Still b-b-b-b bad to the bone

George Thorogood and the Destroyers are playing in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre this Sunday.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers will be rocking at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Sunday.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers will be rocking at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Sunday.

A little bewildered, amused and stunned is how you feel after getting off the phone with George Thorogood, probably the exact same feeling he wants his audiences to have.

Although, that will be up to the fans.

“You are playing for different people every night so it has got to be a different show,” said Thorogood who was sitting on his tour bus doing the interview by phone, from a location he did not want to divulge. “If it is a quiet crowd it will be a quiet show, if it is a loud crowd expect it to be loud with a lot of energy. You never know until you get out there and start strumming away.”

Thorogood is a road warrior. For 35 years, blues and rock and roll have kept Thorogood and the Destroyers  cruising all over the world performing. In 1980 they played 50 states in the span of 50 days. Having tripped around most parts of North America, Thorogood can rifle off almost all of the Canadian provinces, missing only the northern territories. He also can belt out a pretty mean rendition of Canada’s national anthem, which he offered over the phone “for no extra charge.”

While one can only imagine how dizzying it is spending night after night heading to the next gig, it is understandable why Thorogood’s down time is quite literally just that.

“The activity of getting 10-to-12 hours sleep is very underrated. With my time off what I do is rest, getting into a horizontal position as much as possible,” said Thorogood.

In fact, he even made up a little ditty about it mid-interview, a song he said he would call I Nap Alone.

“One chair, one sofa, one pullout,” he sings  in his raspy voice to the tune of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer. “How does that sound? That sounds like my lifestyle to me. I’ll even put Nunavut in there somewhere.”

While most can rattle off the chorus to Bad to the Bone and Move It On Over, Thorogood has been essaying the Chess Records repertoire since his debut album in 1977. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years, a label that was home to Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

It lit a fire for Thorogood and the Destroyers. Their latest album 2120 South Michigan Avenue just happens to be the Chicago address of the label.  The catalog of music became the sources of Thorogood’s higher education in music.

2120 South Michigan Avenue isn’t just Thorogood’s salute to a great record label — it also pays homage to the tough, larger-than-life men who made the music.

“It was a lifestyle as well as an art form, as far as music goes,” Thorogood notes. “They were singing about what their life was like on a daily basis. Sonny Boy Williamson and Wolf and Muddy Waters – they didn’t think they were the baddest cats in the world, they knew they were the baddest cats in the world. They had to be, or they wouldn’t have survived. There’s nothing glamorous in it – that’s just the facts. They had to fight their way through on a daily basis just to keep their heads above water. That’s very clear in a lot of their songs.”

Through the entire project, Thorogood and the Destroyers attempted to put their own distinctive spin on the Chess material while maintaining fidelity to the originals.

“That’s a religion, and you’ve gotta do it right,” he said.

Thorogood also said he never gets tired of playing songs that he is most known for, or tired of rocking out for fans night after night. Just question him on how he is doing. “Bad,” he said.


“Yeah, like bad to the bone,” he said with a gravelly laugh.

Tickets to the George Thorogood and the Destroyers concert on May 20 are available at the SOEC box office, Wine Country Visitor Centre, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or at

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read