George Thorogood comes from a generation of musicians – those who emerged into the public eye as young men and women in the early- to mid-’70s – who had very little reason to believe that rock ‘n’ roll was going to last. The music – as it must and always does, though not always for the better – was changing, and though a retro-rock of the ’50s had been inspired by the movie “Grease,” the post-blues, guitar-based attack fused to the horn arrangements of Motown and Memphis that a young guy from Delaware named George Thorogood favored did not seem like a “sure thing.” Not a by a long stretch.
And yet, FM rock radio began playing Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, right along progressive and album-rock hits of the day. It was almost as if Thorogood were being marketed as a bit of punk, a leather-jacketed retro-cool dude who played John Lee Hooker tunes as if he was covering the Sex Pistols. Back then, Thorogood wasn’t “the guy you hear on classic rock radio,” but rather, came across as an edgy, of-the-moment artist with a pure rock ’n’ roll heart.
Nearly 40 years later, Thorogood & the Destroyers are still viewed by many as one of the most pure purveyors of boogie-based rock and hard blues.
Thorogood & the Destroyers have never stopped touring, and their latest venture – dubbed “The 40 Years Strong Tour” – includes a stop at Canalside on Friday, beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced $15 for general admission, and $55 for VIP. (The latter includes unlimited free beer and wine, appetizers and a bracelet allowing for front-of-stage access.) Tickets are available through Ticketfly.com.
– Jeff Miers