Magazine Article from Music & Musicians- “GEORGE THOROGOOD” Still rocking, still laughing and still b-b-b-b-badd to the bone
April 7, 2010
Still rocking, still laughing, and still b-b-b-b-bad to the bone
GUITARIST, SINGER, AND SONGWRITER
George Thorogood’s raucous brand of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll has been steadily satisfying fans for more than three decades through hits like “Bad to the Bone”, “You Talk Too Much”, and “Get a Haircut”. Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, have just returned to the road in support of last year’s The Dirty Dozen, a mi of new songs with rare tracks. We spoke with Thorogood about his continuing crusade to make the world a more rockin’ place.What do you do to prepare for a tour?We never say it’s “the end” of a tour- we say, “to be continued.” We are always in a perpetual state of continuation, so we don’t have to prepare. I just stay out of the bars and stay on the treadmill. Try to keep the weight down and the chops up.Why is it that established artists these days have trouble getting fans to buy their new music?I think people just don’t have time to listen to it. Our society is so fast-paced now. There isn’t enough time for anybody to do anything anymore. Who has time to listen to 13 songs on a record? Forty years ago time was our biggest commodity. There were only three stations on television and they went off the air at 11. You had time to pull a record out and listen to the whole thing two or three times. Now it just doesn’t seem that way. Why go spend $75,000 or $100,000 making a record that nobody has time to listen to? Why not just do two or three new songs and let them have it? That’s all they want to hear anyway. Do you really need a new Rolling Stones album? You’re happy with what they have out already. They’re in good shape with or without a new record.How important is a sense of humor to your music?When I put lyrics together, I give ’em something jolly. Tell me when funny ever went out of style! Why has comedy lasted so long? Why do you see rerun after rerun of the greatest shows in the world? Will we ever get tired of The Honeymooners? Comedy will never lose its charm if it’s done well. If you can’t laugh at Thorogood and his stories you’ve got problems. Besides, I know what kind of voice I have. I’m not gonna make people forget Aretha Franklin! But as far as music goes, I’m the dude man! You dig? (laughs)Humor also helps fans relate to you.I want the average person to come in, watch me play and say, “I could be that guy.” I want the average girl to say, “I could get a guy like that.” They couldn’t get a guy like Brad Pitt, but they could get a guy like me. What guy can watch a Warren Beatty movie and relate to that? My band is regular guys playing music and having a good time. And there are a lot more regular guys out there than there are superstars.What first drew you to your primary guitar, the Gibson ES-125?The Gibson 125 attracted me because it really looked groovy when I first saw it. I’m a finger-picker type guitarist, and the semi-hollow body on the Gibson 125 just works. The sound is unusual, and I knew it would give me a signature sound. I wouldn’t sound like anyone else, because nobody else played ’em! That appealed to me.Can you recall your most memorable onstage moment?There’s been millions of ’em! I can’t whittle them down to just one. Let’s just say this: Any given night I could walk out on stage and say, “This is the greatest moment of my life.” I’m thrilled when someone gets me off on my music as much as I do.
– Jesse Capps
Music & Musicians