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George Thorogood & The Destroyers

A blues-rock guitarist who draws his inspiration from Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and Chuck Berry, George Thorogood never earned much respect from blues purists, but he became a popular favorite in the early '80s through repeated exposure on FM radio and the arena rock circuit. Thorogood's music was always loud, simple, and direct -- his riffs and licks were taken straight out of '50s Chicago blues and rock & roll -- but his formulaic approach helped him gain a rather large audience in the '80s, when his albums regularly went gold.

Originally, Thorogood was a minor-league baseball player but decided to become a musician in 1970 after seeing John Paul Hammond in concert. Three years later, he assembled the Destroyers in his home state of Delaware; in addition to Thorogood, the band featured bassist Michael Lenn, second guitarist Ron Smith, and drummer Jeff Simon. Shortly after the Destroyers were formed, he moved them to Boston, where they became regulars on the blues club circuit. In 1974, they cut a batch of demos that were later released in 1979 as the Better Than the Rest album.

Within a year of recording the demos, the Destroyers were discovered by John Forward, who helped them secure a contract with Rounder Records. Before they made their first album, Lenn was replaced by Billy Blough. Thorogood & the Destroyers' eponymous debut was released in early 1977. The group's second album, Move It on Over, was released in 1978. The title track, a cover of Hank Williams' classic, was pulled as a single and it received heavy FM airplay, helping the album enter the American Top 40 and go gold. Its success led to MCA's release of Better Than the Rest, which the band disdained. In 1980, Ron Smith left the band and the group added a saxophonist, Hank Carter, and released its third album, More George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Following the release of More George Thorogood, the guitarist signed with EMI Records, releasing his major-label debut, Bad to the Bone, in 1982. The title track of the album became his first major crossover hit, thanks to MTV's saturation airplay of the song's video. The album went gold and spent nearly a full year on the charts. Thorogood's next three albums after Bad to the Bone all went gold. Between Bad to the Bone and Thorogood's next album, 1985's Maverick, the Destroyers added a second guitarist, Steve Chrismar.

By the beginning of the '90s, Thorogood's audience began to decrease. None of the albums he released went gold, even though the title track from 1993's Haircut was a number two album rock hit. Despite his declining record sales, Thorogood continued to tour blues and rock clubs and he usually drew large crowds; subsequent efforts included 1997's Rockin' My Life Away, 1999's Half a Boy/Half a Man, Live in '99, 2003's Ride 'Til I Die, and 2006's The Hard Stuff. Thorogood returned to EMI/Capitol in 2009, releasing the bar band covers album The Dirty Dozen. Two years later, he continued the covers journey with 2120 South Michigan Ave., a tribute to Chess Records. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Comments

suzfrench3
Going to see him tonight and I am ready to rock!
I've seen George live 4 times. Best venue for crowd and for his music was Hard Rock Cafe in Anaheim. Great show every time. I think he is more appreciated in other places like CA than he is in Delaware. But to me, it is always George Thorogood and The Delaware Destroyers.
I was born in 84 lot of you out there might call me young but no when I hear good music Ask the bartender what time is it he said the clock on the wall says 3 o clock last call for alcohol
fizedteach . I bet that Buddy Guy with George was better lol ::)
fizedteach
I am going to see George with Buddy Guy on Friday. It is going to kick!
George kisks a$$
Bad to the bone.rock on.
I only wish I had seen him live. I have loved this music ever since I was a small child. Rock on!
christophers o n 9
Keene NH will never be the Same! Thanks George!
Just saw him live 2 days ago (1st time several years ago). His personality & energy level are amazing, puts on a fabulous show. Love him, wish he came up this way more often.
One live album? We need way more Thorogood on here!
The best blues rocking ever!!!!
Nobody does it like George
Been a fan since 1980........ h a v e n ' t seen him live in a while but his music is still the sh!t!
sugnim638
George is the man!!!
Saw him live a couple of weeks ago.
He still knows how to rock the house
pebbho
Woohooo put Delaware on the map!!! Love One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer!
I was born in 1974 my parents listened to George Thorogood all the time!!!!!
woodhavenfsd
Remember him opening for the Stones in '81 in Buffalo - rocking the house in the pouring rain - 5 encores (40 minutes) before going off. Journey who followed him was thoughly booed.
woodhavenfsd
Covers Chuck Berry better than anyone
We see him almost every year when he comes to Old Westbury. It never gets old.
No one puts on a show Like George
So his version of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer gets me going crazy ever time I hear it.
delaware for life
jrozicki
I saw them back in setempber 10,....great show!
great music!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
I must have seen these guys half dozen times. Always had a good time!
Pushing 60, still here, my friends.
jon7768
Love this guy
I first ran into this maniac a couple of decades ago and have been an avid listener ever since. He takes slide to a different level!

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