying the fruits of the labor. Nothing has come easy. I’m no Picasso or Mozart. I crawled my place to the middle of the pack and have made a pretty good life for myself. All I ever wanted to be was in the game. I’ve accomplished that goal.”