George Thorogood & The Destroyers
May 20, 2022
Since 1976, they’ve sold over 15 million albums, built a catalog of classic hits, and played more than 8,000 ferocious live shows. They broke records with their 50 Dates/50 States Tour, delivered landmark performances at Live Aid and on SNL, and became mainstays of radio, MTV and stages worldwide for more than two generations. Through it all, they’ve remained one of the most consistent – and consistently passionate – progenitors of blues-based rock in pop culture history.
For the past 45 years, it’s been very good to be George Thorogood & The Destroyers. And in 2022, their Good To Be Bad Tour: 45 Years Of Rock will prove why like never before.
“If you’re content, you may as well be dead.” George says. “I think everyone has thoughts about retiring, but the phone keeps ringing. You want me and The Destroyers to come to your town, set up our gear, wear some cool threads and play ‘Who Do You Love?’ End of conversation. Let’s rock!”
For Thorogood and his longtime band – Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) – the power to rock audiences has been both battle cry and creed since the beginning. “It wasn’t about the amount of people we drew, but rather the impression we made,” George explains. “I asked myself, ‘Are we reaching them? Do they want more?’ And we knew from the very first set that we had something special.”
It’s on stage that George & The Destroyers flip the switch nightly, delivering what The Toledo Blade calls “a gut-bustin’, guitar-wailin’, face-meltin’, fiery-tempoed, take-no-prisoners, good old-fashioned lunch-bucket rock & roll show” that includes their signature hits “Get A Haircut”, “I Drink Alone”, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, “Move It On Over”, “Who Do You Love” and the definitive badass anthem “Bad To The Bone”, along with several surprises. “It’s been a constant evolution to make the show all killer, no filler,” explains 43-year Destroyer bassist Bill Blough. “Something still inherently clicks the second we step on stage. We feel the audience’s energy and the show just explodes.”
But after 45 years of rock – and no signs of stopping – can Thorogood point to what continues to make it all matter? “My highlight is every night when I walk on that stage and play our hits for those happy people,” he says. “At the end of the show, the audience is smiling, I don’t see any police and everyone got their money’s worth.”
More importantly, is it still good to be bad? George Thorogood instantly flashes that huge grin. “You bet it is,” he says. ”We’ll always be the baddest band in the land. Expect our best on this tour, because that’s what you’re gonna get.”
About Nick Schnebelen
One of the first things you discover about Nick Schnebelen is his commitment to his music. He does not tippy-toe or wade in; he plunges right into the deep end. Forceful and determined succinctly describe Nick’s approach to guitar-playing and singing.
That’s always been the basis for Nick’s music, no matter what kind of musical collaboration he’s been in.
“I like things that are very potent and simple,” he says. “They get straight to the point.”
Joined by younger brother Kris and sister Danielle, TUF enjoyed two highly successful albums produced by Tony Braunagel, “Wrong Side of the Blues” (2011) and “Badlands” (2013), which climbed to the top position on Billboard’s Top Blues Album charts. The band was nominated in 2012 as Band of the Year at the Blues Music Awards and won that honor in 2014.
Most people think that’s how Nick got started, but his musical roots run far deeper. His mother and father were professional musicians, his grandmother was a big band singer, his grandfather played guitar and his great grandfather was a member of a string band as far back as the 1920s.
“You see, music’s been in my blood for generations,” he says.
Although Nick has played music from a young age, he blossomed when he attended Kansas City’s Paseo Academy of Performing Arts high school, where he studied both classical and jazz forms. “There are different sets of rules for each and as I played in both the classical orchestra and the jazz band, I got a better understanding of how music works,” he says.
In 1997, Nick relocated to Philadelphia, where he formed the blues-based jam band K-Floor, and later toured with Buddahead, a British pop band. By 2000, Kris and Danielle joined him in Philadelphia to begin Trampled Under Foot.
The energy of Nick’s shows with his solo band was captured in the recording of “Live in Kansas City” in 2017.
All of that has led to his debut solo work “Crazy All By Myself,” TBA, 2019 -produced once again by Braunagel and featuring songs written with Gary Nicholson, Jeff Paris and Dave Duncan. The CD flexes with styles ranging from slow blues to soul to funk to rock, with even a dash of rockabilly.
The title cut, a blues co-written with Dave Duncan, cuts deeps lyrically and musically. Nick’s stinging guitar work is underpinned by Mike Finnigan’s flowing piano at its base while the lyrics paint a picture of a man meeting the realization that he doesn’t need a woman to lead him down the path of destruction, that’s he’s perfectly capable of doing it on his own.
“This CD has so many different styles on it,” Nick says, “but it still works. Most of the songs started in my brain and then were expanded lyrically, but they seem to pair up well here so the varied styles don’t seem out of place.
“My goal is to continue to write and create new styles for the blues,” Nick says. “I want to stand out as an original artist.”