Like clockwork, George Thorogood and the Destroyers blast through here once every 10 years. “We gotta wait until the dust settles down,” Thorogood says with a chuckle.
Like clockwork, George Thorogood and the Destroyers blast through here once every 10 years.
“We gotta wait until the dust settles down,” Thorogood says with a chuckle.
To be sure, his outfit is renowned as a concert band — a gotta-see-it-live experience that explodes with a gusto not possible to replicate on a recording. Monday, Thorogood & Co. barge into the East Peoria Event Center for a night of blues rock.
These days, Thorogood doesn’t see the kind of album sales he enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s, when tunes like “Bad to the Bone” and “I Drink Alone” hewed his rough-and-tumble reputation. He has cranked out 16 studio albums, the last 2006’s “The Hard Stuff.”
Still, Thorogood never has been a prolific songwriter. He unashamedly takes others’ works — “Move It On Over,” “Who Do You Love” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” — and added his signature snarl. It’s no easy chore to make someone else’s song your own, when that someone else is a heavyweight like Hank Williams Sr., Bo Diddley or John Lee Hooker.
Plus, Thorogood says he has nothing more to prove via new material.
“Do the Rolling Stones need another album?” he says. “Does (John) Fogerty need new material?”
Moreover, Thorogood recognizes that new rock songs have almost no place on modern radio play lists. In part, that’s because of marketing toward a hip-hop listenership. But it also might be indicative of the limitation of the genre: there’s nothing more rock can do or say, Thorogood says.
“The bulk of great rock and roll happened between ’55 and ’85,” Thorogood says. “The art for itself is 30 years. That’s a long time.
“What more do you want? You can keep making movies. You can make movies about anything. But what more can you do with rock and roll?”
So Thorogood focuses on his live shows. For the past three decades, the Destroyers have built on their notoriety as diehard workhorses, a reputation launched in 1981 with their “50/50” tour: an incredible 50 shows in 50 states in 50 days. He still wears a bandana to try to contain the streams of sweat he generates while boogie-woogie-ing around the stage with his guitar.
“It’s worse than ever,” he says with a laugh.
On off days, Thorogood uses his free time to stay in shape for concerts, usually zooming along a treadmill. At age 58, you rarely find him dabbling anymore with stogies and bourbon.
“Not at this stage in life,” he says, laughing.
Phil Luciano can be reached at (309) 686-3155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.