On July 22nd, George Thorogood and The Destroyers bring their raucous brand of Blues and Rock’n’Roll to the Region at this year’s Festival of the Lakes in Hammond.
“Indiana - that’s gotta be the heart of it all right there,” Thorogood said. “You’re right there in, as Huey Lewis would put it, ‘the Heart of Rock’n’Roll. It’s rich with blue collar, rock tradition.”
In returning to the Chicagoland region, Thorogood comes back to, in his mind, the birthplace of Rock’n’Roll.
“That’s where Rock’n’Roll was created,” Thorogood said of the Chicagoland region and, more specifically, Chess Records. “It disappointed me when I first visited there in ‘81. At the time it was boarded up and there were pawn shops all around. Now it’s been made into a museum but I was shocked that everybody I met had never heard of Chess Records and they didn’t know that ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’ was recorded right in that city.”
“Those are two of the most important Rock’n’Roll songs of all time!” Thorogood said. “That’s where Rock’n’Roll was created on 2120 Michigan Avenue because Chuck Berry walked in there and listened to Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and he literally created Rock’n’Roll in Chicago.”
“It was a combination of Blues and Country with a real fast Rock’N’Roll beat before there was a Rock’N’Roll beat!” Thorogood said. “It wasn’t just a music phenomenon, it was a social phenomenon.”
Over the course of 16 studio albums in the last four decades, George and his legendary band have stormed the charts with six Gold and two Platinum selling albums with a catalog of classics 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.
After touring and recording for more than 40 years and over 8000 live shows, Thorogood and his longtime band, The Destroyers, are still thrilling crowds and bringing their brand of Rock’n’Roll to new generations of fans.
“We keep getting better work than we’ve ever dreamed of coming at us,” said Thorogood. “So we try and keep ourselves in shape. We have the fan base behind us and the radio stations behind us, and we still have the passion for it because of these things. That passion is stronger than ever due to the how the radio and the fans are behind us. We’re doing better now than we ever did because rock itself is doing better than it ever did.”
“The way things are now, there’s so many outlets of communication and there’s room for everything,” said Thorogood. “Rock music now is over 60 years old. It’s grown up and the people have grown up with it, and their children and grandchildren now have grown up with it and are turned on to it.”
“When we play, whether it’s a great old theater, a shiny new casino, an outdoor festival, wherever, we have fun on stage. We give the fans a great show. Most of all, we’re making a living doing what we love and people love what we're doing.”
“Rock’n’Roll never sleeps,” Thorogood concluded. “It just passes out!”