For George Thorogood and his longtime band The Destroyers – Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) – their 40th anniversary is indestructible proof that staying true to yourself and your music can still mean something. And with a catalog of iconic hits like “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.
We got to chat with George Thorogood about his favorite place to perform, his pre-show rituals, and the lineup for his dream gig. George Thorogood and the Destroyers will be playing at Center Stage Theater this Tuesday, March 11! Doors open 7 p.m. Tickets: $30 in advance, $32 day of show. Online and phone sales close @ 5 p.m. day of show.
Interview by Erika Childers
AMG: Hi George Thorogood! How are you?
AMG: Bad? Bad to the bone?
GT: You got it.
AMG: How excited are you to be celebrating your 40th anniversary? That’s a huge milestone.
GT: At this point in my life, I swing out of bed and land on my feet and I’m celebrating. I’m just pleased to still be on the planet.
AMG: Where are you most excited to go on tour this year?
GT: Atlanta! What kind of question is that? I always say my favorite place to play is wherever I’m playing tonight.
AMG: Have you written any songs lately or releasing any new albums?
GT: Nah. There are enough songs in the world as there is. I have so many songs to pick from in our catalog that we’ve reached the point in our career that this is a time that people are going to honor our catalog. I remember Crosby Stills and Nash as far back as 1974, people didn’t want to hear any new material from them and that was back then. So you get to a spot where people want to hear all your high profile songs, and that’s fine because that’s what I work with. So to answer your question, no. I’m not working on anything new at this point. Maybe a compilation of the “Best Of’s”, but for now we’re just concentrating on playing live.
AMG: What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened at a show?
GT: I think the strangest thing is to be applauded when I walk on stage every night. That blows my mind right there. It’s never been something I’ve been very complacent about. There’s nothing but strangers out there that are turned on to see you, and that’s always given me a strange feeling. But strange in a good way, like a surprise birthday party.
AMG: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
GT: I have always appreciated the value of a good night’s sleep. I make sure before I go perform that I get myself in a horizontal position and keep it there as long as possible. So always rest. So you’re in Atlanta, you know the name Hank Aaron?
GT: Hank Aaron used to sleep sometimes waking up to the national anthem before you went out into the ballpark. I took that as a good piece of advice. My father used to teach me anytime you get a chance to get out of work take it.
AMG: What was the best performance you’ve ever had?
GT: Last night, and tonight will be even better. Every night is different. Every night is special. You only have one night. When you’re in the moment there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. So tonight’s performance will be the best one just for the mere fact that I’m doing it. If somebody asked me what’s the best day of your life I’d say today! Right now! By the time we get to Atlanta that performance will be even better than this one.
AMG: We can’t wait. So what would be the lineup for your dream gig?
GT: Well I think I’d like that guy who plays his bass left-handed and his guitar is shaped like a violin…Sir Paul McCartney. And the guy who wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” playing the harmonica, Bob Dylan. That’d be it. Those two guys wouldn’t need anybody else.
AMG: If you could describe your music in one word what would it be?
AMG: What made you want to stop in Atlanta on your tour?
GT: They sent for me.
AMG: Well thanks George! We can’t wait to see you soon.
GT: Let everyone know to obey the speed limit and keep their safety belts on when they’re coming to the show. Rock and roll never sleeps, it just passes out. Oh and I may call you with questions on which Peachtree St. to take when I’m there.