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George Thorogood's complete "Live In Boston, 1982" album, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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George Thorogood says that when he tells a concert audience that "we are gonna play absolutely no new material tonight," the fans "start applauding."

They should be going wild over his latest release then.

The guitarist and bandleader -- still "Bad to the Bone" 43 years after his first album -- recently released "Live in Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert" from a characteristically raucous Nov. 23 performance Thorogood and his band, the Delaware Destroyers, that year at Bradford Ballroom. As the title suggests, it expands a set originally released in 2010 with 12 previously unreleased tracks.

Boston was home turf for Thorogood and company at that point in time, and the concert caught the group on a high. It had spent the previous year-plus touring with the Rolling Stones and the J. Geils Band, while its "Bad to the Bone" album came out just over three months prior to the gig. Thorogood hasn't gone anywhere since, and real fans know the Destroyers they hear on this archival release is not tremendously different from the group that will return to the stage whenever concerts resume....

Thorogood, who turned 70 during February, says by phone that the "Live in Boston, 1982" was suggested by the record company, and he had no objections. "I wasn't that involved in it. The record company and management were instrumental and initial to getting this going, and I wasn't against it. If they believe in it, I'm not gonna stop them from putting it out."

Thorogood "can't really" remember the specific show featured on the album, but he does recall Boston and the Bradford Hotel being important markets at the time. "It was always kind of special going there, going to that area, 'cause the New England area is where drummer Jeff Simon and I were living, and we lived in Boston itself for awhile. So in that way it was a little closer to home, and that made it more exciting -- although we loved playing anywhere."

Thorogood and the Destroyers had already scored some hits with "Move It On Over" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" before "Bad to the Bone" broke into the Top 30 in 1982. "This just took us a step closer or a step higher, however you want to say itMTV helped that, and it didn't hurt to do all those shows with J. Geils and the Rolling Stones. I was being thrust into some very major artists, established rock people, and we were kind of a little boogie-woogie band from Delaware. So when we got thrown into the mix and would hold our own, that was very encouraging for us. That kind of opened the floodgates as far as me as a performer. I didn't hold anything back after that."

Thorogood is pleased and not entirely surprised by the longevity of his career. "When I first talked to Bill Nowlin from Rounder Records, before we made our first album with him, I was very adamant that what I'm doing, what our band was doing, there's a market for it. It might not be a multi-million dollar market, but there's still a market for it. I thought we could be like Canned Heat or Savoy Brown, Elvin Bishop or John Hammond...which would have been great. Never in a million years did we think 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' would get played on the radio. But I always felt like there was a market for us that would let us keep going."

Thorogood says that while he has no great drive to write new material, he does have "lots of stuff" he'd still like to do during his career. "I'd like to make an album with Bob Dylan and call it 'The Best of Hank Williams by Bad Bob and Lonesome George' -- 'Hey Bad Bob, I haven't heard slide guitar on any of your records yet. Here I am!' I'd like to play maracas on one of the (Rolling) Stones sessions, but Mick Jagger's the best on the maracas. If I could play tambourine on one of Sir Paul McCartney's songs, I'd be up for that. So, yeah, there's lots of things I'd like to do. I'm still waiting for these guys to call..."

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