• All Ages Welcome
• General Admission (first come, first served) - no assigned seats!
• Tickets available online via Ticketmaster.com or without ticket fees in person at the Center Stage Box Office, M-F, 11-6. Online sales end at 5pm on day of show.
In 1974, Hank Aaron became the all-time MLB home run leader. President Nixon resigned. A gallon of gas cost 55 cents. MTV was still 7 years away. And a young Wilmington guitar slinger and his band played their first electrifying gig at a University of Delaware residence hall.
Today, home run records are performance-enhanced. Watergate seems quaint while gas prices veer to insane. Few remember what the ‘M’ in MTV once stood for. But over 8,000 live shows and 15 million albums sold worldwide later, George Thorogood is still making explosive music, still thrilling audiences, and still the baddest-to-the-bone performer in Rock.
That’s 40 Years Strong.
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 the music can still mean something. And with a catalog of iconic hits that includes “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.
“When I first started messing around with this thing in the early ‘70s, none of us even knew if Rock & Roll itself was going to last,” George says. “There were no music videos, no Classic Rock radio. Only acts like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones were doing big arena shows. Casino gigs were for performers like Joey Bishop and Dean Martin. I thought to myself, ‘I just want to put out a couple of records before the whole thing goes away.’ Every performer of my generation – Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt – thought the same way. We didn’t
get into this because it felt like the thing of the future. I was afraid that Rock would be over, and I’d miss my chance to be a part of it.”
What Thorogood became a part of – and continues to define – was a time when Rock had fewer rules, indie roots, unchained personalities and a genuine love of its Blues history. Over the course of sixteen studio albums (including six Gold and two Platinum), George and The Destroyers have stormed the charts with distinctive covers of classics by Hank Williams, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James and more, while simultaneously bashing out smash originals that crackle with wit and swagger. “I’ve always balanced one against the other,” he explains. “Back when we were playing clubs before we had original material, I’d say ‘Hey, let’s play that Willie Dixon song.’ We played them our way and audiences loved ‘em. In terms of my writing, you find what you’re good at and stick to it. My lyrics have a good sense of humor and I can play a mean guitar. Let’s face it; ‘Get A Haircut’ isn’t a song for Carly Simon to do. It’s for Thorogood.” As for his signature certified classic “Bad To The Bone”, George knows the simple truth of the soundtrack staple and definitive badass anthem. “It’s the ultimate fantasy of the cool tough guy,” he says. “I wrote ‘Bad To The Bone’ to perform it live for the rest of my life.”
In fact, ask anyone who’s seen GT & D perform live – from that first show at Lane Hall, through legendary appearances on SNL and Live Aid, the opening slot on the Rolling Stones historic ’81 tour, their own record-breaking 50/50 tour, or any of their current 100+ gigs per year – and it’s undisputed that their reputation as worldwide road warriors is stronger than ever. “I love to perform live,” George says. “I consider my job description to be ‘live Rock performer’. When we play, whether it’s a great old theater, a brand new casino, an outdoor festival, wherever, we’re making a living doing what we love to do. And people love what it is we're doing. We’ve worked hard over the past 40 years to get to this point, and we’re proud to be here.”
Ultimately, the 40 Years Strong Tour is 50% celebration, 50% declaration and 100% Thorogood throwdown. But after 4 decades as one of the most consistent – and consistently unique – careers in Rock, can a guitar-slinger still at the top of his game choose a moment that sums it all up? “Stan Musial was once asked, ‘What was the greatest day of your career?’ And Stan said ‘Every day when I walk onto the field is the greatest day.’ I feel the same way,” George says. “Every night when I walk out on that stage is the highlight of my career. I hit that first chord, the band kicks in, and we hear the audience respond. That’s the rush. 40 years into this, and every night, that's still the only moment that matters.”
For George Thorogood & The Destroyers – and for Rock & Roll – it doesn’t get stronger than that.