Thorogood on the record 

The Delaware Destroyer comes clean about his badness

According to a biographical sketch on the VH1 Web site, George Thorogood was born on December 31, 1952 (other sources say February 24, 1950), but didn’t develop any particular interest in music until 1970, when he saw blues legend John Paul Hammond perform. Thorogood, however, who has parlayed bone-simple Chicago-style blues into what one would imagine to be a very comfortable living (judging from the number of times his signature song has appeared in movies and TV commercials, anyway), remembers it a little differently.

“Well, on the day I was born,” Thorogood recalls, “the nurses all gathered round. And they gazed in wide wonder at the joy they had found. The head nurse spoke up, and she said leave this one alone. She could tell right away that I was bad to the bone.”

And as for settling comfortably into an opulent lifestyle made possible by untold sums in royalties, Thorogood confesses that the best things in life—like sharing it with someone you love—still require a certain kind of work that can’t simply be contracted out—even on a Delaware Destroyer’s salary.

“I [still] make a rich woman beg,” he boasts. “I’ll make a good woman steal. I’ll make an old woman blush, and make a young girl squeal. I wanna be yours, pretty baby, yours and yours alone. I’m here to tell ya, honey, that I’m bad to the bone.”

Indeed. Thorogood admits that his headstrong attitude has ruffled some feathers in the past, particularly among sovereign heads of state, but that by and large women find his company memorable, and time spent with him to be time well-spent.

“And when I walk the streets, kings and queens step aside,” Thorogood claims. “Every woman I meet, they all stay satisfied. I wanna tell ya pretty baby, what I see I make my own. I’m here to tell ya honey that I’m bad to the bone.”

Yes, well, so we gather, George. Asked for his thoughts on sharing, with AC/DC, a prestigious Lifetime Award for Most Discomfiting Lyrical Reference to Young Girls Squealing, Thorogood chooses not to elaborate. As a parting shot before his upcoming Missoula concert, however, Thorogood is adamant in insisting that his fans remember him chiefly for one thing.

“Bad to the bone,” he clucks. “B-b-b-b-bad, b-b-b-b-bad. B-b-b-b-bad, bad to the bone.”

Okay, George. That’s enough.

Think you know your George Thorogood? Try taking the following trivia quiz and see just how b-b-b-b-bad you really are. Answers appear below.

1. The Delaware Destroyers may be named for George’s home state, but the Wilmington native moved his fledgling band to the following city in 1973 to break into the business:
a) Phoenix
b) Boston
c) Schenectady
d) Poughkeepsie

2. Thorogood was once a semi-professional player of this sport—until he decided that he was b-b-b-b-better at the b-b-b-b-blues:
a) baseball
b) basketball
c) football
d) badminton

3. Prior to opening up for this band on a string of stadium dates in 1981, George Thorogood and the Destroyers actively shunned bigger venues, to the point that the band would often perform under an assumed name to keep the smaller clubs from getting too crowded:
a) Boston
b) Beach Boys
c) BeeGees
d) Rolling Stones

4. Which of the following is one of only four guest artists to have collaborated with George Thorogood and the Destroyers?
a) late Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian Vincent
b) rock’n’roll wildman Gene Vincent
c) metal “Invasion” bandleader Vinnie Vincent
d) actor Jan-Michael Vincent

5. The first George Thorogood and the Destroyers record, released in 1977 on a small, folk-oriented label called Rounder Records, didn’t exactly meet with resounding success. But the band’s first single is still a live staple. That song is:
a) “Who Do You Love?”
b) I Drink Alone”
c) “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
d) “Move It on Over”

Answers: (1) b, (2) a, (3) d, (4) a, (5) d

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