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Interview with George Thorogood – By Sally Steele

George Thorogood: “Sally.”
Vegas Rocks: “Hi George. How ya doin?”
GT: “Sneakin Sally through the Alley. Lay Down Sally. That’s a good rock ‘ roll name”
VR: “Hey..see I’m already famous. Even you know that. Write your next song about me. It will be sure to be a hit.”
GT: “Clapton already did that.”
VR: “Think of another one. You are good at that.”
GT: “Not as good as he is”.
VR: “It’s a great pleasure to talk to you. I hear you have a solo album coming out. Is this your first solo record?”
GT: “First and only. There will never be another. That’s it”
VR: “Will the album be taking a different direction on the same type of songs?
GT: “No, most of the stuff I did before I put The Destroyers together. Originally I wanted to put out a solo album first. The same as everyone else does like Dylan or Springsteen or any of those people. And then move on to electric guitar and all that. It never happened. This is long overdue. A lot of fans have requested this over the years.”
VR: “What’s the name of it? When’s it going to be out?”
GT: “’s going to be out sometime this year. We’re still workin on what we are going to call it. We thought about calling it: The Validation of a Demented Toad Throwing Up” but thought that was too commercial.”
VR: “Just call it “Destroyed” instead of “The Destroyers”.
GT: “I’m sure we will think of something.”
VR: “I see you spent much of your career writing like a guy band type of sound. Did you ever write any love songs or would that have spoiled your image direction?”
GT: “Oh yeah I did.”
VR: “Which ones were those?”
GT: “Well I have never recorded them. I wrote “Oklahoma Sweetheart” which is a tribute to…have you ever heard that song?”
VR: “No I haven’t”
GT: “It’s on one of our albums. I have written songs like that. For the most part our fans and our record company is not interested in those kinds of songs from me. They want me to play bad songs.”
VR: “Yeah you’re the bad guy. From what I have read about you, I would guess there’s a guy that got together with his friends in high school and had such a great time playing music they started a band. Now how correct is that?”
GT: “Sally every band starts from people from friends in high school playing in a band. Every band starts that way. All the way back to the Beatles. Every band starts that way but it doesn’t always continue that way. Maybe with
Tom Petty it does. Or with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Me and Jeff Simon. Very few bands, they all start like that.”
VR: “Were you ever going to do anything different? I mean “Get a Haircut”, get a real job..that is one of my favorite songs. Was that a true life experience of yours?”
GT: “Of course it was”
VR: “You met the girl’s parents and they said get a real job and get a haircut?”
GT: “Exactly. I mean everyone who grew up in the sixties or early seventies, especially the sixties that was the theme of it. We were lucky to pick up on that song before Steppenwolf did or Canned Heat or even later would have been a good songs for The Ramones. Or someone like that. That’s the ultimate rock ‘n roll statement. Get a haircut and get a real job.”
VR: “Absolutely. Was there ever a time, in your career, where you considered I’m gonna get a real job or have a different career?”
GT: “No. Never. I can’t do anything else. I’m not even that good at what it is I do. I’m lucky to make a livin at what. Do you think I am gonna over there and say oh I can be a CEO with the head of the Ford Corporation? I think I can do that. I don’t think so. Do you think Tom Petty or Keith Richards could do anything but what they do? I don’t think so.”
VR: “What about earlier, when you were younger, before you got into music, was there anything did you want to do?”
GT: “Yeah of course I did. I wanted to strike out the New York Yankees like Sandy Koufax but I
not any good at that. Hit homeruns like Hank Aaron but I’m not good at that either. I would
like to be a brilliant actor like Marlon Brando or Paul Newman but that wasn’t part of my makeup so I said this is what I wanna do. I gonna do this. I think I can do this.”
VR: “What about when you were really young, like when you were a kid, did you want to be a doctor, fireman or just a sports star? “
GT: “There’s not that many people who grow up, in society, after 1950 that says you know I really want to be an accountant.”
VR: “I’m just curious”.
GT: “I really want to be the person who changes oil in cars. Anybody that tells ya I don’t want to be a rock and roll star that was born after 1950 is lying. Go ask Chrissie Hynde what she wanted to do since the time she was 12 years old. She wanted to be a rock ‘n roll star.”
VR: “So that was your dream. You achieved your dream”.
GT: “It was President Obama’s dream. It was Clinton’s dream. It’s everybody’s dream.”
VR: “You’re livin the dream George. Livin the dream.”
GT: “Exactly.”
VR: “I’m sure there were some lean times being a musician starting out. Was there a defining moment in your career where you felt like wow I really made it?”
GT: “I’m still waiting for that.”
VR: “It will be with your solo album.”
GT: “OK.”
VR: “A couple more questions. What do you want your fans to know most about you that they might not know?
GT: “I don’t want them to know anything about me they don’t know. I want them to know that exactly what they know. They will get their money’s worth when they pay a ticket to see me play. That’s it”
VR: “They can do that March 11th. You going to be here at the Pearl correct?
GT: “Correct.”
VR: “Is that the first time you’ve played the Pearl? I know you’ve played the House of Blues here?”
GT: “I’ve played a lot of House of Blues.”
VR: “I mean in Vegas. Is this the first time you’re playin the Pearl?”
GT: (ask someone in the background “We ever play the Pearl before?” Background response: “No.”) No. First time.”
VR: “I know you’ve played House of Blues before because I was watching your sound check. We can’t wait to see you here at the Pearl. Thank you for your time George!
GT: “Thank you!”