By Lisa Morgan
There has always been much talk throughout the decades of the ever illusive “It” that music and movie industry moguls are constantly looking for. This “It” is such a small word that encompasses the qualities in one person that has the propensity to make the general public look, watch and listen. Add raw musical talent to this “it factor” and you have a “Legend”. This is the only way I can describe George Thorogood after my interview with him regarding his upcoming show with fellow legend-in-the-making, Kenny Wayne Shepherd at Fantasy Springs, October 5. George Thorogood has “IT”!
There has always been something magnetic about George Thorogood, who in his electric rock and roll career with his Destroyers, has released sixteen studio albums, two of which were certified platinum, six certified gold, and sold fifteen million albums worldwide. George Thorogood possessed that legendary “It” factor when he released his debut album in 1977 and has “It” to this day. Having developed a reputation early in his career for the grueling “50/50 Tour” (50 states in 50 days) it doesn’t appear he, now 62, has slowed down much at all. When I asked him how he does it he says, “I’ve never underestimated the value of a good night’s sleep.” Not exactly the answer I was expecting from the tunesmith of “Bad to the Bone” and “House Rent Boogie/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” who also answered my question regarding which brand of which bourbon, which scotch, and which beer with, “Does it matter?”.
I asked George what his take on the current music industry was and how it has changed. He said, “Well, you know, wherever something’s lost something’s gained. There’s a ton of music out there now. Back in my day, nobody’s parents wanted their kid to grow up and be rock star. Now, those kids are parents and grandparents and they all want their kids in the industry. It’s a lot tougher to get noticed now. You have your acts like Lady Gaga and the like who have to add shock value to their package just to be seen. Back in my day, if you had a good song and a decent voice, you were half way home.”
When asked who he has heard in the current music industry that he likes he answered, “There’s a guy Jack Johnson ~ I like him a lot, and David Gray… and you know, just the other day I heard this girl Amy Winehouse and I was thinking, ‘Man, what a great voice and great song and then someone told me she died. Damn.”
Who does the hit maker of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” love? The “Band Stand” and that means playing his music for you and me, the audience. There are no signs of burnout or retirement when he says, “There is nothing like the energy of being on stage and playing for the people.” When I asked about the key to his longevity on tour he responded, “People don’t pay to see mediocre. It’s tough these days. You HAVE to deliver. You see there’s this thing on computers called the ‘internet’. One bad show and everybody will hear about it.” He went on to explain his understanding that going to see a show is an investment: “Between paying for two tickets, dinner, drinks and a baby sitter, a show can cost a few hundred bucks.” That’s the reason he’s still bringing in the audiences; he gives them their money’s worth.
Friday, October 5th will be no different. He plans on putting it all on stage. Considering the energy in which he conveyed this to me, I have absolutely no doubt. I asked him if there was something he wanted me to tell those who would be coming to see him Friday. He laughed and said, “Wear your safety belts… to, during and from the show.”
This show with opener Kenny Wayne Shephard, a self-taught, hit maker, and blues rocker, promises to be a guitar driven event full of epic instrumental and performance moments that no music lover of any age should miss. To purchase tickets go to www.FantasySpringsResort.com or call the Fantasy Springs Box Office at (800) 827-2946.